Skip to content Skip to main navigation Report an accessibility issue

Dr. Joy T. DeSensi

It is with great pain and sorrow that we inform you of the loss of our dear colleague, friend and a founding member of North American Society for Sport Management (NASSM), Dr. Joy T. DeSensi. Joy passed away in the evening of April 1, 2017, after a courageous and fierce battle against cancer. Dr. DeSensi was a Chancellor’s Professor at the University of Tennessee and a long-time scholar and practitioner in the field of Sport Management. She was the NASSM Inaugural Diversity Award winner and co-author of Ethics and Morality in Sport Management, with a life-long commitment to diversity, inclusion, social change, and the empowerment of women in and through sport. Joy was an author, editor and served on countless national and international committees with distinction and grace.

Dr. DeSensi was also an Olympic-level shooter on the 1968 rifle team, a concert pianist, a devout member of John XXIII, and a trained airplane pilot. Her legacy will live on in the lives of the hundreds of students whose lives she touched in her forty-year career. We know she will be very much missed by all who knew her in the sport management community. May her memory be an inspiration to all of us!

There will be a visitation held on Tuesday, April 4th (4:00-8:00 pm) at Rose Mortuary, 6200 Kingston Pike, Knoxville TN 37919. Rosary service will take place at 4:30 pm. A Catholic Mass will be held on Wednesday, April 5th (6:00 pm) at John XXIII University Parish Catholic Center 1710 Melrose Place, Knoxville, TN 37916. The family is collecting photos and stories from colleagues and former students to share at the mass. If you would like to submit a photo or story, please email Ashleigh Huffman at