IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa junior defensive back Brenden Deasfernandes has been awarded the Hawkeye Excellence ENGAGE Award as part of the IOWA Challenge Awards. The honor was presented during the Hawkeye Leadership and Service Awards.
The purpose of the Challenge Awards is to recognize undergraduate students who exemplify the values promoted by the IOWA Challenge through their actions within the university and surrounding communities. The Meet the Challenge Awards are a collaboration between the Division of Student Life and the Office of the Provost.
Deasfernandes, a native of Belleville, Michigan, has pursued a range of activities beyond football, including his role as an assistant youth coordinator/mentor in the Detroit Police Athletic League prior to attending Iowa.
Over his three years on the UI campus, Deasfernandes has participated in more than 65 hours of programming, a talent show, academic skill development workshops, mentoring, financial literacy and decision-making workshops and civic engagement outreach. He also spent a considerable amount of volunteer opportunities with the Community Food Bank, elementary schools, Dance Marathon and the Stead Family Children’s Hospital, while also being heavily involved with the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity.
Deasfernandes has been a multi-semester recipient of the Presidential Committee on Athletics (PCA) Academic Award and is one of two members of the football program to serve as a student representative on the Iowa Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (ISAAC). This group serves as the leadership voice for student-athletes within the department, campus, conference and NCAA. He was elected to serve on the committee’s DEI sub-committee and will serve as a presenter at the annual student-athlete awards show sponsored by ISAAC.
Deasfernandes has been nominated to represent Iowa at the Black Student-Athlete Summit this summer, a three-day summit that caters to the holistic development of the Black student-athlete. He will be empowered to return to campus and be a part of a team that creates initiatives to ensure Black student-athletes are competitive in the global workforce after graduation.
Deasfernandes saw limited action in Iowa’s 2022 opening win over South Dakota State before missing the remainder of the season due to injury.
The Hawkeyes open the 2023 season Saturday, Sept. 2, hosting Utah State inside Kinnick Stadium.