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Congratulations to the 2021 NIRSA Award Recipients

NIRSA Award graphic

NIRSA and the entire field of collegiate recreation are made great by the passion, drive and dedication of some truly amazing individuals and institutions. Each year, NIRSA is proud to recognize some of its extraordinary members with a variety of awards. Recipients of many NIRSA awards were announced ahead of the first virtual NIRSA Annual Conference while others were first made public during the week of the event. Even in a virtual environment we were able to celebrate our members!

The Association would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all award recipients for their excellence.

Regional Awards of Merit

NIRSA professionals wear countless hats. To be successful, they often become innovative and dedicated pioneers in the field of collegiate recreation. The Regional Awards of Merit acknowledge the exceptional performance or dedication of NIRSA members. These awards were presented during Regional Connection Sessions held on February 22.

Region I

Jessica M. Ward, RCRSPPrinceton University

Region II

David PetersFlorida State University

Region III

Amy SethWestern Michigan University

Region IV

Jacqueline Hamilton, EdD, RCRSPTexas A&M Corpus Christi (retired)

Region V

Aaron DuekerUniversity of Nebraska

Region VI

Stefani PlummerCalifornia Baptist University

Canadian Region

Peter Mumford, RCRSPYork University

Juliette Moore Distinguished Leadership Award

The Juliette Moore Distinguished Leadership Award honors those individuals who have helped further the goals of building a diverse and inclusive culture in our association by fostering equality of opportunity, encouraging diverse perspectives, and creating a welcoming and supportive climate. The award was presented during the 2021 Founders People of Color Social, sponsored by PLAE, on February 23.

Award Recipient

Kevin MartinUniversity of California, Riverside

Sarah Fain Distinguished Service Award

The Sarah Fain Distinguished Service Award celebrates the dedication of a NIRSA Championship Series volunteer who has embodied the spirit of Sarah Fain through their commitment to the NIRSA Championship Series and its tournaments over the course of many years of service.

The award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated exceptional performance in leadership and in the development of NIRSA programs, policies, events, special projects, or committees. The award was presented during the Series Talk Live Session held on February 25.

Award Recipient

Mark Williams, University of Notre Dame

Mark “The Shark” Williams received the 2021 Sarah Fain Distinguished Service Award during the Series Talk Live presentation. “There is an African proverb: ‘It takes a village to raise a child.’ My village was my family and my NIRSA family,” said Shark in accepting the award. Then he did a very heartfelt thanks to folks who was part of his journey along with a tear-jerker tribute to Sarah.

Comments from the room included the following:

“Who has this man not collaborated with? The who’s who!”

“No one better than Shark!!!!!”

“He is one of the biggest reasons why I serve in NIRSA.”

“Six degrees of shark separation….”

Creative Excellence Awards

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

Audiovisual Promotion

First Place

Brand Manifesto Video
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Second Place

#GoPlay 2019
UCF

Comprehensive Brochure & Facility Publication

First Place

Reopening Playbook
Stanford

Second Place

FGCU Campus Recreation Look Book
Florida Gulf Coast University

Integrated Marketing Campaign

First Place

Recreation & Wellbeing Brand Launch
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Second Place

THRIVE – Inspiring Your Well-Being Journey
Bowling Green State University

Large Scale Signage

First Place

Nicholas Recreation Center
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Second Place

Zumba Beach Party Banner
The WELL at Sacramento State

Programming Publication

First Place

Swim Lessons Flyer
The WELL at Sacramento State

Second Place

True North
University of Minnesota

Social Media Campaign

First Place

RWC+: Keeping Active from Anywhere
UCF

Second Place

Sport Club Awards
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Student Digital Presentation

First Place

Welcome Back to the Rec: Staying Well Together Video
Bowling Green State University

Second Place

Go Bould’er Go Home Animation
The WELL at Sacramento State

Student Publication

First Place

Venture Out at Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech

Second Place

Fact or Fiction: Social Norms Educational Campaign
Bowling Green State University

COVID Communication Campaign

First Place

RWC COVID-19 Communication Plan
UCF

Second Place

Rec Sports’ Standard of Clean
Virginia Tech 

Again, congratulations to all this year’s NIRSA award recipients, true leaders in collegiate recreation! The 2021 NIRSA awards recipients will be added to the historical list of recipients on the individual award pages of the NIRSA website in the coming weeks.

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