Kevin Papuga

Kevin Papuga

Research Assistant / Project Coordinator

Kevin Papuga


Kevin began working for the Center for Behavioral Health and Justice (CBHJ) in March 2024. He is an experienced Academic Advisor, studied Research Assistant, and growing Project Coordinator with a demonstrated history of working in higher education. He has worked for Wayne State since July 2019, starting his career at the university as a Transfer Student Ambassador in the Department of Educational Outreach while finishing his undergraduate degree. Kevin was selected as the commencement speaker for his graduating class and was offered his first contract employment opportunity as the Principal Consultant for the Michigan Justice Funded Educational Transitional Coordinator out of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. After graduating, Kevin became an undergraduate academic advisor in the Frederick Hessler Student Success Center, in the Mike Ilitch School of Business. He was a driving force behind the First-year Interest Group and Transfer Warrior Interest Group pilot programs and taught as a First Year Seminar instructor. He championed students with lived experience of incarceration. Kevin came into this line of work after growing through 70 months of lived experience in the Michigan Department of Corrections (2013-2019). He is passionate about sharing his story and helping others overcome academic, personal, and professional challenges through the simple art of making conscious and intentional choices.


Kevin works as a Project Coordinator for the Jail Diversion initiative. Responsibilities include regular communication, data collection, and ongoing collaboration and coordination with behavioral health and criminal justice partners - including community mental health, county jail, probation/parole, courts, peer supports, and first responders - in counties across Michigan.

Degrees and Certifications

  • M.Ed., Learning Design and Technology, Wayne State University (In-progress)
  • BA, Public Relations / Image Management, Wayne State University 
  • A.A., General Studies, Jackson College 




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