OPEEP Course Offerings


  1. You must be a currently enrolled OSU student to take a course. Students can take one OPEEP course per semester.
  2. You must complete an OPEEP application and obtain written Instructor Permission to enroll in any OPEEP course. The deadline to submit your OPEEP application is Friday, April 21st, 2023. Find the online application for Autumn 2023 courses here. 
  3. Columbus campus students may apply for regional course offerings, however, students from regional campuses will receive priority enrollment for regional offerings.
  4. Transportation to prison locations is the responsibility of the student, though lack of transportation does not preclude students from enrollment as classes will organize carpooling among students. 

For more detailed instructions on the OPEEP application & enrollment process, please visit the Student Resources page. 

Feel free to reach out to the course instructor or one of OPEEP's Program Coordinators, Babette Cieskowski or Nicole Edgerton, with any questions or concerns you may have!

Autumn 2023 OPEEP Courses

Click here to apply for an AU23 OPEEP course!

Courses at the Ohio Reformatory for Women (ORW) in Marysville         

Earth Sciences 1110S: History of Life on Earth - Global Change in the Biosphere with Newark Campus Professor Jill Leonard-Pingel (, Mondays 12:30-3:15pm

This course explores the history of life on Earth, from its earliest beginnings over 3 billion years ago to the evolution of humans and their modification of the current environment. The course will explore how scientists use the scientific method to reconstruct past environments and learn about life in the past and students will practice developing these skills. We will discuss how organisms have both impacted their physical environment and how they have evolved and adapted to changing environments. Finally, we will critically evaluate the place of humans in the history of life, their impacts on Earth’s biosphere, and how a knowledge of Earth’s history can provide context for addressing current environmental crises.

Sociology 2463: Social Inequality with Newark Campus Professor Rachel Schneider (, Mondays 12:30-3:15pm

In this course you will learn about social inequality in American society and how it is related to the unequal distribution of resources like education, jobs, money, and social status. We begin the course by examining the nature of privileged systems and how those in power stay in power, along with an exploration of belief systems and how social inequalities impact life chances.  We will look at how social inequalities impact socialization practices in the home and school systems. We will also uncover the reality of poverty by learning about the lived experiences of those living in extreme poverty. Finally, we will investigate how social inequality influences health outcomes, reproductive justice, the chances of ending up in the criminal justice system, and corporate power and the low wage worker.

GEL Social Science: Human, Natural and Economic Resources; GEN Foundation: Race, Ethnicity & Gender Diversity


Courses at Southeastern Correctional Institution (SCI) in Lancaster  

Philosophy 3420:  Philosophical Perspectives on Issues of Gender with Columbus Campus Professor Amy Shuster (, Wednesdays 5:30-8:15pm

“One is not born, but rather becomes a woman”—or so thought Simone de Beauvoir in 1949. This groundbreaking statement is part of an on-going conversation about how and whether gender is related to biological sex, sexuality, class, race, ethnicity, and nation. What does it mean to be a woman or man? Can one be neither? How does gender inform what we think about the good, truth, rationality, and justice? (How) Can answers to these questions help those who seek to resist and end domination, exploitation, marginalization, powerlessness, imperialism, and/or violence? This course explores these questions from a broad range of feminist perspectives as well as from ones that are not feminist.


Courses at Richland Correctional Institution (RiCI) in Mansfield  

Sociology 4505: Capital Punishment with Mansfield Campus Professor Terri Winnick (, Tuesdays 5:30-8:15pm 

This course will examine the death penalty—its administration throughout history--both legally and culturally, with emphasis on pivotal Supreme Court cases that have shaped its use. We also will explore capital punishment’s relationship with race and class, and the impact of the death penalty on victim families as well as the condemned persons’ families. We end by considering capital punishment’s future in the US.


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Current & Past OPEEP Course Offerings


Spring 2023 OPEEP Courses

Courses at the Ohio Reformatory for Women (ORW) in Marysville

ENG 2268: Introductory Creative Nonfiction Writing with Lima Campus Professor David Adams ( 5:00-7:45pm

This creative writing course will function as a writing workshop: our reading and discussion will focus on student work as well as published models of creative nonfiction. We'll consider the literary elements of nonfiction, including voice, point of view, characterization, narrative structure, detail, and figurative language. Each student will build a portfolio of creative nonfiction and we'll discuss the importance of writing communities and audiences. The practice of creative nonfiction allows each writer's own voice to assume authority. Experience, expertise, and experiment—three words with a common origin—will remain central to our work: recognized as the foremost experts on their own experience, students will learn that finding the most effective ways to communicate this expertise, like experience itself, involves experimentation.  

SOC 2211S: Corrections: An Inside-Out Course with Columbus Campus Professor Terrance Hinton (, Mondays 12:30-3:15pm

This course engages students in critical readings and discussions focused on the origins and development of the American criminal justice system, the historical and contemporary use of punishment and rehabilitation, the re-emergence of restorative justice, and the broader relationship between criminal and social justice. Specifically, we will focus on better understanding mass incarceration, considering its causes and consequences, as well as exploring the impact of crime, imprisonment and related policies on victims and communities. A marriage of theoretical knowledge with practical understanding and experience is achieved by holding class inside the Ohio Reformatory for Women throughout the semester. Involving roughly equal numbers of OSU students and incarcerated students, the class utilizes a variety of active learning techniques and leads to production of one or more class projects by the end of the course.

ENG 2275: Literatures of Addiction with Newark Campus Professor David Ruderman (, Mondays 12:30-3:15pm

This class addresses the issue of addiction from a personal, socio-cultural, and political perspective. Nationwide, nearly 50% of Americans have been directly exposed to alcoholism in their families. The number of drug overdose deaths increases at an annual rate of 4%. In addition, deaths from heroin overdoses have quadrupled over the last six years. To understand addiction at a deeper level, in this class we read novels, poems, and memoirs, look at movies, and listen to songs that deal with addiction. We ask certain core questions: what does it mean to be addicted? What is the relation between creativity and addiction? What role does systemic and intergenerational poverty play? What are the lasting effects of addiction on the community?

WGSS 2822: Introduction to Queer Studies with Columbus Campus Professor Shannon Winnubst (, Mondays 5:00-7:45pm

This course is sponsored by the Ohio Prison Education Exchange Project (OPEEP), is cross-listed in the Departments of Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies and English, and counts towards the“Race, Ethnicity & Gender” foundational course of the GE as well as the “Cultures & Ideas” and “Social Diversity in the US” of the former GE.  The course introduces foundational concepts of the interdisciplinary field of queer studies, focusing especially on the intersections of sexuality and gender expression with race, class, and nationality. Class meetings will take place at the Ohio Reformatory for Women (ORW), an adult correctional institution in Marysville, Ohio, and will involve roughly the same number of OSU students (“outsiders”) as incarcerated students at ORW (“insiders”). Course design emphasizes discussion and collaboration in learning. The course also provides a unique experience for all students that I hope will have a transformative effect during the semester and beyond.  


Courses at the Southeastern Correctional Institution (SCI) in Lancaster  

ENR 2300: Society and Natural Resources with Columbus Campus Professor Alia Dietsch (, Wednesdays 5:30-8:15pm

This course seeks to foster a community of engaged scholars who wish to examine, discuss, and apply learning about how society interacts with the environment and natural resources in complex social-ecological systems. The main organizing features are habitats (land, water), resources (air, wildlife and fisheries, vegetation/trees, soil), and processes (e.g., restoration, protected areas) and the course is organized by 3 social levels (individuals, communities, and polities) repeated across each organizing feature. The goals of this class are to fundamentally explore why humans do what they do (and why they don't do what they 'should') and how people decide (and enforce) what that 'should' is in the context of our planet. We will also focus on issues related to justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion. Discussing these topics requires students, the teaching assistant, and the instructor to recognize and honor that we all come from different backgrounds, and to commit to share our experiences in ways that allow for new understandings through dialogue that may be uncomfortable yet transformative.

PHIL 2194: The Philosophy of Happiness with Columbus Campus Professor Amy Shuster (, Tuesdays 5:30-8:15pm

Most people say they aim for happiness in their own lives and wish their friends happy lives too. Unlike other good things, one person’s happiness does not require another person’s unhappiness. But beyond that, what is it? Is it a state of mind, or something more? Can we be mistaken about our happiness? Once we get clear about what happiness is, does that help us answer questions about how it relates to a flourishing and meaningful life, and a good political community? For instance, what should we think about happiness in light of the prevalence of suffering in our world and our capacity for harm and vulnerability? This course will provide a survey of philosophical responses to questions about what happiness is, how we can best pursue it, and whether (and if so, why) we should try to be happy.   

GEOG 3600: Space, Power, and Political Geography with Newark Campus Professor Kenneth Madsen (, Mondays 5:30-8:15pm

GEOG 3600 is an introduction to political geography, how space is controlled, and the ways in which places reflect and serve as a basis for power.  In studying this topic, we will draw on case studies at various scales from the local to the international. Territory and territoriality, for example, are concepts frequently associated with nation-states, but which also have small group and even individual applications. Together we will apply knowledge from our study of political geography to better understand personal space, graffiti, political protest, electoral geography, colonization, borders, inequality, states and statecraft, governance, popular culture, classrooms, prisons, and other issues of student interest.  We will talk about the politics of nations, regions and localities – of course – but political geography is about more than just "politics"!


Autumn 2022 OPEEP Courses

Courses at the Ohio Reformatory for Women (ORW) in Marysville         

FULLY ENROLLED: WGSST 1110H: Gender, Sex and Power with Columbus Campus Professor Mary Thomas (, Wednesdays 5:00-7:45pm 

This honors course introduces students to feminist perspectives on gender, sex, and power.  We will think about the ways that gender categories are often enforced through a dominant binary of female/male. How, we will ask, do the normative meanings of binary gender become legible, known, and enforced through various local, national, and global contexts?  To answer this question, we will focus on how race, class/income/wealth, gender, sexuality, ability, religion, ethnicity, and location structure the lived, cultural, and political experiences of people.  Thus, a central concern of the course will be to understand that people’s lives are always impacted and informed by dominant assumptions that operate along axes of differences like gender, sexuality, and race.  Some people benefit from inequalities that follow from dominant assumptions and power relations while many others suffer from them. 

FULLY ENROLLED: Art 5890: Special Topics: Drawing as Feminist Art with Columbus Campus Professors Dani Restack ( and Carmen Winant (, Fridays 12:00-2:00pm    

This course will explore feminist art making through the practice of drawing. Taking our cue from 20th and 21st century artists such as Nancy Spero, Adrian Piper, Kandis Williams, Gala Porras-Kim, Lorna Simpson, and Hung Lui, we will prompt: what makes for a feminist art practice? And, in what ways is drawing – the most elemental of art-making processes – uniquely suited to express its charge? Through collaborative and individual assignments, we will cover themes that range from entrapment, sexuality, re-imagination, and domesticity, pushing to both learn and un-learn entangled ideas about what qualifies "good" artwork and "correct" feminism. This course will include select artist lectures as well as readings; both will be used to inform the larger, creative work and process as we move through critique, discussion, and free work time.  


Course at Southeastern Correctional Institution (SCI) in Lancaster 

PSYCH 1100: Introduction to Psychology with Newark Campus Professor Chris Robinson (, Wednesdays 5:30-8:20pm 

In this course, we will cover topics in experimental and clinical psychology including physiological bases of behavior, sensation, perception, learning, memory, human development, social processes, personality, abnormal behavior, mood/psychological disorders, and therapies.  


Course at Richland Correctional Institution (RiCI) in Mansfield  

SOC 4610: Sociology of Deviant Behavior with Mansfield Campus Professor Terri Winnick (, Tuesdays 5:30-8:15pm 

Deviance, strictly speaking, is a deviation from the norm. In other words, deviance describes behavior that is not “normal,” at least in terms of what most people consider normal. And, though deviance can refer to behavior that is exceptional, such as genius, most often the term is applied to behavior that is negatively valued and often condemned. In this course, we will explore the wide variety of deviant behavior across the social landscape, from the streets to the suites and from the bedrooms to the boardrooms. We will also examine how people become deviant, how deviance affects other people’s perception of those so labeled as well as their perception of themselves, how deviance is controlled, and how deviant groups fight back in order to reject stigmatization and struggle for rights.

Pull Quote
"An educator in a system of oppression is either a revolutionary or an oppressor." - Lerone Bennett Jr.