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Press release: Judges and leaders recognized

For Immediate Release | October 12, 2023

Judicial officers and government and media leaders recognized at annual educational conference

Many judges, magistrates, commissioners, and referees were recognized by Chief Justice Loretta Rush for their commitment to higher education and their long-time service. Twenty-three judicial officers received an Indiana Judicial College certificate, thirty-one were recognized for participating in the two-year/two-week Indiana Graduate Program for Judges, and six were honored for years of service on the bench. The accolades were presented at an annual judicial conference.

Indiana Judicial College
Judicial officers must complete 120 hours of education presented by the Indiana Office of Court Services to receive this certificate. The program enhances legal knowledge and improves personal and professional development.

  • Judge Kimberly Bacon (Marion County)
  • Magistrate Robert Boling (Lake County)
  • Judge Hubert Branstetter (Fayette County)
  • Commissioner Christopher Cage (Madison County)
  • Judge Travis Clowers (Posey County)
  • Judge Mark Dudley (Madison County)
  • Judge Craig Goedde (Posey County)
  • Judge Garland Graves (Marion County)
  • Judge Ashley Hand (Allen County)
  • Magistrate Therese Hannah (Marion County)
  • Referee Timothy Haraminac (Lake County)
  • Judge Holly Harvey (Monroe County)
  • Judge Christopher Kehler (Kosciusko County)
  • Magistrate Jennifer Kinsley (Shelby County)
  • Magistrate John Link (LaPorte County)
  • Judge David McCord (Henry County)
  • Judge Jeffrey Meade (Gibson County)
  • Judge Donald Mote (Jefferson County)
  • Judge James Muehlhausen (Cass County)
  • Judge Brenda Roper (Marion County)
  • Magistrate Aric Rutkowski (St. Joseph County)
  • Judge Leslie Shively (Vanderburgh County)
  • Judge Jason Thompson (White County)

To view and download a photograph of the Judicial College graduates, please visit our Flickr page at

Indiana Graduate Program for Judges
The Graduate Program is a limited attendance educational experience for appellate and trial level judicial officers that offers an in-depth and intensive learning experience and requires attendees to commit to one week of course work for two consecutive summers.

  • Judge Kimberly Bacon (Marion County)
  • Judge Kelly Benjamin (Bartholomew County)
  • Judge Cristal Brisco (St. Joseph County)
  • Judge Stephanie Campbell (Fountain County)
  • Judge Samuel Cappas (Lake County)
  • Judge John Chavis (Marion County)
  • Judge Michael Christofeno (Elkhart County)
  • Judge Benjamin Diener (Carroll County)
  • Judge Douglas Fahl (Whitley County)
  • Magistrate Carolyn Foley (Allen County)
  • Magistrate Alison Frazier (Scott County)
  • Judge Faith Graham (Tippecanoe County)
  • Judge Greg Granger (Warrick County)
  • Judge Holly Harvey (Monroe County)
  • Judge Amy Jones (Marion County)
  • Judge Robert Kreig (Gibson County)
  • Judge Chad Kukelhan (Adams County)
  • Judge Helen Marchal (Marion County)
  • Judge Marissa McDermott (Lake County)
  • Justice Derek Molter (Indiana Supreme Court)
  • Judge Jason Mount (Scott County)
  • Judge David Najjar (Hamilton County)
  • Judge John Plummer (Lawrence County)
  • Magistrate Graham Polando (St. Joseph County)
  • Judge Steven Poore (Marion County)
  • Judge Hunter Reece (Warren County)
  • Judge Matthew Rentschler (Whitley County)
  • Judge Lori Schein (Boone County)
  • Judge Robert Sirk (Hancock County)
  • Judge AmyMarie Travis (Jackson County)
  • Judge Leanna Weissmann (Indiana Court of Appeals)

To view and download a photograph of the Indiana Graduate Program participants, please visit our Flickr page at

24 Years of Service
This award is presented to judicial officers with 24 years of service on the bench. Trial judges are commonly elected to a six-year term; therefore, a judge receiving this certificate has likely been elected more than four times.

  • Magistrate Kathleen Belzeski (Lake County)
  • Judge Linda Brown (Marion County)
  • Magistrate Brian Cook (Allen County)
  • Judge Jennifer DeGroote (Allen County)
  • Justice Christopher Goff (Indiana Supreme Court)
  • Judge Wayne Trockman (Vanderburgh County)

To view and download a photograph of the 24 Years of Service award recipients, please visit our Flickr page at

The Indiana Office of Court Services is part of the Office of Judicial Administration. It serves as the state’s judicial research and continuing judicial education agency. It develops and sponsors educational programming for judges, probation officers, and other court personnel. The Office works to enhance the performance of the judicial system by continuously improving the professional competence of judicial officers.

At the same conference, the Indiana Judges Association also presented several awards. Executive, legislative, judicial, and media awards were presented to honor leaders in their respective fields. The IJA thanked the recipients for their efforts to work in collaboration with the courts as champions of justice.

  • Jay Chaudhary, FSSA Division of Mental Health and Addiction
  • Senator Susan Glick
  • Representative Sharon Negele

On behalf of the IJA, the Judicial Conference Community Relations Committee presented outreach awards to judges and journalists for their efforts at communicating the work of the courts.

  • Judge Kim Dowling (Delaware County)
  • Indiana Pro Chapter Society of Professional Journalists

To view and download a photograph of the IJA award recipients, please visit our Flickr page at


Kathryn Dolan, Chief Public Information Officer