Both NIRSA and the field of collegiate recreation are made great by the passion, drive, and dedication of some truly amazing individuals and institutions. So each year, NIRSA is excited to have the chance to recognize some of its extraordinary members with a variety of well-deserved awards. The Association would like to congratulate all of these inspiring members for their contributions to NIRSA and the field!

Honor Award

The highest honor awarded by the Association, the NIRSA Honor Award is presented each year to a member for outstanding achievement in the profession.

Award recipient: Gregory T. Jordan, CRSS, Oakland University

NIRSA Foundation Leadership Award

Awarded in appreciation of his contributions of time, talent, and treasure to the NIRSA Foundation.

Award recipient: Stan R. Campbell, University of Nebraska

NIRSA Annual Service Awards

Professional Awards

Awarded in appreciation of the considerable efforts various NIRSA professional members have made to further the collegiate recreation field this past year.

Award recipients

Aaron Hobson, University of Florida
For his exemplary leadership and dedication to the NIRSA Championship Series serving as Basketball Work Team Chair and Co-Tournament Director of the NIRSA National Basketball Championships.

Brian N. Mills, University of Houston
For his dedication and pride in building a professional and inclusive environment for student officials at NIRSA regional and national flag football tournaments.

Jerrod Jackson, Texas A&M University
For his outstanding dedication and passion as the Program Chair of the 2015 NIRSA Region IV Conference.

Scott George, Central Michigan University
For his vision, dedication, and passion in the development of the Unified Sports Division at the NIRSA National Basketball Championships.


Student Awards

Awarded in appreciation of the considerable efforts various NIRSA student members have made to further the collegiate recreation field this past year.

Award recipients

Erica Estes, James Madison University
For her outstanding leadership and her service to the students of NIRSA as the 2015-2016 NIRSA Student Leader.

Hannah Roberts, East Carolina University
For her exceptional leadership and dedication as the Coordinator of the Region III Student Lead On.


Group Awards

Awarded in appreciation of the considerable efforts various NIRSA groups have made to further the collegiate recreation field this past year.

Award recipients

2016 NIRSA National Basketball Championships

For their outstanding leadership and dedication as members of the Host Committee for the 2016 NIRSA National Basketball Championships:

  • Richard “JR” Rathjens, The Ohio State University
  • Charles Duane Anderson, The Ohio State University

Student Leadership Development through Recreation and Athletics sourcebook

For their vision and exemplary leadership as co-editors of the Student Leadership Development through Recreation and Athletics sourcebook:

  • Don Stenta, The Ohio State University
  • Cara McFadden, Elon University

Regional Awards of Merit

These awards acknowledge the exception performance or dedication of NIRSA members to their NIRSA regions.

Region I

Gordon Nesbitt, Millersville University of Pennsylvania

Region II

Steven Bobbitt, James Madison University

Region III

Therese Kennedy, CRSS, University of Wisconsin – Whitewater

Region IV

Kristy Caldwell, Texas State University

Region V

Zac Brost, University of Nebraska

Region VI

Brent Harrison, University of Oregon

William N. Wasson Student Leadership & Academic Awards

These awards recognize outstanding students who are actively involved with the Department of Recreational Sports on their university or college campus.

Region I

Alexis Charles, East Stroudsburg University
Bailey Gasior, Stevenson University
Molly Podosek, Rider University
Pat Shank, West Chester University
Lauren Taylor, University at Albany

Region II

Kyle Jones, Florida State University
Zach Kirkpatrick, James Madison University
Gabrielle Ringenberg, Western Kentucky University
Brandon Smith, North Carolina State University at Raleigh
Will Trent, James Madison University
Katelyn Voorhees, Clemson University

Region III

Delaney Cherveny, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Matthew DeBaker, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Gabriela Perino, University of Notre Dame
Caroline Popp, Purdue University

Region IV

Michael Adeyemo, Angelo State University
Natalie Janes, Texas A&M University-Kingsville
Crystal Moody, Angelo State University
Kari Whitmarsh, University of Texas at Austin

Region V

Rebekah Connell , Colorado State University
Renee Craft, University of Nebraska
Brook McCluskey, University of Nebraska
Melanie Rossetti , University of Nebraska
Courtney Smith, University of Nebraska

Region VI

Jordan Bishop, Washington State University
Annabelle Forster, Seattle University
Taylor Gale, Washington State University
Ryan Holbrook, University of Utah
Rachel Horras, Arizona State University
Laura Noble, Oregon State University

Horace Moody Awards

These awards recognize an outstanding commitment to student development.

Region I

Jessica Ward, Princeton University

Region II

Ryan Wingers, Georgia Southern University

Region III

Jessica Gentry, University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign

Region IV

Dr. Glenn Hanley, Texas State University

Region V

Heather Foster, Colorado State University

Region VI

Beth Glazer, UCLA

Outstanding Sports Facilities Awards sponsored by AACER

These awards recognize excellence in newly-constructed, renovated, or expanded recreational sports facilities at NIRSA member institutions.

University Recreation Center

James Madison University
Architects: Moseley Architects, Hastings+Chivetta Architects 

Campus Recreation Center

Northern Kentucky University
Architect: CannonDesign

Student Recreation & Wellness Center

Radford University
Architect: Worley Associates Architects 

Leonard J. Kaplan Center for Wellness

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Architects: Walter Robbs Callahan & Pierce, RDG Planning & Design 

Student Recreation Center

University of California, Riverside
Architect: CannonDesign 

Intramural Sports Building

University of Michigan
Architects: RDG Planning & Design, Integrated Design Solutions 

Student Recreation and Wellness Center

University of Missouri St. Louis
Architect: CannonDesign

Centre for Athletics, Recreation and Special Abilities

University of Victoria
Architect: CannonDesign

Aggie Recreation Center

Utah State University
Architect: HOK

Creative Excellence Awards

These awards focus on outstanding marketing and advertising materials published by NIRSA membership.

Audiovisual Promotion

First Place

Cornell Tree Climbing Institute, Cornell Outdoor Education
Cornell University 

Second Place

Fit Talks 2016
Texas State University 

Third Place

Find Your Fit, UCSB Department of Recreation
University of California, Santa Barbara

Comprehensive Brochure & Facility Publication

First Place

Be Inspired. Be U
University of Utah 

Second Place

UREC Fall Magazine 2016, University Recreation
University of Arkansas 

Third Place

UCF RWC Hand Guide
University of Central Florida 

Integrated Marketing Campaign

First Place

Play at Campus Rec
Portland State University 

Second Place

Polar Plunge 2016
Auburn University 

Third Place

ChooseWell – Integrated marketing Brand and Campaign
University of Minnesota – Twin Cities

Large Scale Signage

First Place

UREC Addition & Renovation Signage package
James Madison University 

Second Place

Down Under Recreation Center Graphics
Washington State University 

Third Place

Team Mizzou Spirit Wall Stairwell
University of Missouri 

Programming Publication

First Place

Youth Programs Summer Guide
University of Minnesota – Twin Cities 

Second Place

Kettlebell Training Program Marketing
CENTERS, LLC at Cleveland State University 

Third Place

Swim Lessons Poster
Sacramento State 

Student Digital Presentation

First Place

Be Well – A Health and Wellness Blogazine
Auburn University 

Second Place

RecTips Digital Fitness
University of Florida 

Third Place

RecStravaganza 2015
University of Florida             

Student Publication

First Place

Bioluminescence Night Paddle Trips
University of Central Florida 

Second Place

Spring 2016 Department Magazine
University of Florida 

Third Place

MizzouRec Info Guide 2016
University of Missouri


First Place

MIT Recreation
Massachusetts Institute of Technology 

Second Place

U Fit 4.0
Washington State University 

Third Place

Daniel L. Ritchie Center for Sports and Wellness Website
University of Denver

Juliette Moore People of Color Distinguished Leadership Award

This award recognizes the outstanding leadership of a NIRSA professional member.

Award recipient: Jocelyn Hill, American University

NIRSA/USTA Tennis Ace Awards

Honors NIRSA institutional, professional, and student members who have implemented NIRSA-endorsed Tennis On Campus programs, and recognize efforts to grow recreational tennis participation.


National Winner

Brooke Turner, RCRSP, University of Alabama


Western Washington University

President’s Award for the Article of Distinction

This award recognizes excellence in writing from contributing authors to the NIRSA Recreational Sports Journal.

Award recipient:
Primary Author: Jacquiline McDowell, Ph. D., George Mason University

Secondary Authors:

Robyn Deterding, University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign
Terrence Elmore, University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign
Edward Morford, University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign
Erin Morris, SUNY Cortland

For their October, 2016 article titled “Title IX and Campus Recreation: Guidelines to Increase Gender Equity in Club and Intramural Sport Programs.”

Research and Assessment Award

This award recognizes a NIRSA member who has made extraordinary contributions toward advancing research and assessment initiatives on their campus and/or for NIRSA.

Award recipient: Anne Wilkinson, Ph. D., CRSS, Temple University

For outstanding efforts and service in advancing research and assessment in the field of collegiate recreation.


  • For more information, please contact NIRSA Leadership Programs Coordinator Lani Beavers.
Leadership Programs Coordinator at | NIRSA Profile

Lani Sherman was the Leadership Programs Coordinator at NIRSA.