POPAI Sponsored Awards & Scholarships

Founder’s Award

Madonna Wagoner of the Hamilton County Probation Department and POPAI’s 2022 “Founder’s Award” winner with her children.

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 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

There were no nominations for 2023 Founder’s Award.

 

“Rookie” Probation Officer of the Year

Abigail O'Brien, Putnam County
Abigail O’Brien, Putnam County. 2023 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 21, 2023 at the Probation Officers Professional Association of Indiana (POPAI) annual fall conference, Abigail O’ Brien, of Putnam 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

Vicki Cale, 2023 POPAI Line Officer of the Year
Vicki Cale, 2023 POPAI Line 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 21, 2023 at the Probation Officers Professional Association of Indiana (POPAI) annual fall conference, Vicki Cale, of the Wells County Probation Department, was presented the “Line Probation 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. Past winners include Sandra Bryan, Brandi Glenn, Sarah Lochner, Alexis Stogdill, Patrick Hillenburg and Elizabeth Darenski.

POPAI Vice President Lindsey Villalpando presents Brenda Matute with a plaque to commemorate her as POPAI’s 2024 Knepple Scholarship Winner.

Vice President Lindsey Villalpando presented Brenda Matute from LaPorte County with a plaque acknowledging her winning this year’s $2,500 Scholarship in memory of Donald “Charley” Knepple. She is pursuing a Masters in Science, Management and Leadership from WGU Indiana.