POPAI Sponsored Awards & Scholarships
The Founder’s Award is a way of recognizing individuals who have significantly contributed to the field of probation in general, and specifically to the POPAI organization. The recipient need not be a Probation Officer or POPAI member. The selected person, however, shall be characterized by his/her commitment of influence and promotion of professionalism to Indiana probation. Previous award winners include Tom Frederick, George Walker, Bruce C. Embrey, Charles Bud Meeks, Linda Parks, Greg Werich, Eric Zimmermann, Jane Seigel, Neil Hannon, Susan Rice, Glenna Shelby, and 2018’s Winner: Judge Vicki Carmichael.
On Thursday, September 8, 2022 at the Probation Officers Professional Association of Indiana (POPAI) annual fall conference, Madonna Wagoner of the Hamilton County Probation Department was awarded the “Founder’s Award”. Learn more about Chief Madonna Wagoner
Learn More about the Founder’s Award
“Rookie” Probation Officer of the Year
The “Rookie” Probation Officer of the Year Award was established to recognize probation officers who, while at the beginning of their career, show the attitude, aptitude, and the desire to improve themselves and to develop into leaders among their peers. Nominees shall be within their first two (2) years of certification as a probation officer in the state of Indiana.
On Thursday, September 8, 2022 at the Probation Officers Professional Association of Indiana (POPAI) annual fall conference, Tabitha Davis of Hancock County Probation, was awarded the “Rookie Probation Officer of the Year Award”.
Learn More about The “Rookie” Probation Officer of the Year Award
Line Probation Officer of the Year
The Line Probation Officer of the Year Award was established to recognize line probation officers who have performed their duties in an outstanding manner and/or made significant contributions to the field of probation at the local, regional or national level. The recipient may also have brought credit or honor to the profession of probation through participation or involvement in community activities or programs. This recognition will be awarded to probation officers who are involved in the direct supervision of criminal defendants/juvenile offenders and/or other line probation officer duties such as conducting Presentence Investigations, Preliminary Inquiries, and Predispositional Investigations.
On Thursday, September 8, 2022 at the Probation Officers Professional Association of Indiana (POPAI) annual fall conference, John Bush, of the Delaware County Probation Department, was presented the “Line Probation Officer of the Year Award.”
Learn More about the Line Officer of the Year Award
Donald “Charley” Knepple Scholarship
The Probation Officers Professional Association of Indiana provides a scholarship in memory of Donald “Charley” Knepple. Charley lost his life on April 28, 1997, while performing his probation officer duties in Allen County, Indiana. In an effort to honor an outstanding professional and to promote further professionalism, POPAI selected a scholarship that would encourage continued education and advanced degrees for probation in Indiana.
2023 Knepple Scholarship Winner: Sandra Bryan
The 2023 Donald “Charley” Knepple Scholarship winner is Sandra Bryan, Deputy Chief Probation Officer for Marion County Superior Court.
Sandra has a been a probation officer for 27 years and a member of POPAI for most of those years. She is a current member of POPAI, APPA, NAPE, ACA and serves on the Marion County Community Corrections Advisory Board. She is pursuing a Master of Science in Human Resource Management from Indiana Wesleyan University and currently maintaining a 4.0 GPA.
Melanie Pitstick from Marion Superior Court stated this about Sandra, “She believes in treating everyone with dignity and respect while experiencing an often-times difficult situation. Her leadership was evident through the Covid pandemic by working tirelessly to adjust and navigate challenging situations while managing staff who supervise 8,000 people on probation. As her colleague, I am confident that she will continue to utilize her degree through creative and innovative concepts in probation for the largest county in Indiana.”
Christine Kerl, Marion County Chief Probation Officer, stated this “I have personally witnessed her commitment and dedication to the profession. Sandra continually seeks ways to improve operations and has made an impact in all that she does. Her drive to develop others to be their best and to lead others was paramount in her decision to advance her education.”
Sandra stated, “Earning my master’s degree in HRM has already assisted me in my career. I have been able to apply the knowledge and skills I am gaining to effectively contribute to strategic decision-making in my organization. I have already been a part of developing our new employee appraisal process to implement growth and development plans, along with revising our hiring and training practices to improve retention.
Sandra becomes the 4th Officer from Marion Superior Court to earn the Donald “Charley” Knepple Scholarship.