Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Aubrey Barnes, a local spoken word artist, reads his poems in the Brew.

Emotional night ends celebration of learning 2023

Jack Brandt May 17, 2023

Local artists and community members spoke at an event in the brew on Wednesday, May 10, for the end of Augustana's Celebration of Learning. The event highlighted spoken word poetry and themes of personal...

David Staples answers questions during a presentation about his experiences with APEP at Augustana College in Old Main room 132 on Monday, April 24, 2023.

From wrongfully convicted to exonerated Augie student

Victoria Campbell and Rae Barry May 6, 2023

Education can be a transformative and empowering tool used to help individuals regain control of their lives, an important opportunity for those who have been incarcerated. David Staples came across this...

Cover art for the APEP Poetry Book. Photo courtesy of Dr. Sharon Varallo.

APEP poetry blooms from behind bars

Lexi Woodcock and Mary Kate Hughes May 5, 2023

Raw expressions of anger, hopelessness, fear, love and nostalgia fill the pages of incarcerated students’ notebooks. With no computers in the prison, students of the Augustana College’s Prison Education...

Augustana College’s Prison Education Program receives million dollar donation

Feven Zewdu February 22, 2023

The Austin E. Knowlton Foundation, a philanthropic organization that provides support for schools and students, gifted the Augustana Prison Education Program (APEP) a million-dollar grant and a ten-year...

David Staples reads notes during an APEP class at East Moline Correctional Center.

For one inmate, the Augustana Prison Education Program paves a way for freedom

Caitlin Campbell October 12, 2022

David Staples, 54, was released from the East Moline Correctional Center on Aug. 12 after serving 29 years for a crime that he did not commit. He was released early with help from good behavior credits,...

Albert Redmond discusses his notes and sources for his class assignment at EMCC on OCt. 1, 2021

Educating a new type of student

Brett Kuras October 14, 2021

On April 16, 2021, Observer staff member Olivia Doak reported on a new program that Augustana College was going to be a part of in the coming semester. This academic school year, the program officially...

Professor Sharon Varallo, left, teaches the class as Brandon Johnson, center, and Tyrone Stone, right, listen attentively on Oct. 1, 2021.

Gallery: Prison education unlocks new possibilities

Photos by Chris Ferman October 14, 2021

The Augustana Prison Education Program (APEP), pioneered by Dr. Sharon Varallo, began this fall at East Moline Correctional Center (EMCC). APEP is a four-year degree program where a select group of men...

Pioneering a four-year prison education program

Olivia Doak April 16, 2021

Starting next fall, Augustana will offer a four-year degree program for incarcerated men at East Moline Correctional Center (EMCC). A select group of applicants will be able to participate in the program...

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