University of Minnesota

Opening Invited Keynote

"From Exclusion to Leadership: What History and Research Tell Us about Women’s Continuing Achievements in Sports"

  • Don Sabo, Ph.D., Center for Research on Physical Activity, Sport & Health, D’Youville College, [BIO]

Invited Keynote Panel on Female Athletes in the Sport Media

"A Great Conversation with Sport Media Scholars"

  • Michael Messner, Ph.D., University of Southern California, [BIO]
  • Mary Jo Kane, Ph.D., Tucker Center Director, University of Minnesota, [BIO]
  • Margaret Carlisle Duncan, Ph.D. Professor emeritus University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee, [BIO]
  • Moderator: Cheryl Cooky, Ph.D., Purdue University, [BIO]

Working Lunch & Invited Panel

Groups Creating Change for Girls & Women in Sport

About the Invited Keynote Speaker, Panelists, and Moderator

Invited Keynote Speaker

Don SaboDon Sabo, Professor of Health Policy & Health Education at D'Youville College in Buffalo, New York, will give the opening keynote, "From Exclusion to Leadership: What History and Research Tell Us About Women's Continuing Achievements in Sports." Professor Sabo is considered one of the most important empirical researchers in the United States on girls and women in sport, especially as related to youth sports, gendered participation opportunities, and family and health correlates. Professor Sabo is author or editor of eight books, numerous peer reviewed articles, and several ground-breaking research reports including: The White House Project Report: Benchmarking Women's Leadership (2009); Go Out and Play: Youth Sports in America (2008); and Physical Activity and Sport in the Lives of Girls (1997). In addition to his scholarship he founded and directs the Center for Research on Physical Activity, Sport & Health and is currently a Senior Health Policy Advisor of the Women's Sports Foundation (WSF) where he also served as Research Director. In 2009 Sabo was bestowed the American Association of Physical Education, Health, Recreation and Dance (AAPEHRD) Scholar of the Year Award, and in 2010 the WSF honored him with the Darlene Kluka Women's Sports and Physical Activity Research Award.

Sabo's keynote will assert that women's interest and participation in sport are undergoing a major transformation in western societies. Gender and sex segregation no longer exclude women from sport, and the traditional equation, "sport = masculinity," is losing its cultural primacy. He will argue that not only is sport changing girls and women, but girls and women are also transforming sport. In this wider context, Professor Sabo will discuss an array of evidence-based research that documents the links between athletic participation and the physical and emotional health of girls and women. He will suggest that aspects of the fitness revolution, women's athletic achievements, and the erosion of traditional gender beliefs are giving rise to a new policy vision for sport as a public health asset rather than a social hierarchy that promotes winning at all costs and male dominance. Professor Sabo will also point to women's sports advocates, researchers from a wide array of disciplines, and women athletes who are playing key leadership roles in helping to create change.

Invited Keynote Panelists

Margaret Carlisle Duncan   Mary Jo Kane   Michael Messner
Margaret Carlisle
  Mary Jo Kane   Michael Messner

Margaret Carlilse Duncan is Professor Emeritus of the Department of Human Movement Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Professor Duncan has examined portrayals of female athletes and women's sports in the media, as well as media depictions of women's bodies and body practices. She has co-authored four sport media studies commissioned by the Amateur Athletic Foundation of Los Angeles (now called LA84). She is a former president of the North American Society for the Sociology of Sport (NASSS), and is a Fellow of the National Academy of Kinesiology—the highest academic honor in her field.

Mary Jo Kane is a Professor and Director of the Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport at the University of Minnesota. Professor Kane is an internationally recognized scholar who has published extensively on media representations of athletic females and is also considered one of the nation's leading experts on the social and political implications of Title IX. She is a Fellow in the National Academy of Kinesiology, and in 2004 received the Scholar of the Year Award from the Women's Sports Foundation. This award is given to individuals who make significant research contributions in the areas of women's sports and physical activity. In 2007, she was named one of the 100 Most Influential Sports Educators by the Institute for International Sport.

Michael A. Messner is a Professor of Sociology & Gender Studies at the University of Southern California. Professor Messner examines the social construction of gender in sport and has published several studies on gender and televised sports. He is author or editor of 11 books, and two-time winner of the NASSS book award for Taking the Field: Women, Men and Sports (2002) and It's All for the Kids: Gender, Families and Youth Sports (2009). He is a past President of NASSS and has served as a consultant to the California Women's Law Center relative to his work on Title IX. In 2007, he was named one of the 100 Most Influential Sports Educators by the Institute for International Sport.

Invited Moderator

Cheryl CookyCheryl Cooky is an Assistant Professor with a joint appointment in Health & Kinesiology and Women's Studies at Purdue University. She received her Ph.D. in Sociology and Gender Studies from the University of Southern California. Her research focuses on gender and sport participation and gender in sports media coverage. She has published in the Sociology of Sport Journal, Sociological Perspectives, and the Journal of Sport and Social Issues, as well as in several edited books and anthologies. Cooky is the co-author (along with Michael Messner) of the report, Gender in Televised Sport: News and Highlight Shows: 1989-2009, which has been downloaded over 3500 times in 48 states and 68 different countries. A rising star in sport sociology, in 2008 she was awarded the Dorothy Harris Women's Sports Foundation Dissertation Scholarship.