Eric Schulzke, Executive Director
When he is not directing the Apollo 13 Project, Eric writes on national politics and policy for the Deseret News. He earned his Ph.D. in Political Science from U.C. Berkeley, and has taught courses in American government, public law, and public policy at Berkeley, Santa Clara University, and Brigham Young University. He became immersed in prisoner reentry through a consulting assignment, which led him to found the Apollo 13 Project in 2011.
Ben Anderson, Marketing Director
With professional experience in technology, software, and marketing industries, Ben volunteers as Apollo 13′s Marketing Director. He graduated from BYU, having studied history, Russian, logic, and political science. Ben comes to the issue of prisoner reentry on a very personal level, having close friends and family members who have struggled through the many problems of prisoner reentry. Above all he is committed to second chances and using the vast technology that is now available to renovate a costly and beleaguered justice system.
Bethany Hansen, Development Director
Bethany graduated from BYU with a BA in political science and an MPA from BYU’s Marriott School of Management. She is spearheading The Apollo 13 Project’s finances, grant writing and organizational governance. Bethany’s other full-time job is caring for her two young children, Jack and Liam.
Brittany Morrill, Special Projects Director
Brittany is a senior at Utah Valley University, majoring in photography and minoring in Peace and Justice Studies. After interning with Apollo 13 last semester, she came on board to spearhead corporate sponsorship efforts and help organize both promotional events and story collection.
Miriam Williams Boeri, Ph.D., is an associate professor at Kennesaw State University in Georgia. She employs ethnographic research and mixed-methods of data collection and analysis. She specializes in research on hidden populations and subcultures considered deviant, including drug subcultures and new religious movements. She uses an interdisciplinary approach, incorporating her theoretical insights from medical sociology and social policy, and engaging her colleagues from other disciplines to help solve social problems. She has written one book on a new religious movement and currently is working on a book on women and methamphetamine use. Her papers have been published in The Journal of Ethnography, The International Journal of Drug Policy, The Gerontologist, Human Organization, Sociological Inquiry, Journal of Drug Issues, Journal of Applied Social Science and the Journal of Ethnographic & Qualitative Research.
William Fields a.k.a. ‘Trey Devil’, as a teenager part of one of the most notorious gangs in Los Angeles, was paroled from prison in October 2007. At age 20, he had been incarcerated on three counts of attempted murder stemming from gang activity. He spent six years in Centinela State Prison in Imperial, CA. Once a bussed student at Brentwood Science Magnet School, Fields had been teased in his hood for acting “White”. At the age of 10, he asked for a chemistry set to go along with his microscope, telescope, flashcards, and encyclopedias. He dreamed of being a scientist. However, the constant ridicule for being smart led him him to rebel and turn to a life of crime. While in prison, Fields spent significant time in the “hole,” which is being locked in a small cell for twenty-three hours a day. Under these harsh circumstances, he made an intellectual and spiritual transformation, becoming more disciplined, enlightened, and productive. In prison he authored the book, The House of Failure, released in 2008 by Cupidity Press. Will is now a husband, a father, and a hard-working and successful electrical lineman in California
Vicki Lopez Lukis
Vicki Lopez Lukis is a well-respected authority regarding criminal and juvenile justice issues with a focus on increasing public safety and reducing corrections costs. Her expertise includes prisoner reentry and girls in the juvenile justice system. She consults with local, state and national government officials, policymakers and stakeholders on these issues. Mrs. Lopez Lukis currently serves as a consultant to The Pew Charitable Trusts, specifically their Pew Center on the States Public Safety Performance Project, which helps states advance fiscally sound, datadriven sentencing and corrections policies that protect public safety, hold offenders accountable and control corrections costs. Her responsibilities include advocating for introduction and passage of legislation based on criminal justice reform recommendations that have been developed by key stakeholders such as Florida TaxWatch and its Government Cost Savings Task Force; deploying stakeholder alliance in support of executive and legislative action; working with the Governor’s Office and relevant executive agencies to implement reform recommendations, which increase public safety and decrease corrections costs; engaging high-level stakeholders and other leaders for targeted media and legislative activities; and building a broad and diverse set of new and traditional voices to advocate for corrections reform in the state.
In 1996, Renford Reese received his Ph.D. in public policy from the University of Southern California. He received his Master’s degree in public policy from the Vanderbilt Institute for Public Policy Studies and his B.A. in political science from Vanderbilt University. Dr. Reese is currently a professor in the political science department at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. He is the author of American Bravado (2007), Prison Race (2006), Leadership in the LAPD: Walking the Tightrope (2005), and American Paradox: Young Black Men (2004). He is also the author of the Starbucks “The Way I See It” quote #294: “Insensitivity makes arrogance ugly; empathy is what makes humility beautiful.” Reese has traveled to 58 countries and has given lectures in many of them. In 2009, he was awarded the prestigious Fulbright Scholars Award to lecture in the American Studies program at the University of Hong Kong. While in Hong Kong, Reese was inspired to write his first novel, “Hong Kong Nights.” He was recently featured on ESPN’s “Living the Dream” Black History Month series.
At age 16, Mario was arrested for a murder he did not commit and placed in Central Juvenile Hall. During his 2 year incarceration he obtained his GED and began to write in a journal. Discovering a passion for writing, he joined InsideOUT Writers. Found guilty despite the weakness of the case, he was sentenced to 29 years to life. With the help of Sister Janet Harris, teacher Duane Noriyuki, a dedicated pro bono legal team, and other supporters, his conviction was overturned. As an Emerging Voices Fellow for PEN USA, he hopes to complete an almost 10-year collection of writings titled, Young Lifer: A Prisoner’s Quest for Justice & Freedom. He is also the subject of Mario’s Story, winner of the 2006 audience award for best documentary at the L.A. Film Festival (www.mariostory.org). Mario currently attends George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
The Apollo 13 Project is closely tied to Utah Valley University, and shares its commitment to mentored engagement as lying at the core of learning. Working with students serves two objectives. First, we keep overhead down, allowing us to deliver more bang for the buck. Second, we teach real world policy knowledge and research, media, and marketing skills, while instilling a connection to the community, fostering civic engagement.
The core class is a hands-on field seminar taught by Eric Schulzke, Executive Director of The Apollo 13 Project. Select students are funneled to this course via affiliated faculty. To qualify for a paying internship, the next level of engagement, students demonstrate interest in prisoner reentry and good research or other high value skills. Students are encouraged to take an appropriate research methods course, though is not be required.
The social value of student engagement multiplies the effect of the program. In the Merchant of Venice, Portia declares that mercy “is twice blest: It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.” If we may be so bold, The Apollo 13 Project has one-upped Shakespeare. Donations here are thrice blessed, benefiting donors, ex-offenders and the students who help transform their world and, in doing so, are themselves transformed.
Judge W. Brent Bullock
Brent has served as a Justice Court Judge in Utah County since 1991. He earned his B.A. in Law Enforcement Management, an MPA, and a law degree, all from Brigham Young University. An Associate Professor in the Criminal Justice program at UVU, he also maintains a part-time law practice. Brent has vast personal experience dealing with offenders from both sides of the bench, having served as defense counsel in two prominent death penalty cases, as well as dealing daily with drug addicts and other offenders at the bench.
Michael is the director of the Peace and Justice studies program and UVU, and is closely connected with the restorative justice movement. He earned his Ph.D. in Political Thought from the University of Utah. His academic work includes moral and political theory, theories and practices of peacebuilding, human security, violence, and global justice; political ecology; the moral theories of liberalism, communitarianism, and socialism; and Christian politics, economics and ethics.
An associate professor in the Behavioral Science program, Sandy originally came to Utah to research death row inmates. She received her Ph.D. in Criminology from University of Wales, Bangor. Sandy has a long-standing interest in the effects of supermax housing on prisoners and the effects of imprisonment on women. She is currently examining the quality of life for death sentenced inmates and lifers.