Publish Date
Christine (Chrissy) Ferree
Christine (Chrissy) Ferree
Program Director of Case Evaluation
Illinois Innocence Project

Chrissy is the heart and soul of IIP. The more I know her, the more I am amazed at her genuine care and concern for everyone, her love for our clients, her respect of the students and her positive influence on those around her. She is a credit to UIS!

Stephanie Kamel, Interim Director of IIP

What does your position entail, what do you like most about your job or what motivates you to wake up and go to work?

What I appreciate most about working at the Illinois Innocence Project is working alongside such dedicated students every singled ay. Their passion and commitment to helping the under served and voiceless is inspirational.

What drew you to your current position?

I always knew I wanted to work in a social justice field but was not even sure how to go about it. My undergraduate degree is in English from UIS. And while it was not required for my program, I decided to take an internship and applied at the IIP. The missions of the project (education, advocacy and reform) are what drew me here and kept me here. After I graduated in May of 2017, I stayed on as a volunteer… and now I have been here for 5 years!

What has been your favorite project thus far?

One of my favorite projects thus far was being a part of Jennifer McMullan’s case. Working with the wonderful team of attorneys and students to help this wonderful woman regain a part of their life is truly indescribable.

If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?

What is hilarious is that if I could learn to do anything it would be to speak French. Which is something totally achievable if I could find the time to do it. Last year I bought Babble and did maybe 5 lessons. So, I guess if I could do anything, it would be to find the time to learn French!

What do you like to do when you are not working?

When I am not working I am in the garden or cooking up a storm with my partner and our two cats. Traveling holds a special place in my heart as well. Currently, I am just a few credit hours from completing my master’s degree in political science here at UIS. So that takes up a lot of my free time.

If you could choose anyone, who would you pick as your mentor?

I work with a lot of strong, independent women who give me encouragement and motivation daily, that goes without saying. But if I could pick anyone I would say Angela Davis –a feminist, a Marxist, an activist, a philosopher, a prison abolitionist, and an all around badass. She gives me endless inspiration to stand up for what I believe in.

What’s a fun fact about you many people may not know?

An interesting fact is that I was born in Orange, California and grew up in a military lifestyle on the west coast until I was 12.

What is your motto or personal mantra?

“I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and gosh doggone it, people like me!” -Stuart Smalley.

Any favorite line from a movie?

“Hey, well that’s just like…Your opinion, man.” -The Dude, The Big Lebowski. 1

I can’t speak highly enough about Chrissy. Since joining in March, Chrissy has been a constant source of helpfulness, encouragement, kindness, and knowledge. Chrissy has always gone out of her way to make time for my questions and comments, and I have never felt like I have been a bother. She has educated me both within the work of IIP and professionally too. I could go on and on about Chrissy’s wonderful help,but just wanted to share my thoughts with you.

Claire Oettel, Senior UIS Student and IIP Volunteer