FREELAND, Mich. – The Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) announced that recent Saint Mary’s graduate Summer Stillson was selected as the 2020-21 honoree for the Tom Renner Associate SID Award in a joint announcement with the Robin Hartman Writing Award.
The Renner Award recognizes outstanding efforts by a student assistant in MIAA member schools’ Sports Information departments.
A four-year student intern in the sports information office, Stillson assisted in both office work and game day responsibilities during her time at Saint Mary’s. She served as an office intern, a game day worker, and a broadcaster in her position. As an intern, she worked on compiling historical information along with updating bios, website archives, scanning old documents, finding new facts, and gaining valuable information for the behind-the-scenes work that makes our day-to-day efforts easier. She facilitated and edited numerous video interviews while learning new editing software. During her senior year, she brainstormed and designed the Department’s annual Division III Week posters.
As a game day worker, Stillson was the public address announcer for basketball and filled numerous roles at a variety of sports. This spring, Stillson had opportunities to take the lead on tennis and golf contests and post-contest responsibilities. Additionally, she provided the first-ever play-by-play commentary for lacrosse and softball competitions amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in the Spring 2021 competitive season.
“In my 13 years as the Sports Information Director at Saint Mary’s, I have never had a student intern who has been as vital to the overall promotion and communication of our department as Summer Stillson has been,” said sports information director Sarah Miesle. “She was eager to do anything and everything we ever asked her to take on. She brought great knowledge as a first-year student and grew in every facet of what the sports information field encompasses. From office work to game days and everything in between, Summer has been an instrumental part of every student-athlete’s experience over her four years here and has made me better at my job in the process. She truly has earned this recognition.”
A native of Nappanee and a NorthWood High School grad, Stillson graduated from Saint Mary’s College with a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in finance. In addition to her position as a student intern, she competed as a member of the Saint Mary’s golf team.
Stillson is the first student assistant from Saint Mary’s to receive the award since it was established in 2008. Albion’s Sports Information Director Marissa Smego, meanwhile, received the Hartman Award. It is the fourth time in league history the awards have been swept by women.
Tom Renner served as Hope’s Sports Information Director for 47 years before stepping down from his position in 2013. For 41 years, Renner was also the MIAA publicist (1967-2008) and still serves as the league’s historian.