The NIRSA Annual Service Awards celebrate the efforts of members in our community who have gone above and beyond the call of duty in their volunteer service. Every year, up to six professional members, three student members, and two groups are recognized for their outstanding contributions to NIRSA and the field of collegiate recreation. Awards are given to members who demonstrate exceptional performance during the previous year in leadership and development of NIRSA programs, policies, events, special projects, or committees.

Eligibility guidelines and nomination form

Why nominate a colleague or student this year?

Will Trent, Assistant Director at Virginia Tech, received an Annual Service Award in 2018 for his work as the 2016–2017 NIRSA Student Leader. “My year as the NIRSA Student Leader allowed me to build lasting friendships around the globe, expand my worldview, and enabled our Member Network to spread a little peace and love through advocacy and professional development,” says Will. “The fact that someone took the time to nominate my efforts felt incredibly humbling and validating. While I didn’t serve to be recognized for it, it did feel good to be celebrated for our team’s accomplishments of service.”

Caroline Ciell, Coordinator of Facility Operations at University of Florida, also received an Annual Service Award for her work as the NIRSA Student Leader. She served in that role from 2018–2019, receiving her award in 2020. “The NIRSA Annual Service Award carries a rich legacy of prestige,” explains Caroline. “The magnitude of that recognition is not lost on me and I feel deeply honored to have received it.”

Help the Association set the standard of excellence in professional and student achievement by acknowledging exceptional performance, dedication, creativity, and innovation with a nomination for a NIRSA Annual Service Award!

“Knowing that a fellow member took the time to recognize my work still means so much to me,” says Alyssa Moncrief, Facilities Graduate Assistant at Texas A&M University, who received an Annual Service Award in 2020 for her work as the co-chair for the 2019 Region IV Student Lead On Committee. “The NIRSA community has helped me grow tremendously as a leader and a professional—even today as I serve in my role as Region IV Student Leader. I hope to pay it forward by recognizing those around me who are dedicated to the development of students through recreation.”

Caroline adds, “NIRSA members spend countless hours of their personal time, talent, and resources to lift our Association to new heights. Recognition is so important to the people who incorporate this volunteer work into their daily lives and especially because they do it at such a high level. Please take the time to recognize a colleague. You will be glad you did!”

Nominations are due November 16

The NIRSA Annual Service Award recognizes one-time or cumulative efforts made through April 30 of the year of nomination. For 2022 awards, the dates of service must fall between May 1, 2020 and April 30, 2021.

Nominations for the 2022 Award are being accepted now and the nomination period will remain open through November 16, 2021. Please consider submitting a nomination today—your nomination makes a difference!


  • For more information about NIRSA Awards, contact NIRSA Leadership Programs Coordinator, Chelsea Hansson.