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Celebrating Dr. Craig Long!




Some good, but bittersweet news: this month Dr. Craig Long and his wife, Angie, are moving to Indiana to pursue wonderful new opportunities within academics. In 2017 the Longs transitioned their family from Oklahoma to Wisconsin so Craig could do what so few people in the world could ever do: found an in-person Bachelor of Arts degree program inside the walls of a maximum-security prison. Having left their indelible mark in Wisconsin, now, as empty nesters, the Longs begin the next chapter of their lives. Join us in honoring them for their faithful obedience to this mission! “And now the word of the Lord is ringing out from you to people everywhere…for wherever we go we find people telling us about your faith in God.” (I Thessalonians 1:8)


Dr. Long leaves behind a reputation of relentless dedication to students, to Trinity International University, to the Wisconsin Department of Corrections, and to the Wisconsin Inmate Education Association. An example: Despite the COVID lockdown requirements of 2020, and the complexity of managing other unscheduled lockdowns typical of a maximum-security prison, Craig was able to schedule classes in a way that honored the requirements and needs of TIU and the DOC. The result? The first cohort of twenty students graduated on time, and, for the first time in Trinity’s history an entire class graduated with honors!


Although an academic at heart, Dr. Long continuously demonstrated a desire to connect with each student in a personable and caring way. He consistently took the time to listen to their hearts, offer advice, and remain available to them. Dr. Long’s warm sense of humor reminded the men they were created in the image of God and are loved deeply by Him. Students regularly credit him for his approach which allowed them to feel dignity and respect again--something which had laid dormant for years. Moreover, he researched and hired quality staff who have successfully aided in the success and sustainability of the program.


Robin Knoll (Dean of Students and Interim Academic Dean) made this reflection: “I am not only saying goodbye to a friend but, also, to an esteemed colleague. We connected on so many levels, finding ways to support, encourage, and grow with one another in ways we never thought possible, especially given the environment we have worked in. I have appreciated our time together and will forever be grateful to have served together 'for such a time as this'. I will miss a good friend."  


Please join us in wishing Dr. Long and His family God’s blessings for the journey in front of them.


 

Alumni Corner


After one of the visits Pastor Robin Knoll had with a number of the graduates at one of the facilities, the Education Director set up a meeting with six (6) men who were interested in the program. Two of the graduates also joined the meeting. Pastor Knoll showed the guys the new recruitment video and answered questions. Having the presences of the two graduates was a real blessing. They answered more questions than Robin did, because they could answer from a student's perspective. They did an awesome job!!! It was so rewarding having them there, listening to them share from their hearts how the program not only offered them the academics, but the dignity, respect, and comradery that they now enjoy!


 

Specific prayer requests for 2024:


 

Requests -

  • Pray for the new cohort of men who start January 8. We pray that they can experience the success that the men of previous cohorts have experienced.

  • Pray for success in the application process for the cohort scheduled to start in fall 2024. The application process has just started, and interest around the state seems to be increasing. Pray that God's presence be felt throughout the DOC during the process.

  • Pray that Trinity finds the right candidate to replace Craig Long as Academic Dean. As of today, there are 2 or 3 good candidates being considered.

Praises -

  • Thanking God for the 6-1/2 years that Craig served the program. His love for the Lord, the men, and academics was truly a blessing.

  • Thanking God for the continued support from the staff at Fox Lake Correctional. They continue to make us feel like part of the DOC family.

  • Thanking God that the DOC has allowed Robin to continue visiting our graduates. Our continued presence has brought different levels of awareness of/for the program around the state, and continues to let the graduates know how much we care about them.

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