our team


Stacey Reeh

Stacey Reeh

Executive Director, J.D.

Stacey joined UBB in April 2010 as its Program Manager and in four years helped the organization increase its student body from 30 to 160 students, expand to a second prison, and triple the course offerings. Prior to working with UBB, Stacey earned her law degree and worked with an educational reentry program in Seattle. Having worked closely with UBB’s board, students, and volunteers over the years, she is excited to lead UBB through this continued period of rapid growth. Stacey holds a J.D. and a B.A. in Psychology and Sociology.

UBB Photo.jpg

Frances Posel

Operations Manager

Frances first became involved with UBB as a donor and a volunteer in 2012. “I think the most important thing we can give each other is hope.  Education does that – and a whole lot more.”  She spent her professional life as a librarian and has degrees in philosophy and library science.  Frances currently serves on the Board of Directors of Greater Seattle Cares.


mikayla svob

Program Assistant

Mikayla is a graduate of the Law, Societies, and Justice Department at the University of Washington and has lived in the Puget Sound region most of her life. She interned with the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington during her studies in college, and upon graduation, she served a full term as an AmeriCorps member in Seattle. Mikayla advocates that access to inclusive, meaningful education is intrinsic to improving civic engagement, and she has focused her professional career on programs that reduce recidivism and promote restorative justice practices. 

Board of Directors


reggie doctor

Reggie is a management consultant and a faculty member for Columbia College. He received a B.S. from Columbia College, an MBA from City University of Seattle, an MBAT from Seattle Pacific University, and a Ph.D. from Walden University. He also sits on UBB’s Finance and Board Member Selection Committees.

Benjamin gauen

Ben is a King County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in the Special Assault Unit.  Ben was born and raised in Seattle and graduated from Seattle Prep High School.  He obtained his undergraduate degree from Santa Clara University before eventually moving back to Seattle where he obtained his law degree from Seattle University in 2009.  Ben believes our criminal justice system is ready to implement meaningful ways of rehabilitating individuals so that they do not return to prison; UBB's mission to provide educational opportunities and empowerment for positive change -  proven to help reduce recidivism - is a net gain for the community.

gary idleburg

Gary is co-founder of UBB and has served on the board of UBB since its inception. Gary has a B.S. in Geography from the University of Wisconsin and a M.A. in City Planning from Boston University.


Jillian has a Master's in Education Policy (MEP) from the University of Washington, where she also serves as Co-Chair of the MEP Alumni Advisory Board. She is a recipient of the Betty Jane Narver Fellowship, graduate of Project Lead, and a board member for Seattle Education Access.  In her recent professional career, Jillian served as the Legislative Assistant to Rep. Drew Hansen (House Higher Education Chair) and is currently a Research and Evaluation Officer for the College Success Foundation

carrie matthews

Carrie is faculty in the Interdisciplinary Writing Program at the University of Washington and taught College Prep English for UBB. A long-time consumer of public education, she received her B.A. from the University of Virginia and M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She also sits on UBB’s Education Advisory Committee.

ray mcfarland

Ray is a criminal defense lawyer in Seattle. Graduated from the University of Washington School of Law in 1981, he served as a deputy prosecuting attorney under Norm Maleng in the Criminal Division of the King County Prosecutor's Office from 1983-1990. Since then, Ray's private practice has emphasized felonies and misdemeanors in the state and municipal courts of Western Washington. He is a former trustee of the King County Bar Association (1988-2001) who has served on many of committees of the KCBA and Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.


Luis was a Washington State Representative from the 1st District from 2010-2016. He holds a BA from the University of Iowa. He was an Organizer, Local Officer, and Political Director in two labor unions over 30 years and has been an advocate for social justice all his life. Luis organized the Snohomish County Citizens Committee for Human Rights, was an Organizer and Board Member of the NAACP-Snohomish County, and was a founder of the Communities of Color Coalition of Snohomish County.

Rachel oppenheim

Rachel is a Core Faculty Member in the School of Education at Antioch University Seattle. Her scholarly interests revolve around identity, power, and fostering educational equity for those who have experienced structural discrimination and marginalization. She spent several years as a public school teacher in Compton, California and New Orleans, Louisiana. As a teacher educator Rachel is committed to preparing current and emergent teachers to foster rich, engaging, and responsive educational experiences for all students. For the past decade she has been involved in education in jails and prisons, first in New York City on Rikers Island and now in Washington State through University Beyond Bars.

Pamela Schwartz

Pamela returned to the University of Washington after 35 years, graduating with a B.A. in Law, Societies, and Justice and a double minor in Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies and Diversity Studies. In January 2015 she participated in LSJ's mixed enrollment class at Monroe Correctional Center with UBB students, prompting her to become an advocate for education in the prison system.  Pamela currently serves on the Regional Advisory Board and National Advisory Committee of the Anti-Defamation League. In her professional career she was a manufacturer's representative for a women's swimwear company.


Advisory Committees

UBB has established two advisory committees that work closely with the board and staff: the Prisoner Advisory Committee and Education Advisory Committee.


Carol Estes

Carol Estes, UBB Co-Founder and Executive Director from 2005-2013, first visited prison in 2003 to research an article she was writing as managing editor of YES! Magazine.  Through the connections she made during her visit she became inspired to increase the educational opportunities available inside prison walls and UBB was born. Today Carol teaches for UBB and works to help bring back parole to Washington State.

“I know so many men in prison who deserve a second shot, who could move next door to me and that would be fine. Yet we have determined that when people go to prison, they’re never looked at again.…That seems wrong to me.”

Gary Idleburg

Gary Idleburg, UBB Co-Founder and former Board Chair, began volunteering inside prisons with the Black Prisoners Caucus in 2000. It was there that he met Carol Estes and the two co-founded University Beyond Bars in 2005.   He hosts a monthly KSER 90.7FM radio program America’s Disappeared which examines the criminal justice system in America. Degreed in geography and city planning, Gary is an urban planner with Snohomish County.