On behalf of the Honor Award Committee and our NIRSA, it is my privilege to announce that Stan L. Shingles, CRSS, has been selected as the recipient of the 2019 NIRSA Honor Award!

The Honor Award is our Association’s most prestigious recognition. It is awarded annually in celebration of a NIRSA member who has demonstrated outstanding achievements in the profession and exemplary service to the Association. Stan is a role model for servant leadership, a mentor to students and professionals, an expert in recreational sports, and an ambassador in numerous organizations and causes. He clearly is the most deserving recipient of the 2019 NIRSA Honor Award.

Stan is an assistant vice president at Central Michigan University. In his 30 years at Central Michigan he served University Recreation as the Assistant Director for Intramural Sports, Associate Director of Programs, and Director. He also served the university as the Interim Assistant Vice President of the Office of Institutional Diversity. Prior to Central Michigan University, he was the Coordinator of Intramural Sports at Northern Illinois University and a graduate assistant at Illinois State University. Prior to working in collegiate recreation, Stan also worked in community recreation. Stan holds both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in recreation and park administration from Illinois State.

Servant leader

Stan’s service to our NIRSA is intentional, broad, and deep. Dr. Tom R. Jones, Director Emeritus at Central Michigan University and NIRSA President 1982–1983, shares that “very early in our relationship, he told me that he would like to be as active as possible within NIRSA and I supported his aspirations without hesitation.” Stan’s service and contributions have been on-going and impactful at the state, regional, and national level. Stan has served on numerous committees, work teams, and commissions. He has served as host to multiple state conferences, MAC Directors meetings, to the Region III Student Lead On, and to both state and regional extramural championships. Stan has served in multiple leadership roles, including being elected to serve on the NIRSA Board of Directors for two years as the Region III Vice President (from 2003–2005) and three years in the presidential track (serving as NIRSA President from 2015–2016); serving two terms on the Foundation Board of Directors; one term on the NIRSA Services Corporation Board of Directors; serving as part of the NIRSA Member Network; spending four years as faculty with the School of Recreational Sports Management; acting as MIRSA State Director; and serving as President of the Mid-American Conference Recreational Sports Directors Association.

With an obvious quantity of service, there is an even greater quality of service that has left a lasting impact. Laurie Braden, Executive Director of University Recreation at LSU, says, “his support of all people to be their most authentic self and move the organization forward is powerful.” She notes in particular his devotion to the People of Color Social, how he was the driving force behind the development of the Founders Endowment and Scholarship, his active support of his colleagues, and his assistance in gaining endorsement of the LGBTQI & Friends Social.

Tony Daniels, Director at Prairie View A&M University, notes that Stan has been a visionary leader with the Emerging Recreational Sports Leader (ERSL) Conference: “Stan was one of the first people to see the greater value in a workshop especially designed to discuss diversity, multiculturalism, and inclusion topics with our young student members.” Stan has also been an avid supporter and participant of the Region III Student Lead On workshops. He was the Michigan State Director and provided the leadership when MIRSA was formally developed and recognized as a state association. His service as the NIRSA representative with the United State Tennis Association (USTA) also advanced the sport and the partnership. And Jocelyn Hill, Director at American University, makes a point of commenting about Stan’s work to support the Historically Black College and University (HBCU) Summit, saying, “he realized we needed to do more to engage our HBCUs, increasing institutional and individual memberships, so he formed the HBCU committee.”

Much of his leadership has been truly visionary, including his advancement of Unified Sports and the partnership with Special Olympics. Scott George, former Central Michigan staff member and current Manager of University Engagement with Special Olympics, shares that “Stan envisioned the invaluable positive impact the Unified Sports would have on both students and athletes” and says Stan’s “great influence can be seen at the national level and in the growth of Unified Sports within NIRSA. The national partnership between NIRSA and Special Olympics was created and fostered during Stan’s term as President.” Stan’s involvement and leadership has mattered, and he has served as a thirty-year volunteer for Special Olympics Michigan.

Authentic mentor

Every one of Stan’s nomination letters spoke of the impact he has had on each person. Marcus Jackson, Director at the University of Illinois, offers that “of all those fancy titles, the one that has meant the most to me over the years is mentor. Stan’s guidance and prodding have encouraged me to take so many chances and lately, to really focus on giving back.” Bill Crocket, Executive Director at the University of Maryland, Baltimore and NIRSA President 2017–2018, shares that “Stan’s leadership skills are transformational and inspirational. I attribute my own Board growth and leadership to his mentorship and friendship over the years.”

The experience that students and staff gain at Central Michigan University has contributed to the development of a network of “Chippewas” alumni that has spread far and wide throughout the country. Rachael Finley, Director at York University, says, “Sometimes I wonder if Stan’s glasses have a special filter in them that allow him to constantly see opportunity and potential—it never turns off. Stan changes lives.” Suzanne Ries, Associate Director at Florida Gulf Coast, shared her admiration for “Stan’s passion for student engagement and success, his devotion to developing students, young professionals, and emerging leaders within NIRSA, his authenticity and genuine self, his commitment and loyalty to his institution, and the infamous ‘Stan-versations’ that truly make one feel loved and cared about.”

Stan’s influence goes even deeper for some. Ross Rodriguez, Assistant Director for Facilities at the University of Texas-Austin, states, “Stan truly changed my life. He truly embodies all that NIRSA is about and there are generations of professional that owe our careers to the guidance we received from Stan.” One such professional is Demond Pryor, Director at The University of Toledo. “Stan has been a mentor, supervisor, and more importantly a great friend,” says Demond. “He is the number one reason why I chose to be a collegiate recreation professional—because of his passion, leadership, and overall servant mindset.” Eric Nickel, Director at James Madison University, adds, “I think of people who make a difference in the lives of others in every environment they touch. In my opinion this is where Stan really stands out as a mentor and in the way he uses his leadership opportunities to impact others. It is a beautiful thing to behold.”

An expert and an ambassador

Stan has been generous in sharing his expertise within our profession, as evidenced by his nearly 100 professional presentations, his role as a faculty member of the School of Recreational Sports Management, nearly 20 professional consulting reviews, and countless individual mentoring sessions with anyone who requests his time and advice. Fabian De Rozario, a longtime colleague, says, “Stan Shingles is an inspiration within the NIRSA community. His passion for excellence, collegiality, innovation, drive and strong professional presence makes him one of the most influential NIRSA leaders that I’ve had the pleasure to work with.”

Maureen McGonagle, Director at DePaul University and NIRSA President 2006–2007, may have said it best: “Stan has strengthened NIRSA by investing in our people. He started making a difference early in his career, and his involvement over his professional tenure has been consistent, wide-spread, and impactful. Stan has served in ways that are large and small, always with the intention of making a difference.” Stan’s passion for community and university service is as deep and impactful as his work within NIRSA. Jen Beck Nottingham, Director of Programs at Central Michigan University, sees this firsthand every day. “Stan has been generous with his time and energy and has assumed many leadership roles, not only within NIRSA, but here at CMU as well as within our local community,” she says.

Incredible impact

Stan has had an incredible impact on NIRSA, his community, and his institution. The evidence is overwhelming. He has received a variety of NIRSA recognitions, including the Region III Award of Merit, Horace J. Moody Student Development Award, Juliette Moore People of Color Distinguished Service Award, the Herman J. William Founders Outstanding Service Award, and the USTA Tennis Ace Award. He has also been recognized on numerous occasions by Central Michigan University, MIRSA, organizations in Mt. Pleasant, and by his alma mater Illinois State University. Dr. Tom R. Jones, namesake of the lifetime MIRSA Outstanding Member Award that Stan received in 2006, says, “Stan became involved in all aspects of the community and came to be an agent for change in mid-Michigan. Nearly 30 years later he is a major leader at CMU, within the Mt. Pleasant community, in the state of Michigan, and nationally.”

A family man

Yet to be mentioned in this tribute is perhaps what Stan might be most proud of—his son, Lamar Shingles. While Stan has mentored countless colleagues, he’s also served as a professional mentor and role model to Lamar over the years. Lamar and his wife Kori are embraced members of our NIRSA family who have served in numerous collegiate recreation positions. Currently serving as the Director of Student Life and Diversity at St. Paul College, Lamar’s proud statement about his father may say it all: “His unquestionable commitment to this profession is about paying tribute to those who laid the foundation before him and solidifying a legacy of service that impacts those who come after him.”

Please join us in celebrating our Honor Award recipient

Stan Shingles is the 57th recipient of the NIRSA Honor Award. Please join your colleagues in congratulating Stan at the 2019 Honor Award Banquet, the closing gala event of the 2019 NIRSA Annual Conference & Campus Rec and Wellness Expo, which is taking place in Boston, MA from February 16–19. Registered attendees can reserve their seats/tables in advance.

Greg Jordan, CRSS is currently Director of Recreation and Well-being at Oakland University. He is a NIRSA Past President, recipient of the NIRSA Honor Award (2017), and is the current chair of the NIRSA Honor Award Committee. Greg can be reached at jordan@oakland.edu.