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The Best of 2009: The Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport


For The Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport, it has been another productive and busy year. We’ll recap some of our many highlights below.

2009 was the “year of social media” for The Tucker Center. We launched this blog, a Facebook page, YouTube Channel, and maintain a Twitter page (@TuckerCenter). To this end, we brought together a panel of experts and invited guest blogs on the topic of how social media impacts women’s sports. Some of our graduate students are currently conducting research on gender and social media to forward what is known about this emerging and dynamic area of inquiry.

We were sought out for our expertise and quoted in numerous stories around the country, included TIME, The New York Times, National Public Radio, The Nation, ESPN The Magazine, The Women’s Press, The NCAA Champion magazine, Minneapolis StarTribune, and St. Paul Pioneer Press.

We spoke at numerous professional conferences, both nationally and internationally, to disseminate our cutting-edge research, and published in a wide variety of peer-reviewed journals (there are too many to list here!).

We delivered evidence-based educational workshops to hundreds of athletes, coaches and sport parents.

Diane Wiese-Bjornstal, Ph.D., associate professor in Kinesiology, and Jens Omli, Ph.D., postdoctoral fellow at the Institute of Child Development, were awarded a $212,000 grant over two years from the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs. The grant will implement the International Sport Connection Soccer Coach Education program in collaboration with the Federation of Uganda Football Associations.

Associate Director, Nicole LaVoi, launched We Coach: Educating and Empowering Through Sport. This initiative is an effort to increase the number of female coaches in youth and interscholastic sport.

We were awarded grants to help further our research agendas. Daheia Barr-Anderson, Ph.D., assistant professor in Kinesiology, has just received a New Connections grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The two-year grant will support Barr-Anderson’s work focusing on perceived and objective environmental influences on physical activity among high school girls. Beth Lewis, Ph.D., assistant professor in Kinesiology, has been awarded an NIH grant for her proposal entitled “Efficacy of an Exercise Intervention for the Prevention of PostPartum Depression. Maureen Weiss, Ph.D., was awarded a grant from The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada to conduct research on “Unsportsmanlike aggression in youth hockey: Attitudes, perceived social approval, situational temptation, and role models.”

Two of our affiliates were elected to prestigious positions within national organizations and boards. Diane Wiese-Bjornstal, Ph.D., associate professor in Kinesiology, was appointed to the 2009 Science Board of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. Maureen Weiss, Ph.D., professor in the School of Kinesiology and Tucker Center co-director was elected as the next president of The American Academy of Kinesiology and Physical Education (AAKPE).

We published many key position papers on the topic of sports-based youth development. Nicole LaVoi, Tucker Center Associate Director and Lecturer in the School of Kinesiology, is lead author on a new fact sheet entitled, “Sports-based Youth Development: Benefits for Girls.” A PDF of the fact sheet is available at the Up2Us: Bring Change through Youth Sports Web site. Maureen Weiss, Ph.D., and Diane Wiese-Bjornstal, Ph.D., professors in Kinesiology and the Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport, published a paper titled, Promoting Positive Youth Development Through Physical Activity, in the September 2009 issue of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports Research Digest available online.

We look forward to another great year! Check back often to keep apprised of the many things we do throughout the year.

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