WMU News

Student wins regional leadership, academic award

July 1, 1999

KALAMAZOO -- The National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association recently announced that Amy E. Shinsky, a Western Michigan University student from Holland, Mich., won its Region III 1999 undergraduate William N. Wasson Student Leadership and Academic Award.

WMU students have won an unprecedented six regional Wasson awards since 1995.

"This is truly a noteworthy accomplishment," said Amy J. Seth, acting director of University Recreation Programs and Facilities. "It's simply unheard of for one school to win so many of these awards in just five years."

The award program recognizes top student leaders who actively participate in their institutions. It is named in honor of Dr. William Wasson, a biology professor in 1948 at Dillard University in New Orleans who is credited with founding the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association.

The association annually presents Wasson awards to one graduate student and five undergraduate students in each of its regions. Region III includes Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin.

Shinsky, a senior majoring in biological sciences and physical education-exercise science, was nominated for excellence in her academic, professional and volunteer activities.

She is an active member of both the Lee Honors College and the Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation; a student representative for the College of Education Curriculum Committee; and president of Phi Epsilon Kappa, an honorary organization dedicated to advancing interest in physical education, exercise science, health and recreation.

An instructor certified by the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America, Shinsky has worked in University Recreation Programs and Facilities since 1997 as a facility manager, fitness/weight room supervisor and aerobics instructor. She also serves as an intramural flag football referee and works in WMU's Zest for Life Employee Wellness Program as an instructor and weight room supervisor.

Outside the classroom, Shinsky has made significant contributions to the WMU/Kalamazoo community through her involvement in events such as Walk for the Homeless, Workout for Hope, and National Girls and Women in Sport Day.

"Amy Shinsky's qualities and accomplishments have made a wonderful and lasting impact on our institution," her nomination letter from University Recreation Programs and Facilities said. "Through her active involvement at Western Michigan University, she has become one of our most trusted and valuable employees as well as a respected student leader."

The nomination letter also cited Shinsky for her willingness to share her time and talents and for the outstanding customer service she provides in her on-campus jobs.

"The position of Zest supervisor is not usually held by an undergraduate, but Amy's maturity and work ethic are unparalleled," the letter said.

"She has excelled in addressing student needs, prescribing exercise programs, and motivating both students and staff alike. It takes a special person to communicate effectively with so many different populations. Amy definitely has a gift for making each interaction a positive one. She would serve as a wonderful example of what the Wasson Award represents."

Media contact: Jeanne Baron, 616 387-8400, jeanne.baron@wmich.edu

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