Daniel Bean, Wittenberg class of 2024, is being acknowledged as a public problem solver with a demonstrated investment in finding solutions for challenges facing communities. Recently named a Campus Compact 2023 Newman Civic Fellow, Bean was presented with the award during the University’s Honors Convocation, April 14.
Bean, from Fort Wayne, Indiana, joins a group of 154 student civic leaders from 38 states, Washington, D.C., and Mexico. The Newman Civic Fellowship is a year-long program for students from Campus Compact member institutions. The entire list can be found here: 2023 Newman Civic Fellows.
Through the fellowship, Campus Compact provides students with a year of learning and networking opportunities that emphasize personal, professional, and civic growth. Each year, fellows participate in numerous virtual training and engagement activities to help equip them with the skills and connections needed to create large-scale positive change. The cornerstone of the fellowship is the Annual Convening of Fellows, which offers intensive skill-building and networking over the course of two days. The award also provides fellows with pathways to apply for exclusive scholarship and post-graduate opportunities. Fellows are nominated by their college or university president or chancellor on the basis of their potential for public leadership.
“Danny stood out for his commitment to a variety of social issues, from addressing systemic inequalities to his passion for improving college students' mental health,” Wittenberg President Michael Frandsen said in his nominating letter. “Danny is an influential student leader with great potential to build relationships that contribute to lasting change.”
Bean, a political science and philosophy double major pursuing minors in justice, law, & public policy, women's studies, African and diaspora studies, and English, serves on National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI), Wittenberg’s Gender and Sexuality Diversity Alliance (GSDA), Lesotho Nutrition Initiative (LNI), and Union Board, and is a member of Pi Sigma Alpha, Alpha Alpha Alpha, Phi Eta Sigma, Phi Alpha Theta, and the honors program.
Exemplifying a strong commitment to improving the mental health of young people, Bean was deeply impacted after hearing about instances of homophobic violence such as the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida. Dedicated to public service with a specific emphasis on improving a sense of belonging for LGBTQ+ people and the mental health of college students, Bean has a deep concern for youth mental health, which will lead to work with Equality Springfield during the fellowship year and to developing programs for LGBTQ+ youth in the Springfield community.
“As one of the few out queer children in Fort Wayne, Indiana, I was exposed firsthand to homophobic ideas and statements, and was deeply disturbed by the willingness to enact violence against queer bodies exhibited in the Pulse nightclub shooting,” Bean said. “However, seeing the increase in queer representation in media and politics gave me hope. This was shattered during the Club Q shooting. Such violence cannot be allowed to continue. I hope to bring my experience with confronting mental health issues and queer advocacy to my work with Equality Springfield, a local LGBTQ+ rights organization, during my fellowship year.”
Since coming to Wittenberg, Bean has engaged in a wide variety of leadership activities both on and off campus, including with NAMI to bring lifesaving suicide prevention training to Wittenberg’s campus and with global service in the small African Kingdom of Lesotho as part LNI. In addition to packing nutrition kits on campus, Bean traveled to Lesotho with other students to help create sustainable infrastructure and beautify a community center.
“I have previously coordinated with NAMI CGM to bring QPR training—a suicide prevention tactic—to Wittenberg’s campus to address the negative impact homophobic hate crimes (such as shootings) have on the mental health of queer students,” Bean said. “Additionally, I hold an officer position in Public Relations for Wittenberg’s Gender and Sexuality Diversity Alliance (GSDA), where I ensure that student voices are heard and implemented into GSDA events, thus creating a stronger connection between the club and our queer student population.”
The Newman Civic Fellowship recognizes students who stand out for their commitment to creating positive change in communities locally and around the world. The fellowship is named for the late Frank Newman, one of Campus Compact’s founders, who was a tireless advocate for civic engagement in higher education.
Campus Compact is a national coalition of 1,000-plus colleges and universities committed to the public purposes of higher education. A Boston-based nonprofit organization, Campus Compact supports institutions in fulfilling their public purposes by deepening their ability to improve community life and to educate students for civic and social responsibility. As the largest national higher education association dedicated solely to campus-based civic engagement, it provides professional development to administrators and faculty to enable them to engage effectively, facilitate national partnerships connecting campuses with key issues in their local communities, build pilot programs to test and refine promising models in engaged teaching and scholarship, and celebrate and cultivate student civic leadership. Visit www.compact.org.