Engineering graduate students teach inmates as part of outreach project

16 Jul

It was an average Tuesday in Elmore, Ala., when Eliza Banu, mechanical engineering graduate student, arrived at Elmore Correctional Facility, a men’s medium-minimum security facility. A graduate teaching assistant at Auburn with pure enthusiasm for educating, she was there to teach her first solo course, “Introduction to Engineering and Mechanics Concepts,” to inmates.

Aubrey Beal, an electrical and computer engineering graduate student, had never instructed his own class before he pulled up to Easterling Correctional Facility in Clio, Ala., to teach an “Introduction to Vocational Electronics” class to more than 20 students. Nearly 80 inmates signed up to take his class at the medium security men’s prison — an overwhelming response.

Banu and Beal are the first Auburn engineering students to participate in the Alabama Prison Arts + Education Project, or APAEP, a grant-supported outreach initiative that has brought education and creativity to several of the state’s prisons since it was established in 2003. Administered by the College of Human Sciences, APAEP offers prisoners 14-week courses in poetry, creative writing, literature, performance, Alabama history, drawing and photography. For the first time, engineering was added to the slate this spring.

“We decided to open a university-wide search for graduate students to teach in our program,” said Kyes Stevens, director of APAEP. “We were originally looking for only one student, but both Eliza and Aubrey applied from engineering, and there was no way we could not accept them both.”

Click here to read the full story.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: