Oakland City University students and staff give during a time of grief

ROCKVILLE –  In an expression of solidarity and concern for staff at the Indiana State Prison (ISP) after the recent passing of Lt. Eugene Lasco in the line of duty, Oakland City University (OCU) Culinary Arts students at the Rockville Correctional Facility (RCF) sent bundles of homemade cookies to ISP staff members.

The students, under the direction of OCU Culinary Arts instructor Alisha Myers and OCU Site Manager Kara Burgess and with the approval of RCF Warden Julie Stout, took a break from their regular curriculum to bake cookies and have them delivered. This team’s effort brought together the students at RCF, the OCU staff as well as the RCF correctional staff who drove the cookies directly to ISP in Michigan City.

The act of kindness was inspired by the students who wished to do something to help ease the grief of Lt. Lasco’s co-workers. It seems the students are learning much more than Culinary Arts skills. They are learing to come together in times of trouble. 

“It’s a small gesture, but the sentiment is one of support and concern and that’s what matters,” Burgess stated.

In addition to RCF, the OCU Culinary Arts program is offered at 8 other correctional facilities throughout the state including Branchville Correctional Facility, New Castle Correctional Facility, Plainfield Correctional Facility, Putnamville Correctional Facility, Indiana Women’s Prison, Heritage Trail Correctional Facility, Westville Correctional Facility, and the Indiana State Prison.

The students receive certifications in ServeSafe in addition to the title of Certified Kitchen Cook through the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Instituted upon completion of the program.