NIRSA and the entire field of collegiate recreation are made great by the passion, drive, and dedication of some incredible individuals and institutions. Each year, NIRSA is proud to recognize some of its extraordinary members with a variety of awards.

The Association would like to congratulate all of our inspiring award recipients for their contributions to NIRSA and the profession!

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. The Honor Award is presented during the Honor Award Banquet.

Award recipient

Stan L. Shingles, Central Michigan University

NIRSA Annual Service Awards

Award recipients

These awards are presented in appreciation of the considerable volunteer efforts various NIRSA members have made to further NIRSA and the collegiate recreation field this past year. The NIRSA Annual Service Awards are presented to recipients during the Honor Award Banquet. 

Professional Awards

Lauren Brown, University of Colorado Denver
For her dedication to NIRSA service and remarkable efforts to inspire engagement in the Association.

Mark J. Comer, RCRSP, University of Baltimore
For his leadership and vision with the NIRSA Championship Series as Chair of the Flag Football Work Team.

Megan Marie Morris, Loyola University Chicago
For her exemplary leadership and dedication to the NIRSA Championship Series as Chair of the Basketball Work Team.

Paul Rohe Milton, Ph.D., Cleveland State University
For his incredible dedication and leadership as Editor-in-Chief of the Recreational Sports Journal.

Laura Thomas, The University of Alabama
For her instrumental contributions to and remarkable leadership with the NIRSA Championship Series as Chair of the Soccer Work Team.

Oscee Wheatfall III, Texas A&M University, College Station
For the exceptional level of leadership he demonstrated and the exemplary service he performed in his role as the NIRSA Championship Series Chair.

Student Awards

Abby Blumberg, The University of Alabama
For her creative recruitment and engagement of students as Region IV Student Leader.

Taylor Sidore M.S., ACE CPT, ACE GFI, Colorado State University-Fort Collins
For bringing innovative developments to her role as Region V Student Leader.

Katelyn Voorhees, Georgia Institute of Technology
For inspiring and exceeding expectations as Region II Student Leader.

Group Awards

NIRSA Strategic Planning Task Force
For significant contribution and involvement in the leadership and development of NIRSA’s 2018-2021 Strategic Plan.

2017-2018 NIRSA Small Programs Advisory Council
For their outstanding leadership and significant contributions to execute NIRSA’s small campus rec program initiatives.

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. Award recipients are presented their awards during the Student Member Connection Meeting.

Region I

Sarah Grace, University of Maryland
Ashleigh Jepson, University of Connecticut
Maeve McKinney, University of Maryland
De’Jha Pontoo, The University of Rhode Island
Monique Rodriguez, University of Baltimore
Jonathan Sanders, Boston College

Region II

Marilyn Adams, University of Southern Mississippi
Ian Dunbar, UNC Greensboro
Emily Dyer, UNC Greensboro
Katy Morgan, James Madison University
Emily Murphy, James Madison University
Katie Regan, James Madison University

Region III

Meghan Egierski, St. Mary’s College/University of Notre Dame
Grace George, The Ohio State University
Grace Templeman, University of Wisconsin–Madison

Region IV

Jenna Bothell, Sam Houston State University
Ashlea Rosenbaum, Texas A&M University – Kingsville
Rebecca Spencer, Angelo State University
Anthony Villasana, Texas A&M University – Kingsville

Region V

Victoria Davis, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Sarah Heemstra, University of Minnesota Twin Cities
DeVanee Lasley, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Britton Lyon, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Monica Rosiak, University of Iowa
Megan Wynn, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Region VI

Jeffrey Hares, Seattle University
Theron Henderson, University of Utah
Jordan Hunter, Washington State University
Maddie Piper, Seattle University
Martha Rubardt, Seattle University

Canadian Region

Chelsea Jones, University of Regina

Horace Moody Awards

These awards recognize an outstanding commitment to student development. Award recipients are presented their awards during the Student Member Connection Meeting.

Region I

Jordan Olson, University of Vermont

Region II

Julie Wallace Carr, James Madison University

Region III

Stephanne Musser, The Ohio State University

Region IV

Lauren Easter, Missouri State University

Region V

Luke Bartlett, University of Northern Iowa

Region VI

Joshua Hamilton, University of Arizona

Canadian Region

Alison Fisher, University of Regina

Outstanding Sports Facilities Awards sponsored by AACER

These awards recognize excellence in newly-constructed, renovated, or expanded recreational sports facilities at NIRSA member institutions. Award recipients are recognized during the Opening General Session.

Wake Forest Wellbeing Center

Wake Forest University
RDG Planning & Design

University of Houston-Clear Lake – Recreation and Wellness Center

University of Houston-Clear Lake

Lola & Rob Salazar Student Wellness Center

University of Colorado Denver

Burdick Hall

Towson University

The Falcon Center for Health, Education and Wellness

University of Wisconsin-River Falls

E. L. Wiegand Fitness Center

University of Nevada, Reno

Pitt Sports Dome

University of Pittsburgh
CDM Smith

Charles Alan Wright Fields at the Berry M. Whitaker Sports Complex

The University of Texas at Austin
Dewberry Architects

University Recreation and Wellness Sports Field Complex

University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
DLR Group


Texas A&M University-Commerce

Creative Excellence Awards

These awards focus on outstanding marketing and advertising materials published by NIRSA membership. Award recipients are recognized during the Opening General Session.

Audiovisual Promotion

First Place

Live Unconquered
Florida State University

Second Place

Rec’ing Ramifesto
Colorado State University

Third Place

Buddy Personal Training
University of Florida

Comprehensive Brochure & Facility Publication

First Place

UCSB Gaucho’s Guidebook
University of California, Santa Barbara

Second Place

2016 -17 Annual Report
University of Wisconsin–Madison

Third Place

WHPS Services Flyer
University of Central Florida

Integrated Marketing Campaign

First Place

Marketing Beyond Campus: Advancing Camp C-Woo
Central Washington University

Second Place

Project Positive
Seattle University

Third Place

A Better U Marketing Campaign
University of Texas at San Antonio

Large Scale Signage

First Place

Ogg Hall Fitness Center Graphics
University of Wisconsin–Madison

Second Place

Step Up – Step In | Interactive Displays
Bowling Green State University

Third Place

Strom Thurmond Wellness & Fitness Center
University of South Carolina

Programming Publication

First Place

Cultivating Curiosity – Youth Program Summer Camps
University of Minnesota Twin Cities

Second Place

Get Outdoors Adventure Trips
Sam Houston State University

Third Place

Glow Zumba Flyer
Sacramento State

Social Media Campaign

First Place

Female Condom Demonstration Video
University of Central Florida

Second Place

12 Days of Timmy
Sam Houston State University

Third Place

CRI Weekly Update
Georgia Southern University

Student Digital Presentation

First Place

I Am A Woman
Colorado State University

Second Place

Welcome to the Rec
Auburn University

Third Place

TTU Rec Sports Instagram Rebuild
Texas Tech University

Student Publication

First Place

CLEStateRec’s Cookbook
CENTERS, LLC @ Cleveland State University

Second Place

Field Guide Cookbook – Auburn Outdoors
Auburn University

Third Place

Lifeguard Certification
Sam Houston State University


First Place

RecWell Website Redesign
University of Maryland, College Park

Second Place

Campus Recreation Website
University of Rhode Island

Third Place

Website Redesign
University of Virginia

NIRSA/USTA Tennis Ace Awards

This award recognizes professional members or institutions that show exceptional growth and support of their recreational tennis programs over the past year and will be presented at the NSC Social.


Andrea Snead, University of Central Florida


University of Massachusetts – Lowell Campus Recreation

President’s Award for the Article of Distinction

This award recognizes excellence in writing from contributing authors to the NIRSA Recreational Sports Journal. These award recipients are recognized during the Annual Meeting of Members.

Award recipients

Primary Author:

Hassan M. Shaikh, Duke University

Secondary Authors:

Megan S. Patterson, Texas A&M University, College Station

Beth Lanning, Baylor University

  1. Renee Umstattd Meyer, Baylor University

Clinton A. Patterson, Texas A&M University, College Station

For their Volume 42, No. 2, 2018 article titled “Assessing College Students’ Use of Campus Recreation Facilities through Individual and Environmental Factors.”

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. This award recipient is recognized during the Annual Meeting of Members.

Award recipient

Austin R. Anderson, Ph.D., University of Southern Indiana

Award recipients still to be named

The following four distinctions will be unveiled during the 2019 NIRSA Annual Conference!

Foundation Leadership Award

This award recipient will be recognized during the Annual Meeting of Members.

Juliette Moore People of Color Distinguished Leadership Award

This award is presented during the Lee Wasson People of Color Social.

Regional Awards of Merit

These awards are presented during Regional Member Network Connection Meetings.

Sarah Fain Distinguished Service Award

This award will be presented during the NSC Social.


Again, congratulations to this year’s NIRSA Award recipients—true leaders in 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.