George L. Droll Award Winner: Becca Furland
Crunching on popcorn together during movie nights, making friendship bracelets at slumber parties in the lounge, relieving stress through volleyball games—and creating memories to last a lifetime. Living in the residence halls in 2005-06 was such a great experience for Becca Furland that she is coming back for more.
The sophomore pre-law/pre-business major from Denver, Iowa, will cross the river this fall, moving from Slater to Currier.
“The best thing about life in the residence halls is meeting a lot of new people and having fun being neighbors with them. They’ve become my best friends,” she says. “It’s definitely my home away from home.”
Furland, whose floormates describe her as outgoing, reliable, and fun, directed a portion of her energy last year to helping her resident assistant plan events while also getting others involved. That effort led University Housing to name Furland the 2006 winner of the George L. Droll Award, named for the man who joined the department in 1960 and served as its director from 1980 until his death in 1995. Furland will receive a credit on her University bill of up to $1,000, to be used toward room and board in the residence halls.
“My goal this year in Currier is to create the same environment and sense of community that my floor had last year,” says Furland, who also volunteers at UI Hospitals and Clinics. “Living in the residence halls has provided me with social experiences I wouldn’t have had otherwise.”
David Coleman Scholarship Winner: Rhian Deters
Being from the small town of Wellsburg, Iowa—with a population only five times larger than that of Parklawn, her 2005-06 University residence hall—Rhian Deters worried that the size of the UI campus might overwhelm her.
And there was the added pressure of balancing academics with the medical treatment she needed following brain surgery, which she had as a high school senior to remove a tumor. But none of her first-semester classes had more than 30 people, she says, and her academic advisor eased the transition by creating a welcoming environment.
“All of my teachers were great about me needing to miss class from time to time, and letting me turn in homework early when I had a doctor’s appointment or late when I was just not feeling well,” she says. “I did not expect this from a university. The staff here made my first year worry-free.”
Deters was selected as the first recipient of the David Coleman Scholarship, a $900 award given to a student who has overcome adversity to be successful at the University. Coleman is a former University Housing staff member who championed the causes of students who needed and deserved a second chance. He retired in 2005.
Deters, a sophomore majoring in Spanish, works as a swim instructor in North Liberty, Iowa, and as a certified medical assistant in her hometown. She plans to become a dermatologist.
by Sara Epstein Moninger