Conference to focus on prison education awareness

March 20, 2015

When one thinks about a traditional classroom, he or she might envision rows of desks, chalkboards or computers, maybe windows overlooking a school campus.

Arizona State University’s Prison Education Awareness Club invites the public to learn about a different type of classroom – one enclosed by walls, fences and prison bars. U.S. prison statistics graphic Download Full Image

On March 27, the club hosts the 4th Annual Prison Education Conference, where attendees will explore educational programming in U.S. prisons. The conference will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., in the Memorial Union Turquoise Room on ASU’s Tempe campus.

Kyes Stevens, founder of the Alabama Prison Arts + Education Project, will present the keynote address, “Building a Line, Drawing a Poem: APAEP.”

Stevens’ project has brought literature and art classes to prisons throughout Alabama, offering inmates a creative outlet. The project and similar programs not only encourage those incarcerated toward a more productive use of their time, but also nurture self-confidence and self-worth.

Studies show that education is key to preventing recidivism, or re-offending.

In addition to Stevens’ presentation, the conference will feature remarks by a representative from the Rio Salado Incarcerated Re-Entry Program. The program helps inmates develop personal and employment skills to re-enter society.

Also on the docket is a panel of educational staff from the Arizona Department of Corrections, who will shed light on the complexities of education in correctional facilities. Later, an ASU panel will focus its presentation on volunteer teaching in prisons.

The conference will end with a second keynote address by Judith Tannenbaum, a teaching poet and artist whose work highlights prisoners and prison issues. Tannenbaum’s memoir, “Disguised as a Poem: My Years Teaching Poetry at San Quentin,” has been described as “one of the more remarkable works ... about [the] American prison experience.”

The conference is free and open to the public, and a complimentary lunch will be provided. RSVP is required. In addition to the Prison Education Awareness Club, other sponsors include ASU’s Department of English and School of Social Transformation, which are academic units of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, also a sponsor.

For more information, contact

Written by Aneka Otte

Media contact:

Kristen LaRue-Sandler

senior marking & communications specialist, Department of English


Google 'evangelist' to expound on power of Web in education at ASU honors college

March 20, 2015

Jaime Casap truly is passionate about the power of education. It’s apparent in his blog, where he expounds about any number of education and other related topics, including the need to involve students from all socioeconomic classes in STEM, diversity as an economic imperative, and how differences in income levels and the disparity between time parents spend with children in blue collar versus white collar families affects children’s educational attainment, language acquisition and access to extra-curricular activities.

Casap, himself the son of a single mother from a low-income family and a Latino, distinctly knows of what he speaks and travels the world to deliver his message. Jaime Casap Download Full Image

He is the Global Education Evangelist at Google, Inc. He “evangelizes” the power and potential of the Web, technology and Google tools in education, and helps education organizations across the world find ways to use these tools in support of new learning models. He and his team are responsible for bringing Google tools to millions of administrators, teachers and students across the globe.

Casap will share his ideas about innovation in education in a lecture titled “The Need for Innovation and Iteration in Education,” scheduled for 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., March 24, in the Cottonwood Room at Barrett, the Honors College, on the Tempe campus. The lecture, part of the Barrett Honors College Honors Lecture Series, is free and open to the public, however RSVP is required.

Casap was named one of Tech & Learning’s Top 10 Most Influential in Education, and a SXSWedu (South by Southwest) Distinguished Speaker.

He serves on the Science Foundation Arizona Board of Directors, the New Global Citizens Board of Directors, the Executive Advisory Board for Arizona State University’s Department of Information Systems and is a member of the Digital Learning Council.

In addition to his role at Google, Casap is a faculty associate at ASU, where he teaches graduate classes in leadership, innovation and public policy.

Nicole Greason

Public relations and publicity manager , Barrett, The Honors College