PCAP Associates Highlight Series

This Fall we will feature past members and share stories about their experiences with PCAP, where they are now, and how our project has influenced your lives.
by Sophie Gibson

Nick Haas

Nick Haas is a 2012 graduate who was in PCAP for his senior undergraduate year at Michigan. “I didn’t know about PCAP before senior year, but I wish I had as I could have had even more amazing experiences,” Haas stated.

Since graduating, Haas has been doing research in a variety of ways. He earned a PhD in political science and has been working as an assistant professor at Aarhus University in Denmark. Haas stated he worked a few jobs before joining the Aarhus faculty, including working at Harvard as a researcher. 

While in PCAP

During his time with PCAP, Haas took a few classes with Buzz Alexander, one of the program's founders. Through PCAP, Haas had the opportunity to spend a semester at Detroit Central High School and work with a student on a creative writing portfolio. 

“I helped her with her poetry, her CV, and letter of recommendation,” Haas said. "It felt like a really great experience for both of us.” Since his time with PCAP, he has also been an active alumni associate. 

PCAP Impact

Haas’ experiences with PCAP led him to research  institutional reforms with a focus on access to justice for marginalized populations. “PCAP highlighted to me just how much injustice is out there,” he said. “It definitely impacted how I view the world in a lot of ways and how I view power structures.” 

For Haas, through PCAP, it is possible to see how the contact between different groups can lead to positive change., At the same time, that change is very hard to come by. He remembers Buzz’s class on the value of applied work as one of the best he ever took. "I got to go places I never would have otherwise gone, and these adventures highlighted a lot about how power structures are very intentional things, which has helped me a lot in my research." 

Release Date: 11/20/2020
Tags: Prison Creative Arts Project