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Brody Ruihley Honored as Sport Studies Alumni Scholar

The Department of Kinesiology, Recreation, and Sport Studies at the University of Tennessee honored Brody Ruihley, PhD as its Sport Studies Alumni Scholar for 2017-18. Ruihley, who received his PhD in Kinesiology and Sport Studies with a concentration in Sport Studies and specialization in Sport Management from UT in 2010, is currently an assistant professor in the Sport Leadership and Management program at Miami University in Ohio.

As recipient of the alumni scholar honor, Ruihley returned to the UT campus on February 26, 2018 to deliver a presentation on his line of research entitled, “Fantasy Sport: Why it Matters.” In the presentation, he emphasized the size and scope of the fantasy sport industry as well as the important role fantasy sport users play in shaping sport media programming. In addition to his research presentation, Ruihley provided a guest lecture in the undergraduate “Intercollegiate Athletics” course and discussed his professional experiences with current PhD students in the department’s sport studies doctoral seminar.

“It was a tremendous honor to return to campus where so many memories were made and where my academic career truly began. Seeing so many familiar people from support staff, faculty, to advisors and current students warmed my heart,” Ruihley said. “This Alumni Scholar program is an excellent way for alumni to come back and share their work with their academic family, to receive support and encouragement, and to speak with doctoral students about their experiences. Academia can be a lonely profession at times, but events like this remind me that I have many people in my academic circle that are pulling for me and proud of the work I have accomplished.”

Ruihley has published more than 35 academic journal articles and book chapters. He is also the co-author of The Fantasy Sport Industry: Games within Games (Routledge, 2014). His areas of expertise include fantasy sport, public relations in sport, college athletics, and marketing. Prior to his current position at Miami University, he also held academic appointments at the University of Cincinnati and University of Southern Indiana. While completing his PhD at Tennessee from 2007-10, he was advised by Rob Hardin, PhD.

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Exercise is Medicine-On Campus Program

Kinesiology, Recreation, and Sport Studies congratulates Eugene Fitzhugh of the College of Education, Health and Human Sciences.  Fitzhugh, is working with Becky Morgan and Spencer Gregg of the Student Health Center and Theresa Ezell of RecSports to implement an Exercise is Medicine-On Campus Program. The program recently received a “gold medal” rating from the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM).

American College of Sports Medicine LogoIn this initiative, physicians at the UT Student Health Center assess students’ levels of activity using a 2-item questionnaire called the “Physical Activity Vital Sign”.  This is routinely done at office visits, and the data are entered into the medical record system.  Students who do not meet the 150-minutes-per-week exercise goal will be referred to the Center for Physical Activity and Health, where they will receive physical activity counseling from Kinesiology students who are trained to give them ideas and resources to get moving.

Image Copyright: American College of Sports Medicine ©

Camp Koinonia Featured in UT’s 2016-2017 Impact Report

The UT Foundation recently sent out a publication to alumni that featured seven efforts provided by the university that have made an impact on the world. Camp Koinonia was one of the seven programs detailed in the report. The week-long camp is held in Crossville, TN each spring and allows 200 UT students to connect with 150 children who have various disabilities. Campers have the opportunity to experience sports like canoeing for the first time because of safe, personalized guidance from the students, who have been trained as counselors. Associate Professor Angela Wozencroft serves as the Camp Koinonia program director.

PhD Student Deeb wins Gary Sailes Graduate Diversity Scholarship at NASSS

The North American Society for the Sociology of Sports (NASSS) conference took place last week in Windsor, Ontario. At the conference, socio-cultural studies doctoral student Alexander Deeb was awarded the Gary Sailes Graduate Diversity Scholarship. Only one PhD student is selected to receive the award each year. Deeb is currently a second-year student in the socio-cultural studies of sport doctoral program. His research investigates multiracial athletes in sport. Featured left to right in the photo are Adam Love (his faculty advisor), Deeb, and Algerian Hart, who was Deeb’s master’s degree advisor in the sport management program at Western Illinois University. Deeb had also been awarded this scholarship as a master’s degree student in 2015, so he is now a two-time recipient. A more detailed description of the award can be found at the following site:

Sport Management Grad Receives Life Saving News from Pack of Baseball Cards

Steve Winfree, a 2007 graduate of the Sport Management program, has been fighting for his life the last fourteen years. He recently received news that his life was about to change, just by looking through a new deck of Topps baseball cards from his wife.

During a routine sports physical in 2003, Steve received word that his blood pressure was alarmingly high, which led to the diagnosis of chronic kidney disease. By the age of 21, Steve began having gout attacks that now occur once or twice per month. He has had multiple surgeries on his feet and is at the point now where amputations are being considered. As if that’s not enough to deal with, Steve also has Type I Diabetes which exacerbate his chronic issue. He recently began dialysis as a last resort until a match could be found to donate a kidney.

After being tested to see if she could be a match, Steve’s wife Heather reveals the greatest news he could have hoped for, in a way that is special to both of them. Heather often bought packs of baseball cards when Steve was in the hospital as a way to take their minds off the stress of his medical issues. This pack of cards with the special insert will undoubtedly be their favorite of all time.

The KRSS Department wishes Steve and Heather the best of luck and are hoping for a successful transplant and recovery. Follow Steve’s story on Twitter @Steve_Winfree as he shares updates and continues to raise awareness about organ donation. You can also check out his blog for more information about his journey and how he is using it to encourage others facing similar issues.

47-year old Sport Management graduate featured on WATE

Sport Management undergraduate student Tony Hutchins graduated today, but not without some obstacles to overcome. After deciding to come back after serving in the military, Hutchins was dealt an unexpected blow in being diagnosed with skin cancer. He has served as an intern in the athletics program at Sacred Heart Cathedral School for the past year, as he has hopes of becoming an Athletic Director one day. The school recently honored Tony and the impact he has made on their program and those in the community, and he even received a special message from Coach Butch Jones. WATE covered the story.

Lora Doherty, Senior in Therapeutic Recreation, featured in TN Today

Undergraduate student Lora Doherty, a senior in Therapeutic Recreation, was recently featured in a Tennessee Today article that detailed her research efforts at Operation Purple Camp during the summer of 2016. Angela Wozencroft, Associate Professor in Therapeutic Recreation, helped Doherty through the research process.

Aside from helping her better understand her field of study, Doherty also credits this research experience as what set her apart from the competition when applying to graduate schools. She interviewed with five different graduate programs and was accepted at all five. She will start graduate school in occupational therapy this fall.

KRSS Fun Run on April 28th

The Department of Kinesiology, Recreation, & Sport Studies will be hosting the “KRSStep into your Future” River Run 2017 on Friday, April 28th at 5pm. Check-in will be at 4pm at 2450 E. J. Chapman Drive and the 5K race will be held at Cherokee Farm where participants can run on the UT Cross Country course right along the Tennessee River.

Early registration is only $20 and includes a t-shirt, water and snacks on site, and the race itself. Register at HPER 322 by April 17th at 2pm to get a t-shirt with the race. Late/on-site registration is $25 and only cash can be accepted.

Joy DeSensi: Athlete, Scholar, and UT Leader

Joy DeSensi, UT Chancellor’s Professor Emerita and longtime scholar and practitioner in the field of sport management, passed away April 1, after a courageous battle with cancer. She was 71.

A visitation will be held today, Tuesday, April 4, from 4 to 8 p.m. at Rose Mortuary, where a rosary service will take place at 4:30 p.m. A Catholic Mass will be held at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, April 5, at John XXIII University Parish Catholic Center.

Joy DeSensi was a much beloved person at the University of Tennessee. Although small in stature, she was a giant in terms of professionalism, integrity, and vision. She was always gracious, and made those around her feel valued and important. For example, as a department head, she would remember each of her colleagues with a birthday card.

Joy attended high school in Pittsburgh. She competed in riflery, the only interscholastic sport open to girls at the time. She eventually won a spot on the Olympic women’s demonstration team in 1968, but unlike other Olympians, she and her teammates did not travel to Mexico City. They were not invited. This experience led her to question why women had different opportunities in sport than men.

Joy attended West Liberty University, in West Virginia. She branched out into other sports and developed a lifelong passion for learning. Later, she earned a Master’s degree from the University of Memphis, and a doctorate from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro.

Joy came to UTK in 1983. Her background as an athlete, coach, and Olympic competitor led to her to becoming a faculty member. As she put it, “I became interested in social justice issues all around sport, and especially in opportunities to participate regardless of race, gender, age, ability, sexual orientation, religion, economic status, politics.” Joy earned a stellar reputation as a scholar, and her research included such areas as: ethics and morality in sport, women in sport, diversity and inclusion in sport, and social issues in sport. Together with Danny Rosenberg, she published a textbook, Ethics and Morality in Sport Management (3rd edition) in 2011.

Joy served as a department head for roughly a decade. She traveled to Korea, and made friendships that were the first step in establishing a long-lasting international relationship between UT and a Korean sports organization (Korean Sports Promotion Foundation, or KSPO). She also trained a number of talented graduate students. Two of them, Sarah Hillyer and Ashleigh Huffman, went on to establish the Center for Sport, Peace, and Society. This organization has received millions of dollars of funding from the U.S. State Department, and has been honored for its work in promoting sport as a means of building bridges between nations.

Joy later became associate dean of the Graduate School, a role that brought her into contact with faculty and students from across the university. She started a “Best Practices in Teaching Program” that provided instruction to graduate teaching assistants, post-doctoral fellows, and new professors.

Joy also held leadership roles in scholarly organizations. She was president of National Association for Kinesiology in Higher Education, the International Association for the Philosophy of Sport, and the Southern Academy for Women in Physical Activity, Sport and Health. She received many accolades for her service to the profession. She retired from UT in 2015.

Those of us who were fortunate enough to work with Joy or take classes from her remember her steady presence. She often praised us, and took pride in our accomplishments. That was the essence of Joy DeSensi; she was a very kind and gracious person.

We would love to hear from the many students, alumni, colleagues, and friends on whom Joy had an impact. Please share your memories of her on the CEHHS tribute page.

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