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 a few of our 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!

Many of our award recipients will be acknowledged during the Regional Connection Sessions happening on Monday, February 22.

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. New this year, the Honor Award will be presented during a virtual celebration supported by Mondo on February 24. Find out more about the event and register online.

Award recipient

Stacey L. Hall, Ph.D., University of New Hampshire

Foundation Leadership Award

The NIRSA Foundation Leadership Award recognizes an individual or group that has demonstrated exceptional dedication to the NIRSA Foundation and its mission. The award recipient will be recognized at the NIRSA Foundation Donor Celebration on February 17.

Award Recipient

Suzette Smith, CRSS, The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

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

Ashley Murphy, Towson University
Eleanor VanVranken, University of Maryland
Megan Callahan, University of Connecticut
Eli Goldfarb, The University of Rhode Island
Marissa Vittorio, University of New Haven

Region II

LeAnne Davis, University of Mississippi
Gregory “BJ” Beckwith, James Madison University
Abby Brocato, James Madison University
Dylan Scott, James Madison University
Gracie Jones, James Madison University
Kellee Nordstrom, UNC Greensboro

Region III

Karen David, University of Dayton

Region V

Jennifer Beres, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Michael Anderson, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Brock Priebe, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Rebeccah Stolpa, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Kathrynne Nail, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Alli Johnson, University of Nebraska

Region VI

Brandon McWilliams, Seattle University
Ryan Coffee, University of California, Davis 


Ross Clausi, University of Western Ontario

Horace Moody Awards

These awards recognize an outstanding commitment to student development.

Region I

Dexter Shorter, Pennsylvania State University

Region II

Aaron Combs, James Madison University

Region III

Veronica Chevalier, M.S, University of Notre Dame

Region IV

Tyler Burroughs, Kansas State University

Region V

Michelle Harder, University of Iowa

Region VI

Kevin “K-Mart” Martin, UC – Riverside


Joni Richardson, University of Victoria

NIRSA Outstanding Facilities Awards sponsored by AACER

These awards recognize excellence in the innovative designs of new, renovated, and/or expanded collegiate recreation and wellness facilities at NIRSA member institutions.

NIRSA’s Outstanding Facilities Awards are sponsored by AACER.

Margot Connell Recreation Center

Boston College

Human Performance Center

Dixie State University
Hastings+Chivetta and MHTN Architects

University Recreation & Wellness Center

Florida Gulf Coast University
Harvard•Jolly and Hastings+Chivetta

San Jose State University Spartan Recreation and Aquatic Center

San Jose State University
Gensler Architecture

Recreation and Athletic Center

St. Edward’s University
Specht Architects

Marc L. Burnett Student Recreation and Fitness Center

Tennessee Tech University

Student Recreation Center

University of Connecticut
JCJ Architecture

University Recreation Center

UNC Charlotte

South Campus Recreation Center

University of Mississippi
JBHM Architecture

Nicholas Recreation Center

University of Wisconsin-Madison

NIRSA/USTA Tennis Ace Awards

The NIRSA/USTA Tennis Ace Awards honor NIRSA institutional, professional, and student members who have implemented NIRSA-endorsed Tennis On Campus programs, and recognize efforts to grow recreational tennis participation.


Lorain County Community College

President’s Award for the Article of Distinction

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

Award recipients

Colin Lopez, Temple University
Elizabeth Taylor, Ph.D., Temple University
Gareth Jones, Ph.D., Temple University
Daniel Funk, Ph.D., Temple University
Matt Huml, Ph.D., University of Cincinnati 

For their Volume 44, No. 1, 2020 article titled “Examining work experiences among collegiate recreation employees.”

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

Joseph R. Secrest, University of Houston

NIRSA Annual Service Awards

These awards are presented in appreciation of the considerable volunteer efforts various NIRSA professional and student members have made to further NIRSA and the collegiate recreation field this past year.

Professional Awards

Erin Patchett, Ph.D., Colorado State University – Fort Collins: For her dedication and outstanding leadership in advancing knowledge and considerations of equity, diversity, and inclusion in campus recreation through both her academic research and NIRSA volunteer service.

Seneca T. Wilson, CENTERS LLC at the University of Alabama at Birmingham: For extraordinary leadership and service to the 100 Black Men of Collegiate Recreation.

Andrea Snead, University of Central Florida: For her extraordinary service and impactful leadership to advance social justice, build community, and create brave spaces for campus rec professionals through her many volunteer roles in NIRSA.

Scott Flickinger, Cornell University: For exemplary leadership and dedication as chair of the NIRSA Championship Series Committee.

Group Awards

National Basketball Virtual Clinic: For exceptional adaptability and innovation in the leadership and development of the 2020 National Basketball Virtual Officials Clinic.

Jon Broska, University of Florida
Natosha Harris, University of Kentucky
Michael Castaneda, University of Texas at San Antonio
Bonnie Hainline, Southern Methodist University
Sheldon Tate, Texas Christian University
Kara Hunter, Loyola University Maryland

Rec without Borders National Trivia Project: For remarkable initiative and collaboration in cultivating a community of inclusion through the Rec Without Borders National Trivia Project.

Greg Durham, Creighton University
Justin Furlough, University of South Carolina – Columbia
Shana Kessler, Central Washington University
Drew Devore, University of Minnesota – Twin Cities
Julie Faulkner, University of Minnesota – Twin Cities
Brooke Dinkel, University of South Florida
Marty Dempsey, University of Florida

Regional Awards of Merit

These awards will be presented during the Regional Connection Sessions happening on Monday, February 22. Join peers and colleagues from your region to help celebrate these members.

Juliette Moore People of Color Distinguished Leadership Award

This award recipient will be recognized during The Founders People of Color Social on February 23.

Sarah Fain Distinguished Service Award

This award recipient will be recognized during the Series Talk Live session on February 25. They will also be acknowledged during the Series Thank You Social taking place on February 26 at 10:00am PST. Please add this social to your calendar today so you won’t miss it!


An additional article will publish after conference recognizing recipients revealed during the conference week. Award webpages will be updated with 2021 recipients in March.

Again, congratulations to this year’s NIRSA Award recipients—true leaders in collegiate recreation!


  • For more information, please contact NIRSA Leadership Programs Coordinator Chelsea Hansson.
Leadership Programs Coordinator at NIRSA | NIRSA Profile

Chelsea Hansson is the Leadership Programs Coordinator at NIRSA.