MMC Faculty Receive Awards from Federal Prison Camp

YANKTON, SD – November 1, 2012 – Warden Jordan R. Hollingsworth and Supervisor of Education Maureen Steffen recently presented S. Cynthia Binder and Dr. Jim Reese, Mount Marty College Associate Professors of English, with Distinguished Public Service Recognition Awards—2012. The awards were in recognition of their exemplary dedication and contributions to the Education Department at the Yankton Federal Prison Camp in Yankton, SD.

For the past five years Reese has been one of five artists-in-residence throughout the country who are part of the National Endowment for the Arts interagency initiative with Department of Justice’s Federal Bureau of Prisons. In Yankton he established the Federal Prison Camp’s first creative writing workshop and publishing course, editing a yearly perfect-bound journal, 4 P.M. Count, which features creative writing and visual artwork by inmates.

“It is such a rewarding experience, working with the students at YFPC,” said Reese. “Creative writing helps these men come to terms with the emotional instabilities that brought them to prison. In the end what we have is a high quality, published journal.”

Sr. Binder was instrumental in starting the education program at YFPC and she currently teaches Great Directors and Their Films at the prison. Mount Marty has been offering college courses there for nearly twenty-three years.