News & Podcast
2022 Fall Tucker Center Newsletter
Hello and fall greetings from the Tucker Center and the Tucker Team.
As we roll off a busy summer filled with 50th anniversary of Title IX celebrations, the increasing success, investment, popularity and visibility of women’s sport is exciting to be a part of and to witness. I invite us all to remain committed to sustaining, growing, increasing visibility and participation, achieving equity and accelerating systems change for girls and women in sport. Let’s collaborate to fill the gaps, continue to celebrate our successes, and continue to strive together to create change, much work remains.
The Tucker Center is proud to be a global thought leader pertaining to girls and women in sport. Next year marks our own anniversary—in 2023 we celebrate 30 years! We look forward to sharing decades-worth of our accomplishments, the people that made it all possible, as well as some of our new initiatives. As we reflect on our 30 years, I am cognizant that good work happens with, and because of, good people.
In this newsletter you will read about some of our good people, including our graduate students and six Gender Equity Summer Interns. I have no doubt, these amazing NextGen women will take up the mantle of fighting for gender equity. In fact, interns from two different cohorts were both awarded Demand IX Fellowships this fall and will work together to demand schools are Title IX compliant. REad about them in Praise & Props. We have three important staff updates, you’ll read about two former summer interns—“The Anna’s”—Dr. Anna Posbergh, our new postdoctoral fellow, and Anna Goorevich our new doctoral student, who are rejoining the Tucker Team. In addition this fall, Dr. Courtney Boucher, former TC Research Assistant successfully defended her dissertation and has taken on a new role as the Tucker Center Assistant Director for Research and Programming. You’ll be hearing more from and about Dr. Boucher in future communications! The Tucker Team is growing to meet the demand for programming, outreach, data and knowledge regarding girls and women in sport.
With an expanded team, you’ll also read all about our recent and forthcoming Presentations and Publications as well as synergistic collaborative efforts between Tucker Teammates and Affiliated Scholars.
The fall marks our annual Distinguished Lecture Series which will be held virtually on October 25. With a strong, multidisciplinary, and diverse panel of experts, we’ll discuss the many ways sociocultural, legal and policy changes are affecting women in intercollegiate sport. For more information, learn about our panelists, and to register for this free event, read below, and click here.
I know you will enjoy reading about the Tucker Team, as much as I enjoy working with them! Keep track of all our news by following our social media channels at @TuckerCenter.
As always, give your grace, support others, and let the data tell the story.
Nicole M. LaVoi
Tucker Center Film Festival (TCFF)
The Tucker Center Film Festival (TCFF), the first of its kind to highlight women in sport films, celebrates and creates awareness for films and documentaries related to girls and women in sport. The 12th annual TCFF in 2022 will be in early February in conjunction with the annual celebration of National Girls and Women in Sports Day. Consistent with our mission to provide outreach and programming for the community, the TCFF is always free, open to the public, and family-friendly. Stay tuned for more information. If you would like to submit a film, contact Efrat Abadi [firstname.lastname@example.org].
Women Coaches Symposium (WCS)
The 9th annual Women Coaches Symposium (WCS) will be co-hosted with WeCOACH and take place on Friday, April 21st, 2023 at Huntington Bank Stadium on the U of M campus in the Twin Cities. The WCS provides educational programming, networking, and professional development for women coaches, administrators, and students of all sports and all levels. The WCS is a women-focused event, LGBTQI2S+ inclusive, and male allies who support women are welcome. The WCS is a collaboration between the Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport, WeCOACH, and University of Minnesota Athletics. You can support the WCS by contributing to the Tucker Center’s Women in Sport Leadership Fund and the Jean K. Freeman Endowment. If you are interested in speaking, being a sponsor, or hosting a vendor table contact Dr. Courtney Boucher [email@example.com].
Tucker Center Talks (TCT) enters its fourth season on a new hosting platform, Anchor. TCT features interviews and discussions on timely critiques, the latest research, and dialogue around girls and women in sport. Check out the episode featuring the 2022 Gender Equity Summer Interns where they talked about what they learned and what they want future summer interns to know! Tune in to listen to all episodes of the Tucker Center Talks where we amplify the voices of girls and women and let the data tell the story!
This summer, the Tucker Center welcomed six women from across the US, who differed in stages of academic, professional, and personal development, to be a part of our Gender Equity Summer Internship.. The internship is intentionally structured to span across the educational spectrum, composed of high school, undergraduate, and graduate students. With diverse backgrounds, they shared a passion for amplifying the mission of the Tucker Center. Interns worked collaboratively on gender equity-related research projects.One meaningful aspect of our internship is incorporating a variety of public scholarship and professional development activities in addition to guest speakers, many of whom are alumni of the Tucker Team and internship program. Alums provided valuable and diverse insights into career development and pathways. The peer-mentorship structure provided opportunities for returning team members to mentor newcomers and to develop their own leadership skills. Former TC research assistant, two-time summer intern, and our 2022 Pam Borton Fellow for Girls & Women in Sport Leadership Hannah Silva-Breen is a good example of our peer model.Hannah is currently doctoral student in Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology and masters student in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at the West Virginia University. Shereflected on her opportunity to not only contribute to the Tucker Center’s mission through research but also to help lead this incredible group of interns. Silva-Breen stated, “My time in the Tucker Center provided me with invaluable experiences not only learning about research, but gaining confidence in my leadership abilities. The team made it easy to show up to work every day motivated! Mentoring the interns also made me hopeful for the future and next generation.” School of Kinesiology doctoral students and research assistants Efrat Abadi and Courtney Boucher also took on leadership roles this summer as returning research assistants.
Here is what the interns had to say about their experiences.
First, we welcomed two high-school interns —Saira Nagda and two-time summer intern Mahi Jariwala—who provided valuable youth perspectives to the team. Jariwala stated, “The Tucker Center is one of the most empowering spaces I have ever been in. They are at the forefront of research for girls and women in sports and continue to create systems change within the industry. I am so excited to use all the skills I learned in research, outreach, and advocacy at the Tucker Center in all aspects of my life."
Undergraduate students and current collegiate field hockey players, Gina Caravaglia and Arla Davis also reflected on their summer experiences. One of the biggest takeaways for current Ball State senior Caravaglia was that “research requires a ‘bend not break’ mentality. Research is not a linear process from start to finish, and you have to be flexible, persistent, and willing to problem-solve when unexpected issues arise.” Davis, a current Ithaca College senior, said it best when she stated, “The Tucker Center Internship holds so much value for both professional and personal growth. While I gained skills that will benefit me in my future career, I also learned so much about myself as an individual on a personal level and saw my passion for women’s sports grow. More importantly, though, I had the opportunity to work with an incredible group of women who I am so grateful to have met because of the Tucker Center. I loved getting to know all of the interns and am thankful to know I will have them as peers for life.” Davis will continue the mission of the Tucker Center as she completes the WomenX Demand IX Fellowship this fall.
Nicole Johnson and Johanna Glaaser, master’s students, rounded out the intern team. Johnson, a University of Denver masters student in International Human Rights with a concentration in international sport, talked about her summer research experience, saying, “I think the Tucker Center’s internship program is hugely beneficial to anyone looking for a foundational education in sport research. The internship curriculum features frequent lessons on the basics of qualitative and quantitative research alongside informational meetings with alumni of the Tucker Center, providing interns with a network of sports researchers and professionals.” We’re excited to have 2022 summer intern and current University of Minnesota Cognitive Science master student, Glaaser in the Tucker Center during the 2022-23 school year to continue the work she accomplished over the summer. Glasser stated the summer internship was “invaluable in creating a network of allies for women in sport across the country, age groups, and professional levels. It also…reinforced my confidence in our ability to make meaningful change.”
(L to R, T to B) Gina Caravaglia, Arla Davis, Johanna Glaaser, Mahi Jariwala, Nicole Johnson, and Saira Nagda
You can read more about our summer 2022 class of TC interns here. You can also listen to the interns discuss their experiences, research, and projects with TC director Dr. Nicole M. LaVoi on our podcast, Tucker Center Talks.
Keep your eye out for these remarkable young women—they have the potential to make a real difference for girls and women in sport!
Applications for summer 2023 will be accepted through March 15, 2023. Send applications to Dr. Courtney Boucher, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The summer internship program was established in 2008 and invigorated with a generous 2013 gift from the Live to Give Foundation honoring the Tucker Center's 20th anniversary.
Dr. Anna Posbergh first joined the Tucker Team as a Gender Equity Summer Intern during the summer of 2015. After graduating summa cum laude from the University of Minnesota in English with minors in Mathematics and Kinesiology (2016), she completed her Master of Arts at Carnegie Mellon University in Literary and Cultural Studies in May 2017. She successfully defended her dissertation at University of Maryland in College Park in May 2022 in Kinesiology, specializing in Physical Cultural Studies. In her dissertation she examined how multiple protective policies (i.e., regulatory documents that seek to ensure the safety and health of women, defend “fair competition” in women’s sports, and/or prevent women from violating social and medical boundaries that identify them as women) are created and implemented in elite women’s sports. Using policy texts and semi-structured interviews with policy authors, scientists, and other relevant administrators, she found that protective policies are developed through contentious, messy, and complex processes that selectively draw from sociocultural and scientific knowledges to determine who qualifies as a “woman,” who is considered in need of “protection,” and how protection is enforced. She rejoins the Tucker Team as a President’s Postdoctoral Fellow this fall. Director LaVoi stated, “We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Posbergh back to the Tucker Team as our first-ever postdoc! Her area of expertise and insight is within an area of inquiry that is highly relevant and timely.”
The decision to return to her alma mater and rejoin the Tucker Team was, as she puts it, a joyful and obvious decision: “I wanted to be a part of a collaborative, research-driven, impactful, and highly respected research team and center for my next career stage. I was thrilled and honored to receive the Presidential Postdoctoral Fellowship in the School of Kinesiology at Minnesota, with the Tucker Center! I am looking forward to continuing to conduct research that matters and makes a difference, as well as creating and further developing meaningful and productive feminist collaborations and friendships with the Tucker Team, faculty and researchers at the University of Minnesota, and TC affiliated scholars.”
Anna Goorevich has returned to the Tucker Center full-time this fall as a Research Assistant and first-year doctoral student in Kinesiology with a specialization in sport sociology. Anna first joined the Tucker Center in Summer 2021, where she was a part of our largest cohort of Gender Equity Summer Interns. Originally from Gaithersburg, Maryland, Anna moved to Minneapolis from Stirling, Scotland, where she served as the 2021-22 US-UK Fulbright Postgraduate Scholar in Health, Well-being, and Sport at the University of Stirling where she earned a Masters degree in Sport Management. Prior to her Fulbright year, Anna graduated from Franklin & Marshall College (‘21), with a Bachelor's degree in American Studies, where she also played soccer.
Anna has a variety of research interests, all of which contribute to the Tucker Center’s mission of accelerating systems change to improve sporting environments for women and girls. Generally, Anna is interested in researching the intersections between sport, gender, and social justice as well as the gendered nature of coaching, gender equity in coaching and athletic leadership roles, menstruation and sport, and transgender athlete inclusion. For her undergraduate honors thesis, Anna studied gender essentialism in coaching, specifically utilizing a case study of University of North Carolina women’s soccer coach Anson Dorrance’s coaching methodologies as an example of how coach perceptions of coaching girls and women may promote gender stereotypes, heteronormativity, and even abuse. While at the University of Stirling, Anna’s research focused on athlete experiences with menstruation. In particular, this study examined coach-athlete relationships around menstruation and investigated what athletes wanted coaches to know about menstruation, which is a highly relevant yet under-researched and under-taught area in sport coaching. In her thesis, Goorevich proposed a model of gender-responsive coaching around menstruation that can help coaches and sport organizations better support menstruating athletes’ performance and well-being. During her time in Scotland, Anna collaborated with both Director LaVoi, as well as Tucker Center alum and current Director of Research at Athlete Ally Dr. Anna Baeth. Read about their collaborative work in the Presentations and Publications section of this newsletter.
Outside of the Tucker Center, Anna enjoys playing soccer, cheering on the Washington Spirit, and following all things NWSL and women’s soccer. Anna also has experience coaching soccer, most recently in Scotland where she helped lead a UEFA Playmakers soccer program for girls aged 5-8.
Anna is extremely excited to be joining the Tucker Team full time and will be supporting the Tucker Center’s research agenda on various projects. She is passionate about creating a more inclusive and empowering sport environment and believes that the Tucker Center is the perfect place to create impactful, positive change in the sport industry. She is honored to be a part of the research team that has been a source of inspiration for her for so many years. Director LaVoi stated, “Our internship program has become a great recruitment tool for our graduate program and the Tucker Team. We are fortunate Anna decided to choose us as she has much to offer and we know she has a bright future ahead.”
- In June for the 50th anniversary of Title IX we released the 10th anniversary of our hallmark Women in College Coaching Report Card™. To see the full report click here: Head coaches of women's collegiate teams: A comprehensive report on NCAA Division-I institutions, 2021-22 (Silva-Breen, LaVoi, & Boucher, 2022).
- LaVoi and former Masters student and TC Research Assistant Hannah Silva-Breen published an article in the Journal of Intercollegiate Sport, “Longitudinal Analysis of Head Coach Turnover of Women’s NCAA D-I Teams.” The article examines the longitudinal employee turnover patterns within the Women in College Coaching Report Card.
- Former TC Research Assistant Dr. Anna Baeth and Goorevich wrote a chapter for the forthcoming Justice for Trans Athletes: Challenges and Struggles [Greey & Lenskyj (Eds.)] titled Mediated Moral Panics: Trans Athletes as Spectres, Politicians as Protectors, and Farces of Fear. Baeth and Goorevich also wrote a piece for Engaging Sports titled “How U.S. Politicians are Using Moral Panics to Sideline Trans Athletes.”
- Many members of the Tucker Team have written chapters for the forthcoming Handbook on Gender and Diversity in Sport Management [Knoppers & Markuula (Eds.)].
- LaVoi & Goorevich wrote a chapter titled Refuting Gender Essentialism in Sports Coaching.
- Posbergh wrote a chapter titled Oppositional discourse and transgender athletes: Balancing, inclusion, fairness, and binaries in transgender eligibility sport policies.
- Antunovic co-authored a chapter with Annika Olson (UMN Sport Management, ‘21) titled Gender and Diversity in Mediated Sport Marketing: Using “Old” and “New” Media.
- Antunovic and LaVoi co-authored a chapter titled Media Coverage of Women’s Sport in the forthcoming Women in Media: A Reference Handbook published by ABC-CLIO.
- President’s postdoctoral fellow Dr. Anna Posbergh, along with Dr. Sheree Bekker from the University of Bath and Dr. Ryan Storr from Swinburne University of Technology, were invited to write an editorial for the British Journal from Sports Medicine on the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) new framework on fairness, inclusion, and non-discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sex variations, titled “Inclusion, fairness and non-discrimination in sports: A wider lens.”
- Posbergh also wrote a chapter for the recently released Routledge Handbook of Gender Politics in Sport and Physical Activity [Molnár & Bullingham (Eds.)] titled “Sex integration and the potential of track-and-field: A new norm.”
- ICYMI check out our popular report: DisruptHERS: Driving A New Model for Women's Sport.
- In June 2022, Anna Goorevich joined Drs. Sarah Zipp, Sasha Sutherland, and Lilamani De Soysa in Lausanne, Switzerland to present Power to Play, Period, a coach education program focused on tackling mansrutation stigmas and helping coaching and sport organizations better support menstruating athletes. The team presented their research and coach education program to officials at the Maison du Sport International, FIBA, and the IOC.
- In August 2022, Antunovic participated at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) conference where she presented a research paper titled “‘To build a more just society’: WNBA teams’ uses of digital platforms for advocacy and community relations” co-authored with a team of Tucker Center scholars, including LaVoi and external affiliated scholars Ann Pegoraro, Ceyda Mumcu, Katie Lebel and Nancy Lough. Kim Soltis, former Tucker Center research assistant, contributed to the project. Antunovic also organized and moderated a panel titled “What does ‘gender equality’ mean for sports media? Discourses, research directions, and practical implications.”
- Director LaVoi was in Tokyo, Japan in early September for the annual Japanese Women Leaders and Coaches Academy run by TC affiliated scholar Dr. Etsuko Ogasawara, Director of the Japanese Center for Research on Women in Sport.
- Goorevich participated on a virtual panel for Women in Soccer, a networking organization for women’s soccer coaches, athletes, and fans, entitled Coffee & Progress: Activism in Soccer where she discussed pay equity and inclusive practices at the club and community sport level.
- LaVoi, Antunovic, and Goorevich will present in separate sessions at the 8th IWG World Conference on Women & Sport in Auckland, New Zealand, held November 14-17, 2022.
- LaVoi will present at the I Coach Kids conference in Frankfurt, Germany November 18, 2022 about a new online coaching education program to launch in March 2023. Stay tuned!
- In November 2022 at the annual conference of the North American Society for the Sociology of Sport (NASSS), Posbergh will moderate a panel on the governance of women athletes, as well as present and co-present with Dr. Sheree Bekker in their co-chaired session on “The malleability of ‘sex’ in sport, sports organizations, and policy.” Antunovic and external affiliated scholar Cheryl Cooky will participate in an Author-Meets-Critic session for their book titled Serving Equality: Feminism, Media, and Women’s Sports.
- Maxine Simons, 2021 Tucker Center Gender Equity Summer Intern and Tucker Center Undergraduate Research Assistant, and Arla Davis, 2022 Tucker Center Gender Equity Summer Intern, were separately awarded a WomenX Demand IX Fellowship this fall. WomenX educates and empowers the next generation of women leaders by curating educational programs from the women’s lens. Simons and Davis will have the opportunity to further learn about Title IX's impact and legacy as well as to work collaboratively in a cohort of other student leaders, 19 incredible young women from 12 different colleges in 9 different states, on initiatives to spread Title IX's message on campuses. On Thursday September 15th, Demand IX launches the National Student Month of Action in order to coordinate efforts to empower young people to take a leading role in demanding that their schools are Title IX compliant and ensure equity, fairness, access, and accountability for all students, regardless of gender. Demand IX has provided a digital media toolkit to assist students in their Title IX activism. For those interested in learning more and contributing to the demand for Title IX compliance in higher education, you can sign the Demand IX pledge here.
- Dr. Courtney Boucher, former TC Research Assistant and three-time Borton Fellow for Women in Sport Leadership, defended her dissertation titled “Accelerating Systems Change for NCAA Women Sport Coaches: A Multi-Study Perspective”. Boucher took a three-study approach to her line of inquiry which focused on how hiring practices and organizational culture affect collegiate women sport coaches.
- LaVoi will be given the Making a Difference Award and inducted into her alma mater, Gustavus Adolphus College, Athletics Hall of Fame on October 29, 2022. LaVoi is also serving a term on the Gustavus Board of Trustees.
October 25, 2022
6:00-7:30 pm CT
This event is free and open to the public.
About the Panel
Fifty years after the passing of Title IX— the 1972 landmark civil rights law—the landscape of intercollegiate athletics for women has changed dramatically. This panel of multidisciplinary scholars will discuss the accomplishments of Title IX as well as the injustices, unevenness, and structural inequalities that persist, and what the next 50 years might look like for women in college athletics. In addition, panelists will offer scholarly insights into many current sociocultural, political, legal, and policy changes, how the media covers these issues, and the impact on women in US college sports and beyond.
About the Panelists
Erin Buzuvis, J.D., is the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and a Professor of Law at Western New England University in Springfield, Massachusetts. She researches and writes about gender and discrimination in sports and her publications have appeared in numerous law reviews and other journals. She has been quoted in such media outlets the New York Times, NPR, and Sports Illustrated. Dean Buzuvis also teaches courses on administrative law, employment discrimination, Title IX, torts and property.
Dr. Victoria Jackson is a sports historian at Arizona State University. Jackson writes and speaks about the intersection of sport and society, exploring how the games we play (and watch) tell us much about the communities – local, national, and global – in which we live. Her writing has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Slate, Letras Libres (Mexico), El Universal (Mexico), Epoca (Brazil), The Independent (UK), The Athletic, and Sportico. Jackson has appeared on 60 Minutes to discuss American college sports and is a frequent podcast, radio, TV, and documentary film commentator. She brings a historian's eye to the project of designing future sports systems that are inclusive, equitable, and just. Jackson is also a former NCAA national champion and retired professional runner, and she would like for her ASU school record in the 5,000 meters to be broken as soon as possible.
Dr. Ajhanai "AJ" Keaton studies how race and gender (in)equity shapes organizational structures, norms, and experiences. Keaton’s scholarship is interdisciplinary, as her examination of sport phenomena intersects with management, higher education, and sociological communities. As an interdisciplinary scholar, she has published in the following peer-reviewed academic outlets: Journal of Negro of Education, Journal of Issues in Intercollegiate Athletics, and Journal of Sport Management to name a few. Her academic work is informed by the theoretical prescriptions of Black feminism, institutional theory, and critical theory.
Dr. Elizabeth (Libby) Sharrow (they/she; M.P.P.; Ph.D. Political Science) is Associate Professor of Public Policy and History at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. They specialize in the gendered politics of public policy and how policy has shaped intersectional meanings of sex, race, sexuality, disability, and class in U.S. politics over the past fifty years. Dr. Sharrow is published in multiple peer-reviewed and public forums on the politics of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, LGBTQ+ politics, the politics of the family, gender and race in U.S. politics, and the politics of college athletics. Her book with James Druckman, Equality Unfulfilled (forthcoming with Cambridge University Press), explores the politics of policy coalitions organizing for gender equality in sport. She was recently awarded the 2021 Best Article Published in Politics, Groups, and Identities from the Western Political Science Association and the 2022 Best Paper in Education Policy and Politics Award from the American Political Science Association, for two papers on the history and impacts of Title IX. They are co-Principal Investigator on the National Science Foundation ADVANCE-funded, $1million grant, “MeTooPoliSci: Leveraging a Professional Association to Address Sexual Harassment in Political Science.” For this work, she and her collaborators received the 2019 Jane Mansbridge Award from the Women’s Caucus for Political Science. Their scholarship is also funded by the Social Science Research Council, the American Association of University Women, the American Political Science Association, the Myra Sadker Foundation, and the National Collegiate Athletic Association, among other funders. She is currently working to complete a second book on the political history of Title IX, and several papers on the politics of trans sports participation.
Dr. Erin Whiteside is associate professor of Journalism & Electronic Media at the University of Tennessee. Her research uses a feminist approach to understand sports media practices, including the experiences of women working in sports media, as well as media coverage of women’s sports, and other topics central to the experience of girls and women in sports. Before entering academia, Dr. Whiteside was a publications editor for Major League Baseball, and an athletics communications director for Penn State University. She is the author of numerous articles appearing in a variety of publications, including Communication & Sport, Journalism, Mass Communication & Society, and the International Journal of Communication and Sport. Her recent work has focused on sports media practices and Title IX.