Kevin Singer, a doctoral student in the NC State College of Education’s higher education program, has received the 2019 Spirituality and Religion in Higher Education Research Award from the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA).
The award recognizes outstanding researchers for their efforts in equipping Student Affairs professionals with the knowledge and skills to navigate religious, secular and spiritualities identities in higher education.
The Interfaith Diversity Experiences and Attitudes Longitudinal Survey (IDEALS) is a collaboration between education researchers and the Interfaith Youth Core that observes undergraduate encounters with religious and worldview diversity on a national scale. The IDEALS research team recently released a new report “Best Practices for Interfaith Learning and Development in the First Year of College” that provides leaders in higher education and faculty members with resources and best practices for supporting first-year students in their spirituality and worldview curiosity.
“Kevin has made outstanding contributions to research on spirituality and religious diversity in higher education,” said Dr. Alyssa Rockenbach, Alumni Distinguished Graduate Professor of Higher Education at the NC State College of Education and Singer’s graduate advisor. “In particular, he has excelled at communicating findings to a wide audience through his public scholarship. National recognition of his work is a well-deserved honor!”
Singer’s work as a research associate on the Interfaith Diversity Experiences and Attitudes Longitudinal Survey (IDEALS) research team at the college, along with his work writing about trends in spirituality and religion in higher education earned him the national award.
“Working with IDEALS, I have had the opportunity to get my hands on rich quantitative data as well as travel the United States performing case studies at various colleges and universities,” he said. “What I’m most appreciative of are the opportunities I’ve had to grow along the way.”
After serving in Christian ministry for five years, Singer began teaching world religion at a community college. He then discovered the IDEALS project and set on a course to pursue a doctoral degree in Higher Education and Higher Education Administration that would enable him to provide everyday educators and administrators with greater exposure to the benefits of supporting their students’ spiritual quests.
“I’m ecstatic to receive this award because of my passion to write about trends in spirituality and religion in higher education,” he said. “I’m excited that the award might increase my visibility and credibility as a journalist and aspiring scholar.”