Faculty Director

Joshua Dubler is an associate professor in the Department of Religion and Classics and the founder of the Rochester Education Justice Initiative. He is author of Down in the Chapel: Religious Life in an American Prison (FSG, 2013) and co-author of Break Every Yoke: Religion, Justice, and the Abolition of Prisons (Oxford University Press, 2019). He founded the program as the Rochester Prison Education Project in 2015, before adopting its new name as the Rochester Education Justice Initiative in 2019. As REJI's faculty director, he serves as the principal investigator on grants, interfaces with senior administrators, helps with staff recruiting, and guides strategic planning. Each year, he teaches the undergraduate course "Incarceration Nation," on the history of imprisonment in the United States and the origins of mass incarceration.

joshua.dubler@rochester.edu | (585) 275-4756


Assistant Director of Community Outreach

Precious Bedell is a specialist in providing resources to and helping those reentering from prisons and jails on how to navigate complex medical, social, and reentry services. She works with formerly incarcerated individuals to overcome obstacles related to housing, employment, health insurance, and family reunification and support. She oversees REJI's Justice Scholars program, recruiting annual cohorts of formerly incarcerated students in the community to pursue further higher education. She works with community stakeholders to build relationships that bring REJI's vision and mission to fruition. She also co-teaches the undergraduate course "Incarceration Nation" with Joshua Dubler, bringing local and state advocates for prison reform and decarceration to campus to share their work with Rochester's undergraduate population. She is an activist with major campaigns to free vulnerable incarcerated people during the pandemic.

precious.bedell@rochester.edu | (585) 435-1247


Assistant Director of Programming

Eitan Freedenberg joined REJI in 2017, first as an instructor of art history at Five Points Correctional Facility (taught in partnership with the Cornell Prison Education Program) and then as the assistant director of programming. He oversees both day-to-day logistics and strategic planning for REJI's college programs at Attica and Groveland. He works within the University on faculty recruitment, hiring, and training; curriculum development; grant management; and collaborations with academic departments and River Campus Libraries. He serves the learning communities at Attica and Groveland as academic counselor and director of student affairs. Additionally, he works with partners at SUNY Genesee Community College, the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, and peer college-in-prison programs across the state to ensure that students have the resources they need to pursue and complete their degrees. He earned his PhD in Visual and Cultural Studies at the University of Rochester in 2020.

e.freedenberg@rochester.edu | (585) 210-3618


Admissions and Pre-College Program Coordinator

Ed Wiltse is a Professor of English and Communication at Nazareth College. He founded and directs the Jail Project, a collaboration between Nazareth and the Monroe County Jail, which over the last twenty years has facilitated meaningful intellectual exchanges between Nazareth students and incarcerated men and women. He has taught college-in-prison courses at Albion, Groveland, and Auburn.

ewiltse6@naz.edu


Program Coordinator

Marianne Kupin-Lisbin


Program Assistant

Rayna Mandara


Faculty Advisors

Kristin Doughty

Alison Peterman


Alumni Relations

Nathan Leopold


Past Instructors (2015–present)


Solveiga ArmoskaiteAlexander Kotelsky
Joel BurgesMarianne Kupin-Lisbin
Carlos CarrilloYoungchae Lee
Jerome DentAnne Merideth
Kristin DoughtyAnusha Naganathan
Jack DowneyTrevor Nelson
Brady FletcherRachel O'Donnell
Eitan FreedenbergAlison Peterman
Robin FryeDillon Ramsey
Ana Goméz PargaJames Rankine
R. Michael GosselinJarod Sickler
Murat GunerAllen Topolski
Kristin HockerEd Wiltse
David HollowaySara Vacin