Our board of directors govern the inner-workings of APBP and ensure volunteers have the support they need to pursue our mission.

Jane LaBarbara, President

Jane began volunteering with APBP in 2012, carefully wrapping books so they would get to their new readers in one piece. Since then, she has served as general board member, treasurer, work-study supervisor, and now president. Outside of APBP, she works at West Virginia University Libraries’ WV & Regional History Center as the Head of Archives & Manuscripts.

Yu Uchida, Co-Vice President

Yu Uchida first became involved with APBP as a graduate summer intern in 2022. Throughout his internship and continuing as a volunteer and board member, he coordinates book shipments for incarcerated readers, trains volunteers, and helps manage operations at the Aull Center. He is currently a doctoral student in the English Department at West Virginia University, where he is researching and teaching courses on 19th and 20th century American literature.

Fred-Rock Priester, Co-Vice President

Fred-Rock Priester earned a political science degree from West Virginia University as well as dual minors in journalism and sociology. After several years of donating books to APBP, Fred began assisting at the Aull Center as a volunteer in the summer of 2022. Fred’s career has taken numerous detours, including working underground in a coal mine, serving as a regional manager for a telecom business, purchasing and conducting inventory control of a local NCWV telecom, working as a private investigator for Allen Hewitt and Associates, and instructing at a training facility.

Lisa Kobos, Secretary

Lisa Kobos began volunteering with APBP in January of 2022. She currently serves as the secretary, scheduling meetings, creating agendas and minutes, and keeping detailed records. She also continues to be involved in the daily operations of the organization, regularly assisting in processing requests from people in prison. When not volunteering with APBP, she works as a health scientist at the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health.

Ellen Skirvin, Co-Treasurer

Ellen Skirvin first became involved with APBP while pursuing her MFA in fiction writing at West Virginia University. She was a teaching assistant for a literature course taught inside a prison and has also worked as an educational outreach assistant for APBP. She is now a college instructor and serves as treasurer of APBP.

Emily Ogden, Co-Treasurer

Emily Ogden first began volunteering with APBP in April 2019 as an undergraduate English student at West Virginia University. She currently serves as APBP’s co-treasurer and is a member of the community outreach committee. Emily is now a law student at WVU, where she works on wrongful conviction cases and public interest advocacy.

Connie Banta, At-Large Member

Connie Banta served APBP as a graduate assistant from 2006 to 2008 and loved every minute of it. Her career as a therapist pulled her away for some time, but as soon as she retired in 2018, she came back. Since then, Connie has been working with the team to publish a book featuring letters and artwork that we’ve received over the years and serving as the community outreach coordinator. She holds an MFA in poetry and an MA in counseling from WVU.