Robert Morris University

Girls and Women in Sport Symposium

Conference addresses challenges of sexism in athletics.


Cheryl Cooky, author of No Slam Dunk: Gender, Sport and the Unevenness of Social Change and an associate professor of American studies at Purdue University, is the keynote speaker at the Girls and Women in Sport Symposium at Robert Morris University on Thursday, Nov. 8.

Cooky and Lauren Rauscher, director of the Women’s Leadership and Mentorship Program at RMU, co-authored a chapter in the 2018 Tucker Center Research Report: Developing Physically Active Girls. The report, published by the University of Minnesota, looks at barriers to females in sports and physical activity and considers ways of to overcoming them.

“We have more outlets for sports coverage than ever before, and more women participating in sports than ever before. But in the last decade, coverage of women’s sports has actually declined. This symposium will look at some of the reasons for this, and what women in sport leadership are experiencing,” said Rauscher, the symposium's organizer.

The symposium is at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 8, at RMU Yorktown Hall, 8256 University Blvd., one mile south of the main RMU campus. The keynote will be followed by a panel discussion with:

  • Donna Sanft, business consultant and retired associate athletics director and associate dean of students at the University of Pittsburgh
  • Nelle Stahura, head coach of RMU women’s rowing
  • Jodi Butler, owner of Pittsburgh FIT
  • Kelly Parker Hanna, president of Field of Play Marketing and president of WISE (Women in Sports & Events)