Teaching Assistantship

Teaching Assistantship

At least twenty Merrimack College students studying a range of disciplines have served as JEP Teaching Assistants. 

A Unique Experiential Learning Opportunity

The Teaching Assistantship is available to Merrimack College undergraduate and graduate students where they have the opportunity to serve as JEP Teaching Assistants. Teaching Assistants work alongside JEP faculty, staffing the computer labs, tutoring, facilitating study sessions, and offering one-on-one writing support to incarcerated students.

A unique experiential learning opportunity, the Teaching Assistantship is available to both undergraduate and graduate students. Students are able to receive academic credit through directed studies, internships, graduate fellowships, or practicums.

The Teaching Assistantship, by all accounts, is a profound and meaningful experience. Most students return for repeat semesters and some have continued to volunteer for the program after graduation. Former JEP Teaching Assistants have pursued law degrees, MSWs, and other related graduate programs.

Questions can be directed to the Jail Education Project’s Co-Directors Dr. Brittnie Aiello and Emma Duffy-Comparone, M.F.A.

Teaching Assistantship Experiences

"Working with the Jail Education Project humanized the institution by allowing me to step inside these facilities and actually meet those directly affected by the laws, policies, and practices I had learned so much about. It is an experience I would recommend to anyone who is able."

Molly Manion
Molly Manion '25
Criminology & Criminal Justice, Political Science Major

"After working as a Teaching Assistant for four years at four different facilities, I made a promise to myself that I would do everything in my power to make a difference in someone’s life - even if it was only one person. Also, that I wanted to work in the prison system to help incarcerated people work toward the futures they want and deserve."

Jordan Wrzesien '22
Jordan Wrzesien '22
English Major

"The Teaching Assistantship showed me that it is incredibly important to immerse ourselves in experiences that may help others even if it may be uncomfortable or difficult for ourselves."

Mary Teresa Cuzzupe ’19
Mary Teresa Cuzzupe ’19
Criminology & Criminal Justice, Social Justice Major

"The Teaching Assistant internship inside both jails really opened my eyes to the world of incarceration and inspired me to do a research paper for another class about the real costs of incarceration within the U.S."

Karly Bowen ’20
English & Economics Major