Meet the Team



Amy Snodgrass:  As a senior at Willamette University, Amy studies English with an emphasis on creative writing. She also minors in classical studies and in women and gender studies. With these skills, she is interested in a career as a professor, or teacher.

Several teachers have deeply impacted her life by teaching her poetry. She attributes any of her current success to the confidence writing has given her. She hopes to someday give back a fraction of the goodwill and knowledge that she has received.

Amy is an Education Coordinator for the second Prisoner’s Poetry class.

Jameka Townsend: Also a senior, Jameka majors in American Ethnic Studies, and interdisciplinary field at Willamette University.  At this point in life, she hopes to attain a J.D. or PhD in Social Policy/Social Work in the future. Helping the people is her #1 goal in life.

Jameka believes that everybody is better than their worst mistake, and that the participants in the program can grow so much more for having that experience.
In addition to being an Education Coordinator with Amy, Jamkea is also a heptathlete on the track team at Willamette.


Surabhi Mahajan: A senior at Willamette University, she is majoring in Biology, and hopes to go to medical school to become a doctor. She is passionate about poetry because it helps to humanize what has become a corporation and is constantly ignored by society.

Surabhi is motivated by what she has learned through social justice, and hopes to continue to work in that avenue in her daily life. If she wasn’t a Biology major, she would be an English major studying poetry!
Surabhi is the Student Awareness Chair


Theresa Martin:  Also a senior at Willamette University, she majors in English with a focus on Creative Writing. Music and writing are her great passions, and also significant parts of her life. She is in love with the power and playfulness of words and eager to share her love of poetry and language with anybody willing.

She passionately believe that we, as humans, have so much to learn from one another, and she strives to make new connections and new friends everyday.

Theresa is an Education Coordinator for the second Prisoner’s Poetry class.


Xengie Doan:  A junior at Willamette University, she has interests in many different areas. She hopes to become a Biology major while taking as many different classes as possible.

Xengie loves volunteering and poetry, as well as social media. When the chance arose to work with a great group of people for a compelling cause, she applied for the opportunity to share self-expression for all. She has really fallen in love with the community and enjoys giving back as much as possible.

Xengie is the Head Blogger and Chief Copy Editor.


Rey Goicochea: A Willamette alum studying at the University of Michigan Ford school of Public Policy, he plans to obtain his Master’s in Public Policy. He will eventually return to his home state of Oregon as an elected public official. He aspires to become Oregon’s first Latino governor.

He is motivated by a sense of social justice that sprouts from being raised Catholic and his own feelings of solidarity with the prison population. He understand that had he been born in a different neighborhood or into a different family, his life could have been drastically different.
Rey is the Co-Founder and former Head of PR and Outreach.


Reinaldo Ayala:  An alum at Willamette University who studied Economics, Rei hopes to find a career involved in educational administration.

He finds his passion by serving those who want the service to better express themselves and understand their potential through poetry.

Rei is the Co-Founder and a former Educational Coordinator.


Mike Chasar: A professor at Willamette University, he is dedicated to spreading the wonders of poetry. He obtained his doctorate degree from the University of Iowa. He is known for his studies of poetry in popular culture, and has published two books, Everyday Reading: Poetry and Popular Culture in Modern America (New York: Columbia UP, 2012) and Poetry after Cultural Studies, ed. and intr. with Heidi R. Bean (Iowa City: U of Iowa P, 2011.

Chasar is our program adviser.


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