We are pleased to welcome Margaret Burke to the University Beyond Bars team! Margaret joined our staff as our new Program Manager. She will be responsible for sustaining and expanding all of our educational programs at MSU and WSR, including recruitment and onboarding of teachers, instructor scheduling, curriculum/academic schedule planning, scholarships, delivery, supplies and textbooks, and course support as needed. She will also be in charge of program management and student development for each of our educational pathway (College, Certificate, and Arts and Lecture Series) for MSU and WSR.
Margaret grew up on the east coast with roots in both Maryland and New York. After earning a degree in English, Margaret spent two years living in rural Kazakhstan, teaching English to students of all ages through the Peace Corps. Upon return, Margaret landed in Vermont, where she spent the last ten years working as a learner, teacher, facilitator, and program leader in education contexts. During that time, she graduated with a Master of Science in Ecological Teaching and Learning from Lesley University, and worked at the University of Vermont's Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources (RSENR) for five years.
Why did you decide to apply for this position at UBB?
I applied to work in this role because I deeply value the mission and work UBB does. I am especially drawn to UBB’s commitment to access, equity, and student leadership. Co-creating and supporting conditions for learners to thrive has long been a central aim in my work. I feel really honored that UBB has selected me to join the team and I’m excited to support UBB students in achieving their learning goals.
What are your goals for this position?
UBB’s commitment to partnership and collaboration really resonate with me. My goals for this position center around these core values. I also aspire to weave my experiences with educational design, pedagogy, community partnership work, and assessment of learning into the mix in ways that feel aligned with the collective goals of the organization.
What are you looking forward to in working at UBB?
As I begin to make relationships with the UBB community, I’ve already felt moved by the commitment of students, staff, volunteers, and program affiliates. It’s clear that the UBB community is comprised of extraordinary people. I am sincerely looking forward to deepening relationships with all of these amazing folks and working in partnership toward the mission!
We are excited to have Margaret join our team, in hopes to inspire and empower our students in prison to pursue an education, and to ultimately have a better future.