Tucker Center Newsletter - 2009 Fall
Staff Updates: Austin Stair Calhoun
Austin Stair Calhoun joined the Tucker Center in the fall of 2008 as a Research Assistant under the guidance of her academic adviser, Mary Jo Kane. Currently, Calhoun is a second-year doctoral student and Instructional Technology Fellow in the School of Kinesiology. In 2003, Calhoun earned a B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication from Washington and Lee University. She served as a Summer Intern for U.S.A. Water Polo at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs before receiving her Master’s degree in Sport Administration from the University of Miami in 2006. She then returned to her alma mater, Washington and Lee, to serve as Assistant Sports Information Director before coming to the Tucker Center to begin her doctoral work. In addition to her academic background, Calhoun has amassed a great deal of "real world" knowledge beginning with her experiences as a D-III basketball player as well as her unsurpassed technology skills. In the latter instance, Calhoun’s social media savvy greatly enhances the work of the Tucker Center. For example, due to her efforts the Tucker Center now has a Facebook page and regularly updates its Twitter stream.
It would be an understatement to say that Calhoun "hit the ground running" when she arrived at the U of M last fall. Her interests in sports information, media studies, and gender led her to initiate two research studies. The first investigation—conducted with Dr. Nicole LaVoi—examines the online biographies of intercollegiate head coaches to determine if patterns of gender representations documented in traditional sport media are challenged or reproduced throughout the vast Internet landscape. The second investigation—"Examining Elite Sport Representations in Social Networks: Conceptualizing Twitter"—is a collaborative effort with fellow doctoral student Emily Houghton. (You can learn more about this cutting-edge social media study at Research Updates.) A self-proclaimed "nerd," Calhoun’s work ethic, creativity, critical thinking, collaborative spirit, and dedication to examining gender issues in women’s sports make her an invaluable and exceptional member of The Tucker Team.