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Moose Lake prisoners graduate

Minnesota Correctional Facility-Moose Lake recently recognized 26 individuals who graduated from Ashland University in Ohio last fall, a news release stated.

The Ashland University correctional education program at MCF-Moose Lake, a distance learning program which links students with faculty from Ohio through tablets, has been highly successful in helping incarcerated individuals achieve associate and bachelor's degrees.

"The Ashland tablet program has offered me hope, especially given my life circumstances," said graduate Bradley Ball in a statement in November. "I have a renewed sense of hope. When I entered the prison system, I hadn't completed high school. ... I am thankful for the opportunity to better myself through a college education."

David Webb attended as a representative for Ashland University, and is the state director for the program. Site directors at MCF-Moose Lake are Rachel Nynas and Suzanne VanHeel.

"These men have proven that prison is not the end, but rather an opportunity to reset and change the narrative for their future," said Nynas, who has been with the DOC in various roles for 12 years.

Webb credited Ashland University for recognizing the accomplishments of correctional education students from the department of corrections.

"One of the best aspects of my job as associate/state director is to participate in and witness the graduation ceremonies for our students," Webb said. "It makes all of the hard work and effort worthwhile when we get to see these students light up with pride about what they have achieved."

All told, 17 of the 26 graduates recognized in the program graduated with academic honors and/or were admitted into the education honorary for communications.

"Our efforts in correctional education wouldn't be possible without the support of the administration at Moose Lake and their staff," Webb said. "I also want to recognize our site directors Rachel Nynas and Suzanne VanHeel, and their dedication to helping these students achieve their goals."

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