Interview with Mark Winder

Photo Courtesy of Cornell College
Photo Courtesy of Cornell College

Mark Winder

Director of Campus Safety

Formerly Mt. Vernon’s Chief of Police


Reed: “How did you get involved in this type of career field?”

Winder: “Well, I’ve been in law enforcement for 32 years…I was a prison guard up at Anamosa, and I was a jail corrections officer for a period of time…I was a Deputy Sheriff for about two years…and I started as a police officer for the city of Mt. Vernon in 1985. I was a police officer for 30 years, a patrolman for five years, a sergeant for five years, and the chief for the last 20 years.”

R: “What motivated you to make the switch from being the Chief of Police in Mt. Vernon to working here at Cornell?”

W: “In Iowa, law enforcement can retire after 30 years of work and 55 years of age. I met both of those requirements so I was able to retire from the city, and this position came open when Mike Wilwol left to take a position in Des Moines. When I heard the position was open I thought the timing was perfect. I had a big concern that if I didn’t take this opportunity…I couldn’t predict who was going to be in this position on campus and how long they would be here, and I didn’t want to miss this opportunity.  I’ve been a member of the community for 30 years. I’ve worked with Cornell campus safety officers and other members of the Cornell community for so many years, it was a no-brainer…I’m passionate about Mt. Vernon, I’m passionate about what takes place at Cornell College, and I thought that I might be able to bring something to the table to help make the Cornell College community a safer environment that it already is.”

R: “What does Campus Safety’s work involve?”

W: “Just like with any position, you prioritize different issues. Obviously life and the safety of individuals is priority number one. Property can always be replaced. Anything to prepare the campus for a mass emergency, like a tornado or high winds–situations like that where students can get injured…making sure that lighting is appropriate in certain areas, making sure that students feel comfortable walking from one building or another.”

Jess Reed, Co-Editor-in-Chief