Moraine Park female alumni find success in traditionally male-dominated field

by speitz10. March 2011 07:22

Moraine Park Technical College alumni Tina Beres and Holley Dornfeld are paving the way for women by their success in the traditionally male-dominated field of corrections. Beres is a correctional officer at Washington County Jail, and Dornfeld works in records at Waupun Correctional Institute.

The two paid a visit to Moraine Park’s Fond du Lac campus recently to share their experiences working in corrections from a women’s point of view with Moraine Park students. Beres got started in her field of corrections at Waupun Correctional Institution. She learned quickly to develop traits to overcome difficult situations in the field of corrections. “Stand up and show them what you can do,” Beres said.

Dornfeld worked as a jailer at the Columbia County Jail and worked in probation and parole as a secretary in Montello before her position in records at Waupun Correctional Institution. “I like that every day was something different,” said Dornfeld. “I never knew what to expect once I got to work.” Dornfeld also stressed the importance of professionalism and “holding your own” in a field like corrections. “Most people learn to respect you,” she said.

Moraine Park provides resources for students in nontraditional areas of study, defined as any occupation in which women or men make up less than 25 percent of the workforce. Students are provided with mentors and job shadowing opportunities to help in their area of study.

“Moraine Park is focused on preparing students for whatever they may face in their chosen fields,” said Renae Fischer, nontraditional occupations specialist at Moraine Park. “Nontraditional occupation students face more challenges than average students, so it is important we prepare them to face those challenges.”

Moraine Park was an important start for both Beres and Dornfeld. The Criminal Justice - Corrections associate of applied science degree gave the women a solid foundation to be confident on the job site. “Moraine Park’s program was so hands-on and seemed very real,” said Dornfeld. “It’s amazing how highly Moraine Park’s program is valued in this area.”

Moraine Park’s Criminal Justice - Corrections program prepares students for positions in a variety of corrections careers ranging from least restrictive settings, such as group homes, to highly restrictive maximum-security prisons. For more information on Moraine Park’s Criminal Justice - Corrections and other Moraine Park programs, visit morainepark.edu/programs.

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