Interview with Stan Shingles, Class of 1982 and 1988


Stan Shingles



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Oral history interview with Illinois State University alum Stan Shingles, Class of 1982 and 1988. The interview was conducted via Zoom videoconferencing software on June 1, 2022, by then Alumni Engagement graduate assistant Emily Depperman. They discuss Shingles’ participation in Upward Bound, his journey to finding his major, and the faculty who advised him along the way.

Shingles begins by discussing his family background, emphasizing the influence of his older brothers, Darryl and Jeffrey, who attended Illinois State before him. He credits their experiences and exposure to college life with sparking his own aspirations for higher education, particularly through programs like Upward Bound. Shingles recounted his academic trajectory, initially enrolling as a business major but later transitioning to mass communication due to his passion for sports broadcasting. However, concerns about job prospects led him to explore recreation and parks administration, a decision that was solidified after a transformative meeting with Dr. Larry Belknap, who outlined the potential career opportunities in the field.

Reflecting on his life as a student, Shingles describes a typical day as filled with classes, recreational activities, and social engagements. He talks about his involvement in intramural sports and his residence hall community, where he was one of only five Black students on his floor. Shingles also discusses his participation in the Black Student Union and Brothers on Campus, which fostered a sense of belonging and provided valuable networking opportunities. Shingles emphasizes the enduring impact of his collegiate experiences, shaping his commitment to service and spurring ongoing engagement with Illinois State University as an alum. He underscores the significance of his upbringing in Lawndale and West Garfield, recognizing the formative role of his community in shaping his personal and professional identity.

Initially hesitant due to his mother's advice to focus solely on academics, Shingles eventually took up a job at the Linkins Center dish room alongside his brother Kevin. He recalls the strict but impactful supervision of Russell, a retired Army veteran. Transitioning from the dish room, Shingles then worked as an usher at Braden Auditorium, an experience that exposed him to notable events and performances, including those by headlining artists like Parliament and the Funkadelics, Lionel Richie, and the Charlie Daniels Band. He underlines the impact of these experiences in shaping his understanding of work ethic and responsibility. Shingles also highlights the influence of key figures like Director of Student Life and Programs Mike Schermer, whose booming voice and presence left a lasting impression on him.

Reflecting on his post-graduation journey, Shingles recounts his transition into professional life, initially working at Bloomington’s Kaleidoscope adolescent treatment facility and Western Avenue Community Center before returning to ISU for his master’s degree. He then took a position as coordinator of intramural sports at Northern Illinois University, followed by a job as director of recreation at Central Michigan University. He credits his experiences at ISU for shaping his career trajectory and fostering resilience in the face of challenges.

Interview Date



  • Introduction; decision to attend ISU: 00:00-01:53
  • Majoring in recreation and parks administration: 01:53-07:02; 17:12-18:02
  • A typical day as a student: 07:02-13:01
  • Black Student Union, Brothers on Campus, and Black Colleagues Association: 13:01-17:12
  • On-campus jobs: 18:02-22:53
  • Impactful events on campus: 22:53-25:50
  • Bloomington-Normal: 25:50-28:28
  • Changes to ISU since Shingles’ student days: 28:38-34:46
  • Reflecting on his journey; working as a sports announcer; 34:46-39:56
  • Post-graduation; work at community organizations; getting his master’s degree: 39:56-44:39
  • Returning to ISU on occasion; conclusion: 44:39-47:50


The transcript of this interview has been lightly edited in service of readability and to reflect the interviewee’s intentions.

Interview with Stan Shingles, Class of 1982 and 1988