Category Archives: Tucker Center

Christian Science Monitor quotes LaVoi on women coaches

Nicole M. LaVoi, Ph.D., Kinesiology senior lecturer and co-director of the Tucker Center, is quoted in a Christian Science Monitor piece, “Why there’s been a big drop in women coaches under Title IX” on the phenomena and its logical outcome.

 

Tucker Center benefactor, Dr. Dorothy McNeill Tucker, passes away

portrait image of Dorothy McNeill TuckerWe have recently learned of the passing of Dr. Dorothy McNeill Tucker, our founder and benefactor. The Tucker Center was established in 1993 due to her incredible and ongoing support and generosity. Dr. Tucker graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1945, majoring in Recreation Leadership. She went on to earn a doctorate in Counseling Pyschology at UCLA. As a pioneer in many aspects of her life, Dr. Tucker became the first woman to be tenured as a faculty member at California State Polytechnic University in Pomona.

“I am sure I have received more from the gift than has the University. The joy of giving is increased tremendously when you can see how your gift is being used during your lifetime.”
— Dr. Dorothy McNeill Tucker (December, 1996)

Because of her vision and commitment, the Tucker Center has conducted groundbreaking research and mentored the “best and the brightest” students from around the world who have come to the U of M to do their own research at the Tucker Center.

We have shared our research and educational initiatives with scholars, educators, policymakers, parents, administrators and female athletes. Dr. Tucker’s vision became a reality and, as a result, she truly made a difference in the lives of countless young girls and women, their families and communities.

Dr. Tucker’s contributions and commitments to the University of Minnesota extended beyond her support of the Tucker Center. She served with distinction for 12 years on the U of M Foundation’s Board of Trustees, and in 2006, she was named one of the 100 Most Distinguished Alumni of the College of Education and Human Development.

“Dr. Tucker’s commitment to and passion for the Tucker Center were unparalleled. We are able to achieve our goals and fulfill our mission because of her generous financial support and pioneering spirit. On behalf of every member of the Tucker Team, all of our Affiliated Scholars at the U of M and around the globe, as well as our current and former students, we are forever in her debt. Rest in peace, Dr. Tucker.”
— Professor Mary Jo Kane, Director

“I and so many others will be forever grateful to the vision and commitment of Dr. Tucker and for her founding gift to make the Tucker Center a reality. Her gift is an example of how one individual can truly have a remarkable impact, and the Tucker Team is privileged to carry on her legacy in making a difference in the lives of girls and women in sport.”
— Dr. Nicole M. LaVoi, Co-Director

“The School of Kinesiology is incredibly grateful for Dr. Tucker’s support of the Tucker Center.  Her tremendous gifts to the Tucker Center have been instrumental for conducting important research and community outreach on girls and women in sport.  I look forward to seeing the Tucker Center continue its great work for decades to come thanks to Dr. Tucker’s support.”
— Professor Beth Lewis, Director of the School of Kinesiology

 

The Sportsman article quotes LaVoi on starting athletes at a young age

Nicole M. LaVoi, Ph.D., Kinesiology senior lecturer and co-director of the Tucker Center, is quoted in an article in The Sportsman, “How Other Sports Have Elevated Roger Federer And Rafael Nadal To The Top Of Their Game.” LaVoi speaks briefly on the efficacy of starting players at a young age.

LaVoi quoted on women coaches in collegiate sports in Online Athens

Nicole LaVoi, Ph.D., Kinesiology senior lecturer and co-director of the Tucker Center, was quoted in an article in Online Athens discussing the South Carolina women’s basketball team, coached by Dawn Staley, which won this year’s national championship. “Female coaches are underrepresented in the power five,” she commented.  “That number has been very stagnant over the last 12 years.”

LaVoi went on to describe the challenges women coaches face in a field dominated by men in the Southeastern Conference and elsewhere.  Read the full article here.

 

 

LaVoi quoted in article on female coaches for The Atlantic

Nicole M. LaVoi, Ph.D., Kinesiology lecturer and co-director of the Tucker Center, was quoted in an online article in The Atlantic, “The Field Where Men Still Call the Shots,” on the reasoning behind the lack of female coaches in youth sports making lasting impressions on boys and girls.

The article discusses the decline of female coaches in both collegiate and youth sports, and how their absence affects youth that are involved. LaVoi is specifically quoted about research that has found that girls who are coached by men were less likely to pursue coaching careers than those led by women, saying, “When you only see men in positions of power, you conclude ‘sports are not for me.'” LaVoi organized and was a speaker at the 2017 Women Coaches Symposium.

 

 

Tucker Center Title IX anniversary report cited in Diverse: Issues in Higher Education

The recent study, Gender, Race & LGBT Inclusion of Head Coaches of Women’s Teams: A Report on Select NCAA Division I Conferences for the 45th Anniversary of Title IX, June 2017, co-produced by LGBT SportSafe, The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES) at the University of Central Florida, and the Tucker Center, was cited June 16 in the  publication Diverse: Issues in Higher Education. The article, Women of Color Remain Invisible in Leading College Athletics, discusses the ongoing issue of the lack of diversity, particularly for women of color, in coaching college sports.

“A recent study of the eight major American collegiate sports conferences revealed that 88 percent of head coaches of women’s college teams are White and 57 percent are male,” the article points out. “For the NCAA athletic directors, this number is even more dismal as there are more than 1,200 collegiate schools across the nation.”

 

 

Moehnke noted in The Katy News as scholarship recipient

Hailee Moehnke, a graduate student in the School of Kinesiology and a recent recipient of the Edith Mueller Endowed Fund for Graduate Education in the Tucker Center scholarship, was noted in her hometown newspaper, The Katy News, of Katy, Texas.

Moehnke, who is advised by Professor Maureen R. Weiss, is pursuing her Masters of Science in Kinesiology, with an emphasis in Sport and Exercise Psychology. Her research focus is in Positive Youth Development, and she is interested in learning how participation in sport and physical activity affects youth psychological and social maturity.

The fund, administered by the Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport, is used to support graduate education, including for graduate assistantships, research support, travel to conferences, and equipment.

LaVoi quoted on reasons for bias in hiring women soccer coaches

In the past, high school and college women’s soccer teams were coached overwhelmingly  by women. After Title IX was passed in 1972 and women’s sports began attaining greater support and prestige, more men became interested in coaching women’s sports teams. Their numbers grew dramatically while women coaches’ numbers declined.  Nicole LaVoi, Ph.D., Kinesiology lecturer and co-director of the Tucker Center, was quoted in an online article in SBNation, “Soccer’s ugly sexism is keeping women from coaching the beautiful game,” on reasons for the bias in hiring. Lavoi gave a presentation on women coaches in soccer at the 2017 NSCAA convention last January.

 

Kane quoted in Newsday article comparing women athletes to male athletes

Dr. Mary Jo KaneA June 27 article in Newsday ,“Female athletes don’t have to beat men to be the best in their sport”, discusses tennis star John McEnroe comparing world-class talent Serena Williams with male players. He called her the greatest woman to play tennis, “but if she had to just play… the men’s circuit that would be an entirely different story.”

In the article, Mary Jo Kane, Ph.D., School of Kinesiology professor and co-director of the Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport, weighs in on the prevalence of comparing women athletes to male counterparts. “The broad issue is why can’t great female athletes simply be great without the constant comparison to men?” she says in the article. ““When North Carolina wins the NCAA Tournament, people don’t demand they go beat Cleveland or the Golden State Warriors. In boxing, you don’t ask the middleweight champion to beat the heavyweight.” When we compare men to women, she says, “it takes away from their greatness. They aren’t allowed to be great on their own.”

Tucker Center report cited in ESPN online

image of report coverIn an online article, “Study: Majority of women’s college coaches are white, male,” ESPN.com cited the Tucker Center’s  new report, “Gender, Race & LGBT Inclusion of Head Coaches of Women’s Team.” The article provides a summary look at the numbers from the report, produced in honor of the 45th anniversary of Title IX and in partnership with LGBT SportSafe and The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES) at the University of Central Florida.

Tucker Center releases report honoring 45th anniversary of Title IX

image of report coverThe Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport has released a report, “Gender, Race & LGBT Inclusion of Head Coaches of Women’s Teams: A Report on Select NCAA Division I Conferences for the 45th Anniversary of Title IX,” in honor of the 45th anniversary of Title IX. This special report is a partnership among LGBT SportSafe, The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES) at the University of Central Florida, and the Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport at the University of Minnesota.

Race and gender data for head coaches of women’s teams were collected for eight select NCAA Division I conferences including: American Athletic Conference (AAC), Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, the Ivy League, Pacific-12 (Pac-12), and Southeastern Conference (SEC). The conferences selected for this study were chosen to include the “Power 5” (ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12, SEC). Conferences were assigned a grade for race, a separate grade for gender, and recognition was included for LGBT inclusion practices at the institutional and conference level.

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Lewis’s research cited in Reuters feature on benefits of exercise on postpartum depression

Beth Lewis, Ph.D., professor in the School of Kinesiology with a research focus on behavioral aspects of physical activity, was recently cited in a story published by Reuters.  The Health News feature, titled “Exercise may stave off postpartum depression,” discussed an article recently published by researchers from Spain and Chile. Their findings align with Lewis’s research outcome that regular, low-intensity exercise has a positive effect on postpartum depression.

The study authors didn’t draw conclusions or provide recommendations about the type or length of exercise that would be most beneficial, but suggested that future studies should include more data about the types of physical activity programs that could reduce depression.

Lewis and her colleagues currently are conducting a randomized trial that analyzes home-based exercise and home-based wellness programs among 450 mothers with a history of depression. In another study, they’re analyzing exercise programs among low-income women at risk for postpartum depression.

“Exercise is often the first thing that gets crossed off the list when there’s a new baby,” Lewis said in the article. “It’s important to take care of yourself through exercise to keep that wellbeing high.”

The story also appeared on the English language media outlet, Channel NewsAsia, based in Singapore.

 

 

 

Media microaggressions against female athletes, female athletes of color, show increase

An online article in Phys.org reveals that microaggressions against female athletes in the media increased by nearly 40 percent from the 2012 Summer Olympic Games to the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.

Female athletes have a history of experiencing microaggressions, such as racism, sexism, the belittling of athletic accomplishments and being the brunt of sexual jokes. Researchers at the University of Missouri School of Journalism also report that  Cynthia Frisby, an associate professor of strategic communication at Mizzou, found evidence of increased microaggressions against female athletes of color compared to white athletes.

Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-06-media-microaggressions-female-olympic-athletes.html#jCp

Lavoi interviewed on Way of Champions podcast

Nicole LaVoi, Ph.D., lecturer in the School of Kinesiology and co-director of the Tucker Center for Research on Girls and Women in Sport, is featured in a Way of Champions podcast, in which she discusses a variety of issues, including women in sport leadership, women in coaching, kids’ participation in sports, “background anger,” and the connection between winning at sports and character development. Listen here.

Women Coaches Report cited in article on UM Duluth gay coach lawsuit

Data from the Tucker Center’sWomen Coaches Report Card Series,” authored by Tucker Center co-director and School of Kinesiology senior lecturer Nicole M. LaVoi, Ph.D., was cited in a Grand Forks Herald article, “Gay coaches counter University of Minnesota Duluth’s claims in $18 million lawsuit.” UMD’s Director of Marketing and Public Relations noted UMD’s “A grade” for the percentage of women’s teams with female head coaches.

Thul’s research quoted in Deadspin article “The Full-Court Pressure of the Somali-American Sportswoman”

The latest posting of online publication Deadspin includes an article, “The Full-Court Pressure of the Somali-American Sportswoman,” which explores the challenges Somali women face in participating in sports and physical activity through the lens of the Somali-American community in Minneapolis.  The research of School of Kinesiology lecturer Chelsey Thul, Ph.D., is discussed extensively, and Thul; Cawo Abdi, Ph.D., associate professor of sociology at the U of M; Sarah Hopkins, head coach of U of M women’s cross country; and Muna Mohamed, Kinesiology master’s student and research assistant, are quoted.

Tucker Center’s “Media Coverage and Female Athletes” video rebroadcast

Media Coverage and Female Athletes
Media Coverage & Female Athletes

The Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport is proud to announce several new airings of the video in May of 2017 of its groundbreaking video, “Media Coverage and Female Athletes.”

tpt MN Channel 2.2
Friday, May 12, 2017 at 5:00 AM
Friday, May 12, 2017 at 11:00 PM

The video builds on a research-based examination of the amount and type of coverage given to female athletes with commentary from expert scholars and award winning coaches and athletes who discuss this timely issue from a variety of perspectives as they help dispel the common—but untrue—myths that “sex sells” women’s sport, and no one is interested in it anyway. Effective strategies for increasing media coverage and creating images which reflect the reality of women’s sports participation and why this is so important are also discussed.

To view the entire program online now, click here. For more information on upcoming broadcasts, click here.

Tucker Center research cited in article on Meyer case at Iowa

The Tucker Center’s Women Coaches Report research series is cited in a Cedar Rapids Gazette article, “After Jane Meyer verdict, UI orders review of employment practices.” Meyer, a former senior Associate Athletics Director, had filed a gender and sexual orientation case against the University.

WomenTalkingFootball blog features Tucker Center’s LaVoi

Tucker Center co-director and School of Kinesiology senior lecturer Nicole M. LaVoi, Ph.D., is featured in a Women Talking Football podcast talking about women in coaching, the Tucker Center and the Women Coaches Symposium, media portrayals of female athletes, among other issues.

350-strong attend Tucker Center Women Coaches Symposium event

Coach Jill Ellis with the TC’s Nicole M. LaVoi

The Tucker Center‘s 4th Annual, 2017 Women Coaches Symposium (WCS) co-hosted by The Alliance of Women Coaches and Gopher Athletics welcomed 350+ female coaches tothe DQ Room at the TCF Bank Stadium last Friday. Jill Ellis, US Women’s National Soccer Team Head Coach, keynoted the event, with presentations by 23 other standouts in coaching and sport science research. The WCS, brainchild of Tucker Center Co-director Nicole M. LaVoi, Ph.D., is the largest professional development, networking, and community building opportunity for women coaches at all levels and all sports in the country. The goal of the WCS is to recruit and retain women in coaching, as female athletes need and deserve same-sex role models.