Central College News

Central Alumnus, Inclusion Initiative Recognized by Iowa Campus Compact

Featured: Central Alumnus, Inclusion Initiative Recognized by Iowa Campus Compact

April 20, 2021

Iowa Campus Compact has announced its winners of the 2021 Engaged Campus Awards, and the list includes two nominated by Central College.

Dean Furness, a 1994 graduate from Central, received the Alumni Leadership Award. Central’s Building a Culture of Inclusion initiative received the Presidents’ Student Leadership Award.

The Alumni Leadership Award is given to an alum of a member institution making strong contributions to their community and demonstrating the values of the civic mission of higher education.

Furness harnessed the power of positive thinking and a can-do attitude to turn a tragic accident into a triumphant life. Despite a bleak outlook, Furness’ can-do attitude has been on full display the past nine-plus years, whether as a husband and father, a high school coach at Martensdale-St. Marys, with his job at Wells Fargo in West Des Moines, as an inspirational speaker giving TED Talks or in his wheelchair completing marathons.

Furness believes there is no such thing as a bad day – it is an individual’s choice to change a bad moment into a good day. Keep moving forward and looking toward what is next. Furness subscribes to the idea we can all be stronger than yesterday.

The Presidents’ Student Leadership Award is for an individual student or a student organization that models a deep commitment to civic responsibility and leadership, evidenced by initiative, innovative and collaborative approaches to addressing public issues, effective community building and integration of civic engagement into the college experience.

The Building a Culture of Inclusion initiative is a partnership between Central students and employees. Central students Yana Rouse and Marin Harrington, Class of 2021, co-lead 28 of their peers and 31 faculty and staff members in collaboration to educate, program and recommend policy centered around inclusivity and celebrating cultural diversity.

Iowa Campus Compact is a statewide association of college and university presidents providing leadership for the civic mission of higher education and strengthening the capacity of member colleges and universities to prepare all students to become engaged citizens.