Congratulations, Isaac! 

Isaac Wingfield is Lecturer IV in Photography in the Residential College at the University of Michigan and the Visual Arts program head. A graduate of Appalachian State University’s Watauga College, he completed his graduate studies in Photography at the Rhode Island School of Design. His research explores the impact of mass incarceration through images and the American landscape as the intersection between humans and nature.

Faculty projects that involve innovative approaches to improving student learning are honored with the Provost’s Teaching Innovation Prizes.

The winning projects were chosen from 36 nominations from students, faculty and staff. They fell within one of three focus areas: anti-racist and equity-focused teaching, re-activating student engagement following pandemic learning, and structures that support student well-being. The Provost’s Teaching Innovation Prize is sponsored by the Office of the Provost, the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching and the University Library. The winners receive $5,000.

Humanize the Numbers is a community-engaged course in the Prison Creative Arts Project curriculum.

From the University Record

"Over the course of a semester, U-M students drive to a Michigan state prison every week to teach a group of incarcerated men the fundamentals of photography. They collaborate with this group on a creative photography project, which often serves to educate the public about the issues of the carceral state. 

Wingfield centers collaboration and partnership between the students and the incarcerated men in the course design. Incarcerated participants take an active role in the structure and design of the project.

Each participant brings their own expertise and knowledge into the room — others learn from them, while they learn from others. Each participant fills in gaps in their knowledge, learning from and alongside their collaborators.

The impact on U-M students comes from several angles: They learn about the complexity and expansiveness of the criminal legal system and its deep impact on individuals and society. The experience often challenges students’ assumptions and preconceived ideas about mass incarceration and incarcerated people.

They also develop skills around collaborative engagement, meeting partners as peers working toward a common goal, rather than authorities in the field conveying their scholarship.

U-M alumna Sarah Posner described it as “one of the most unusual and significant creative experiences I’ve had in my life.”

Stone Stewart, another U-M alum, discussed the lasting impact the course had on “my values as a person and practitioner. Through Isaac’s teaching and the Humanize the Numbers course, I’ve had the fortune of witnessing creativity materialize in places where society has chosen to invest only the bare minimum or not at all.” Check out the Humanize the Numbers Instagram account here.

See more of Isaac's work on his website,

“The reality of what has happened has finally hit...every morning I wake up, I’m mad at myself. How did I put myself here?”
“Tired of the Chaos”