Every year POPAI provides a scholarship in memory of probation officer 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 officers in our state.

This year we received applications from two applicants who are equally impressive. For the first time that any board members could remember, the applicants ended in a tie.  Both scored phenomenally well with several scoring guides reflecting the maximum points allowable.  POPAI  awarded two (2) scholarships this year. Congratulations to Sarah Lochner and Alexis Stogdill.

Sarah has been a probation officer for sixteen years and currently serves as the Director of Court Services/Chief Probation Officer in Wabash County. She is pursuing a Master’s Degree from Indiana Wesleyan in Organizational Leadership. Sarah states “Leadership is a concept and attribute we look for in all of our officers. It is incumbent upon us as officers to be leaders in the community and in everyday life to model these actions for our clients. Furthering my education in the area of leadership has thus far challenged me to become a better version of myself and to be cognizant of the effects my actions have on those around me.” A letter of support states “Sarah is not just the Director of Court Services, she is a model of how one should live, enjoying the people you work with, going above and beyond for those that are around you and supporting community involvement of team members.”

Alexis has also been a probation officer for sixteen years and currently serves as the Mental Health Court Case Manager in Monroe County. She is pursuing a Master’s Degree from Indiana Wesleyan in Psychology with a specialty in Positive Psychology and Life Coaching. Alexis states “I believe community supervision has evolved into a psychology-based profession as much as a criminal justice-based one. Utilizing evidence based practices requires constant assessment of client risks, needs, and motivation. Responding effectively to those factors depends on your ability to successfully understand them, all of which are studied and taught more extensively in psychology.”

A letter of support states Alexis “has gone above and beyond to assist our clients in making positive changes in their lives. Our clients, her co-workers, our local court system, and our community are all better as a result of the impact Alexis has made.”

Once again, Congratulations to Sarah and Alexis!


(The award was presented virtually so we will update this article with the winners and their plaques.)