About the Director

Stanley Andrisse, M.B.A., Ph.D.

My name is Dr. Stanley Andrisse. I am an endocrinologist scientist at Johns Hopkins Medicine. Amongst many other things, I am also a Board member for the Advocates for Goucher Prison Education Partnership (GPEP). This program gives incarcerated men and women the opportunity to pursue and obtain a Bachelor's degree while still in prison. It is one of the only programs of its kind in the nation that offers full degrees. Furthering one’s education is critical to successful reentry into society.

My interest in this stems from my story. Growing up in Ferguson-Florissant, Missouri, I got involved with making poor decisions at a very young age. By my early 20’s, those poor decisions had exacerbated and I found myself sitting in front of a judge facing 20 years to life for drug trafficking charges. The judge sentenced me to 10 years in a maximum-security prison. I did a lot of reading, writing, and soul searching in prison. Through many letters to judges and correctional officials, I was accepted into a drug rehabilitation program while in prison.   

Very much tied to my departure, my dad’s health plummeted while I was in prison. Through phone calls and letters, I’d hear that piece by piece, they amputated his lower limbs up to his torso. Before I could reconcile our relationship, he fell into a coma and passed due to complications associated with type 2 diabetes. In living and in passing, he was and remains my inspiration. Upon release, after several rejections, I was accepted into a Ph.D. program, completed my Ph.D./M.B.A. simultaneously, and moved on to Johns Hopkins Medicine performing diabetes research. 

Education has been the game changer for me. I share this with you to give you the perspective of why what I do is important to me. Policies like the "Ban the Box" bill will help change the life trajectory of men and women with criminal records. I am a three-time convicted felon. Education has given me the tools and the titles to balance out those strikes that I placed against me. More important than the letters behind my name, education has broadened my life perspective and has given me hope.

I am quite certain that it was because of this “criminal conviction” question that I was rejected from several of the PhD programs I had applied to. Fortunately for me, I had made a good impression on one of my college professors (before I went to prison). This professor vouched for me and had a connection to the admissions committee at Saint Louis University. I completed my PhD at the top of my class and 2 years earlier than expected, suggesting that I was indeed qualified to have been admitted to the other programs.

The short one sentence "Convictions" question is a mountainous barrier to one’s successful reintegration into society. It is my and many others’ scarlet letter. Yes, I am a convicted felon. But I am also a doctor, a scientist, an MBA holder, a newlywed husband, a son to an aging mother, a community organizer, an institutional leader, a youth mentor, a published author, and many other things. Eliminating me before you know all of these other great things is an injustice to society.
Stanley Andrisse
Senior Reentry Consultant
To help inspire people with legal system involvement  to excel beyond what society and life circumstances have set to be the norm. 
To provide mentoring and educational counseling to people with legal system involvement so that they may position themselves to start building their career as opposed to obtaining temporary employment. 
To reach, touch, and change the lives of people with legal system involvement through advocacy, mentoring, and policy change.  
My family, my father, and my wife are my inspiration. Without them, I would not be me.