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What are the hot trends and issues in Campus Recreation today? How is technology revolutionizing our work and the student experience? What research connects academic success and learning outcomes with Campus Recreation participation? What are some innovative ways that recreation departments are connecting with students to increase engagement? On this episode of Student Affairs Live, host Tony Doody talks with Stan Shingles, Don Stenta, and Cara McFadden to answer these questions and explore many more ideas, issues, and aspirations for the field.

Please contribute to the conversation by emailing questions before the show to or by tweeting live during the show using the #higheredlive hashtag. We’ll do our best to incorporate questions from viewers (with attribution) into the live conversation.


Episode Host

Tony Doody

Tony Doody

Tony Doody has over 24 years of practical experience and oversight in senior leadership positions within the Higher Education industry in the areas of Facilities Management, New Student Orientation, Parent and Family Programs, Leadership and Training, Marketing and Communications, Adult Learning, and Major Events and Programs. He currently serves as the Senior Director of Student Engagement at Rutgers University. Over the last 4 years, Tony has presented at over twenty universities and national conferences on topics of innovation, digital leadership, technology, and unconventional leadership. He is the recent Innovation chair for the ACPA 2014 conference, serves on the ACPA Credentialing team, and is co-chair of the ACPA Presidential Task Force on Technology. In addition, Tony has worked over 20 years as a consultant in the areas of executive coaching, leadership development, presentation skills, risk-taking, innovation, social media, conflict resolution, and team cohesiveness. Past clients include J&J, Bristol Myers Squibb, Vistakon, Navigant, Janssen, United Way, Merrill Lynch, Tumi, and Aventis Pharmaceuticals.


Cara McFadden

Dr. McFadden has 15 combined years of experience in collegiate recreation and higher education. She received her master’s degree in Recreation Administration from Central Michigan University. After receiving her master’s she worked as the Coordinator of Facilities for University Recreation before pursuing a doctoral degree. Dr. McFadden received her Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies with an emphasis in Higher Education from Virginia Tech where she served as a Graduate Assistant in the Dean of Students Office and as an adjunct faculty at Radford University in the Recreation, Parks and Leisure program. Her first full-time faculty position was for the Sport and Recreation Management program at James Madison University where she taught college student development theory for the campus recreation graduate program. She is now an Assistant Professor at Elon University in Sport and Event Management.

As a regular presenter at professional conferences, Dr. McFadden’s areas of interest include leadership, college student development, assessment, student engagement, and survey development. She published an article entitled, “Development and Validation of the Sense of Competence Scale-Revised (SCS-R)” in the Journal of Applied Measurement (2013). University administrators can use the SCS-R to modify an institutions academic and social environment to enhance the development of the intellectual, physical, and interpersonal competencies of college students. She has a co-edited a publication coming out this fall entitled, “Student Leadership Development through Recreation and Athletics” it is one of four issues of the New Directions for Student Leadership series. Dr. McFadden served NIRSA: Leaders in Collegiate Recreation as co-chair for the Leadership Commission, as faculty for the NIRSA School of Collegiate Recreation and currently is serving as the 2016 Program Chair for the annual NIRSA conference that will be held next April in Kissimmee, Florida.


Don Stenta

Dr. Don Stenta leads one of the nation’s largest and most comprehensive recreational sports and fitness departments, with five indoor locations and more than 90 acres of outdoor space. Headquartered in the state-of-the-art Recreation and Physical Activity Center (RPAC), Recreational Sports offers students, faculty, staff, and alumni drop-in fitness and recreation, class instruction, aquatics, intramurals and sports clubs, adventure trips, personal training, and more. Don earned his bachelor’s degree at Binghamton University, his master’s degree at the University of Vermont, and his PhD in Higher Education and Student Affairs from Ohio State. He began his career in Student Life as a residence hall director at Ohio State and held a number of successively more responsible positions before taking faculty appointments in the John Glenn College of Public Affairs and the College of Education and Human Ecology in 2008 to teach leadership classes and develop a leadership studies minor at Ohio State. He returned to Student Life in April 2011, to direct the Department of Recreational Sports.  Don serves on the board of directors with NIRSA, Leaders in Collegiate Recreation, has co-chaired NIRSA’s leadership commission, and is a frequent presenter at statewide, regional, and national conferences.  Don co-edited Student Leadership Development in Recreation and Athletics, a volume in the New Directions for Student Leadership series published by Wiley, due in fall 2015.


Stan Shingles

Stan Shingles is a 1982 and 1988 graduate of Illinois State University with Bachelor’s (B.S.) and Master’s (M.S.) degrees in Recreation and Parks Administration and Sports Management. With more than thirty years of professional experience in the college administration, Stan has worked in a variety of positions at Central Michigan University.

He is currently the Assistant Vice President for Recreation, Events and Conferences at CMU where he has served the university for twenty-five years.

While at CMU, he has also held positions as Director, Associate Director, and Assistant Director of University Recreation, and also served as the Interim Assistant Vice President for Institutional Diversity. Prior to CMU, Stan worked at Northern Illinois University and at Illinois State University.

Stan has also served as an adjunct instructor at CMU in the Department of Recreation, Parks and Leisure Administration, and the Department of Physical Education and Sport, and also spent several years broadcasting Division I football and basketball at CMU.

Stan has been an active and engaged member of the recreation/sports industry during his more than thirty year career. He has held several leadership positions including; Currently serving as the President of NIRSA: Leaders in Collegiate Recreation. He has been a member of the NIRSA Board of Directors, Region III Vice President; Member, NIRSA Foundation Board of Directors; Member, NIRSA Services Corporation Board of Directors; Board of Directors/Faculty, NIRSA School of Recreational Sports Management, the State Director for the Michigan Intramural Recreational Sports Association (MIRSA) and President of the Mid-American Conference Recreation Directors Association. He is an active conference/workshop presenter at the state, regional and national level, and has also worked as a professional consultant, conducting university recreation and student activities external program reviews for numerous institutions.

Stan has been the recipient of many professional association, community and university awards including; The NIRSA Region III Award of Merit; The NIRSA Horace J. Moody Student Development Award; The MIRSA Outstanding Member Award; The NIRSA Founders Outstanding Service Award; the NIRSA People of Color Distinguished Service Award, the United States Tennis Association (USTA) Tennis Ace Award, the CMU Recreation, Parks and Leisure Services Distinguished Service Award, Honorary Alumnus Award. CMU’s Service Excellence Award and the CMU Affirmative Action Award.

Stan is active in leadership roles in the community including; Special Olympics, United Way, and the American Red Cross (ARC), where he received the prestigious Clare Barton Award, the highest award given at the ARC local chapter level, and was also the recipient of the United Way Eagle Award. He also served as a high school sports official for more than twenty five years.

Stan is married to Dr. Rene’ (Revis), Shingles who is a professor of sports medicine/athletic training at CMU. Stan is honored that both his son Lamar and daughter in law Kori have chosen careers in college administration. Stan is the proud grandfather of a five-year-old grandson Jayden Alexander.