Stadium Managers Association Foundation


In 2006, the SMA Board of Directors approved the formation of a scholarship program. In response to that change, the Stadium Managers Association Foundation (SMAF) was created to provide annual scholarships to undergraduate or graduate students currently enrolled in a sport administration / management program. The Internal Revenue Service has determined the Foundation to be qualified as a 501 (c) (3) organization under the Internal Revenue Code and it qualifies for tax-exempt donations.

The mission of the SMA Foundation is simple: provide tuition assistance for educational purposes, special projects and programs that will facilitate the advancement and dissemination of knowledge in the field of stadium management and related fields.

2023 Recipients

Manikanta Madala, Ron Labinski Scholarship Recipient
Manikanta Madala, Ron Labinski Scholarship RecipientUniversity of South Carolina
Emily Bogdanowicz
Emily BogdanowiczUniversity of New Haven
Caleb Koellmer
Caleb KoellmerFlorida State University

Scholarship Information

The SMA Foundation Scholarship program strives to provide an opportunity for outstanding students enrolled in sports administration programs, with an emphasis on facility and/or event management to learn more about the profession through networking with leaders in the field in an educational, and informal setting.

There are a total of three scholarships awarded each year:

1. The Ron Labinski SMA Foundation Sports Scholarship – 1 awarded each year
2. Stadium Managers Association Foundation Scholarship – 2 awarded each year

Requirements to Apply:

  1. Completed a minimum of 2 years of study or be classified as a junior
  2. Full time status for the entire scholarship year
  3. Actively engaged in community service
  4. Stadium related work experience

Who was Ron Labinski?

The Stadium Managers Association and Foundation want to recognize Ron Labinski’s influence on the sports industry and his lasting contributions to stadium design. Ron is considered the forefather of the sports architecture industry and served as a mentor to many professionals and students. With a career spanning more than 40 years, Labinski introduced many revolutionary concepts to the sports business market. He developed the concept of club seating in the 1970s – an idea now standard in sports facility design. Ron’s legacy thrives in the stadiums he designed, and our goal was to recognize his additional contributions to the industry with a yearly tuition scholarship in his name.  

I was honored to receive a Stadium Managers Association scholarship for the 2017-2018 academic year. While this scholarship eased some of my financial worries for school, it also opened up many doors for within the sport industry. From this scholarship, I gained a one-year membership to SMA! This membership allowed me to have full access to all the great members, both stadium managers and sponsors, who are able to share their knowledge and experiences in the industry with me. Due to this scholarship, I was also more apt to apply for the internship program through SMA. I was selected as one of six interns who were able to attend the annual seminar and learn from these wonderful professionals.

Past Scholarship Recipients


Hongyoung Kim - University of New Mexico
Julia Snader - Slippery Rock University
Josie Schmidt - University of Massachusetts Amherst



Camille Cooper - Brigham Young University
Abass Suara - Bowling Green State University
Kylie Jensen - Brigham Young University



Caleb Striegel - Illinois State University
Alyssa Gross - University of Massachusetts Amherst
Jonah Martin - Slippery Rock University



Kevin Stryker - West Virginia University
Cameron Coe - Western New England University
Jonathan Paleka - Brigham Young University



Kimberly Schabowski - Michigan State University
Christian Seidler - University of Minnesota
Nicole Walen - Missouri Baptist University


MacKenzie King - Slippery Rock University
Jessica LaRoussa - Syracuse University
Keelee Armor - James Madison University


Scott Burk - Dixie State University
Shane Cummings - Florida Atlantic University
McKenzie Popatak - Slippery Rock University


Rachel Garrity - Elon University
Karissa Pendleton - Florida State University
Caroline Roche - University of South Carolina


David Neder - University of Alabama
Meryl Hershfield - Florida Atlantic University


Kathy Regaisis - University of New Haven
Blair Long - University of North Carolina - Pembroke


Rachel Coleman - University of Delaware
Philip Costa - Graduate Student
Scott Yogodzinski - Gonzaga University


Daniel R. Mullens - Chowan University
LaShae Ingram - San Jose University