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

Valerie Surrett, President

Valerie Surrett began volunteering with APBP in 2015. She has since worn many hats at APBP, including graduate student intern, graduate research assistant, member of the women’s book club and co-facilitator of the men’s book club at FCI Hazelton, service-learning coordinator, volunteer coordinator, and board member. Valerie is an assistant professor of English at the University of North Georgia, Gainesville, where she often teaches courses on representations of incarceration in American literature and film.

Cari Carpenter, Co-Vice President

Cari Carpenter has been with APBP since the very beginning. For the past five years, she has been involved with the women’s book group at FCI Hazelton, and she is currently serving as vice president of the organization. Cari has a joint PhD in English and women’s studies from the University of Michigan and is working on her fourth book of 19th century women’s literature.

Kristin DeVault-Juelfs, Co-Vice President

Kristin DeVault-Juelfs found a home at APBP as the organization’s first federal work-study student in 2017 in hopes of working with books and social justice. In her three years as a work-study student, she also volunteered and advocated for APBP, taking on additional roles as a community outreach coordinator and APBP student organization member. Kristin is a recent graduate of West Virginia University with a graduate degree in social work degree.

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, 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.