WSF Affiliated Researchers
Dr. Cheryl Cooky
Dr. Cheryl Cooky is an associate professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and American Studies at Purdue University. She is the co-author of No Slam Dunk: Gender, Sport and the Unevenness of Social Change (2018, Rutgers University Press). Her research is published in a diverse array of journals including Journal of Sex Research, Sex Roles, Gender and Society, American Journal of Bioethics, Sociology of Sport Journal, among others. She has authored opinion-editorial articles, appeared as an expert in several documentary films, television and radio programs, and has been quoted in over 100 national and international news media outlets including The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Huffington Post, The Washington Post, Forbes, Globe & Mail, The Guardian, National Public Radio, among others. She is a past-president of the North American Society for the Sociology of Sport and Associate Editor of Sociology of Sport Journal, the flagship journal of the field. She also serves on the editorial boards of the following journals: Communication & Sport; Contexts: Understanding People and Their Social Worlds; Engaging Sports; Gender & Society; International Review for the Sociology of Sport; Journal of Global Sport Management; and Journal of Sport and Social Issues. Cooky was recruited by Dr. Don Sabo to partner with the Women’s Sports Foundation in a study on girls and women’s participation in Montenegro, the first study of its kind. Cooky has served as a member of the National Policy Advisory Board for the Women’s Sports Foundation. Her research on gender in televised sports has been supported by the Women’s Sports Foundation. She is a co-author on a forthcoming Women’s Sport Foundation report on gender-informed coaching practices.
Dr. Emily Houghton
Dr. Emily Houghton is an Assistant Professor in the Exercise Science Department at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado. She completed her Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota. Her research focuses on race, gender and media in the context of sport. She is lead author of Women in the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games: An Analysis of Participation, Leadership, and Media Coverage (2017).
Dr. Lindsay Pieper
Dr. Lindsay Parks Pieper is an Assistant Professor of Sport Management at Lynchburg College, Virginia. She received her master’s degree in Women’s History (2010) and Ph.D. in Sport Humanities (2013) from Ohio State. Her research interests include gender and sport, sport law, and Olympic sport history. Her book, Sex Testing: Gender Policing in Women’s Sport (University of Illinois, 2016), explores the history of gender verification in the Olympic Games and was named a Choice “Outstanding Academic Title.” Dr. Pieper’s work also has been published in the Journal of Sport History, The International Journal of the History of Sport, On the Issues Magazine and Sport in Society. She is an author of Women in the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games: An Analysis of Participation, Leadership, and Media Coverage (2017).
Dr. Don Sabo
Don Sabo, Ph.D., is a Professor Emeritus in Health Policy at D’Youville College, where he founded the Center for Research on Physical Activity, Sport & Health. He was recruited into WSF circles in the early 1980s by the organization’s first Executive Director, Eva Auchincloss, and designed its inaugural research initiatives—Miller Lite Report on Women in Sports (1985), and Women’s Sports Foundation Report: Minorities in Sport (1989). In tandem with Dr. Marjorie Snyder, WSF Sr. Director of Research and Programs, he subsequently developed dozens of WSF-branded research studies. Professor Sabo directed and co-authored dozens of nationwide reports such as Sport and Teen Pregnancy (1998), Health Risks and the Teen Athlete (2001), Her Life Depends On It (2004), Go Out and Play: Youth Sport in America (2008), Progress Without Equity: Gender and Athletic Opportunities in U.S. High Schools (2011), Progress without Equity: The Provision of High School Athletic Opportunity in the U.S. (2012), Mapping Attrition in High School Sports (2014), Beyond X’s & O’s: Gender Bias and Coaches of Women’s College Sports (2016) and the soon-to-be-released Teen Sport in America: Making the Cut? (2017). With Dr. Snyder, he recruited and mentored topnotch researchers who now produce cutting-edge WSF research. He is a recipient of the Billie Jean King Contribution Award (2015). A former WSF Research Director, he now serves as its Senior Sport and Health Policy Advisor.
Dr. Maureen Smith
Maureen Smith is a Professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Health Science at California State University, Sacramento, where she has taught since 1995. She is president-elect of the North American Society for Sport History. Dr. Smith was a lead or co-author of most of the WSF’s reports on the Olympic and Paralympic Games—Women in the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games: An Analysis of Participation, Leadership, and Media Coverage (2010), Women in the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games: An Analysis of Participation and Leadership Opportunities (2013) and, the most recent, Women in the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games: An Analysis of Participation, Leadership, and Media Coverage (2017).
Dr. Ellen Staurowsky
Dr. Ellen J. Staurowsky is a Professor of Sport Management in the Center for Sport Management (LeBow College of Business) at Drexel University. She is internationally recognized as an expert on social justice issues in sport, including college athletes’ rights, the exploitation of college athletes, gender equity and Title IX, and the misappropriation of Native American imagery in sport. She is co-author of College Athletes for Hire: The Evolution and Legacy of the NCAA Amateur Myth and editor of Women and Sport: Continuing a Journey of Liberation and Celebration. Her work has appeared in the Harvard Journal of Law and Gender, Journal of Sport and Social Issues, Sociology of Sport Journal, Quest, Journal of Sport Management, the International Journal of Sport Sociology, the Marquette Sports Law Review, the Journal of Legal Aspects of Sport and Sport Management Review. Her editorials have appeared in The Chronicle of Higher Education, Huffington Post, Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Journal, The NCAA News, The New York Times, The Atlantic, Fortune.com and News From Indian Country. She has been a columnist with the College Sport Business News and Women in Coaching Blog and co-founder and editor of the LBGT Issues in Sport: Theory to Practice Blog. She is currently a contributing writer for Legal Issues in College Athletics. She was lead author on the Women’s Sports Foundation’s reports Her Life Depends on It III: Sport and Physical Activity in the Lives of American Girls and Women (2015) and Her Life Depends on It II: Sport and Physical Activity in the Lives of American Girls and Women (2009) and a co-author of the WSF’s Beyond Xs and Os: Gender Bias and Coaches of Women’s College Sports (2016).
Dr. Philip Veliz
Dr. Veliz is an Assistant Research Professor at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Research on Women and Gender and Associate Director of the Sport, Health, and Activity Research and Policy Center. Dr. Veliz’s research primarily involves examining large-scale secondary data sets to assess adolescent substance use, health and participation in organized sports. In particular, his research has focused on the distribution of athletic opportunities provided to girls and boys in U.S. public high schools, along with assessing the positive developmental role these activities have during adolescence. Dr. Veliz’s research also examines the influence of sport participation on substance use. In this work, Dr. Veliz has assessed how different types of sport participation (e.g., football versus tennis) are associated with various types of substance use (e.g., opioid misuse). As a quantitative data analyst, Dr. Veliz has published extensively using data sets like the Monitoring the Future, Youth Risk Behavior Survey and Office of Civil Rights Data Collection and continues to work with new and existing secondary data sources that focus on substance use and health. Dr. Veliz is currently co-investigator on several NIH-funded projects assessing prescription drug use, cigarette and e-cigarette use using data from the Monitoring the Future and National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions-III. Dr. Veliz is an author of Go Out and Play: Youth Sport in America (2008), Progress Without Equity: Gender and Athletic Opportunities in U.S. High Schools (2011), Progress without Equity: The Provision of High School Athletic Opportunity in the U.S. (2012), Mapping Attrition in High School Sports (2014), Beyond X’s & O’s: Gender Bias and Coaches of Women’s College Sports (2016) and the soon-to-be-released Teen Sport in America: Making the Cut? (2017).
Dr. Nicole Zarrett
Nicole Zarrett, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of South Carolina. Her areas of expertise are in developmental science and health psychology with a research emphasis on examining the role of youth settings for promoting healthy developmental pathways from childhood through adolescence. With particular interest in youth sports and other forms of physical activity, a line of this research has focused specifically on the role of sports participation for promoting positive physical, psychosocial and achievement-related development. Over the last 10 years, her work also has focused on developing sustainable school- and after-school-based interventions that facilitate long-term improvements in youth motivation and engagement in physical activity. She is currently the PI on a NIH-funded study—Connect Through Positive Leisure Activities for Youth (PLAY)—testing the feasibility of an innovative motivational after-school intervention for promoting social skill development, increased connectedness and physical activity in underserved adolescents. Dr. Zarrett’s research program has involved using innovative methodologies to target the needs and interests of underrepresented groups (e.g., disparities by minority status, socioeconomic status, gender, region, developmental disability), with the goal of generating sound theoretical inferences and practical applications that will be useful to researchers, policy makers and other youth advocates. Her program of research highlights the need for increased attention and resources towards providing high-quality health-promotive contexts during adolescents’ out-of-school time. Dr. Zarrett is the lead author of the soon-to-be-released Teen Sport in America: Making the Cut? (2017).