University of Minnesota

Distinguished Lecture Series

The Borghild-Strand Distinguished Lecture series is given twice yearly and exemplifies the Tucker Center’s commitment to community outreach and public education by making links to the Twin Cities metro and outstate areas. It provides a venue for the most influential individuals in women’s sports to share their knowledge and expertise. The Spring lecture is also sponsored through the Edith Mueller Park and Recreation Memorial Award.


2024 Tucker Center Distinguished Lecture

Celebrating 30 years of championing, coaching and changing the landscape for girls and women in sport

Tuesday, February 6, 2024
6:30-8:30 pm
Cowles Auditorium, West Bank, University of Minnesota
Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs
301 19th Ave South, Minneapolis, MN 55455

Free and open to the public.
Download a printable flyer here.

The Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport at the University of Minnesota is celebrating its 30th anniversary as the first center of its kind in the world. Join us in celebrating this noteworthy milestone on the eve of National Girls & Women in Sport Day!

Dr. Penny Wheeler, U of M Regent and former CEO of Allina Health, will moderate a discussion led by Drs. Mary Jo Kane and Nicole M. LaVoi on the origin, founding, and vision of the Tucker Center (TC), as well as insights into leadership succession. Groundbreaking research, community outreach, and programming achievements of the Tucker Team and the impact of the TC around the world will be highlighted, including innovative and impactful initiatives such as Coaching HER™, Body Confident Sport, and the nationally recognized Women in College Coaching Report Card. The evening will culminate with a conversation among four generations of Tucker Center scholars and highlight diverse research agendas and perspectives related to the significant role and impact the TC continues to play in the rapidly changing landscape of sport for girls and women 50+ years after the passage of Title IX.


About the discussants:

portrait image of Dr. Penny WheelerPenny Wheeler, M.D., is currently on the Board of Regents at the University of Minnesota and the recently retired chief executive officer of Allina Health. Prior to her appointment as CEO, she served as president and chief clinical officer of Allina Health, responsible for leading the organization's quality and value agenda. As a board-certified obstetrician/gynecologist, she served patients at Women's Health Consultants in Minneapolis. Wheeler was recognized as a Luminary by Modern Health Care for her multiple appearances on their top 25 Women Leaders in Health Care list. In addition, she received an award as one of the 100 most influential leaders in health care. She continues to be involved in national, state and local efforts to reduce suffering and improve health care. Wheeler is a proud “triple Gopher” with her undergraduate degree, medical degree, and residency completed at the University of Minnesota Medical School.


portrait image of Dr. Mary Jo KaneMary Jo Kane, Ph.D., is Professor Emeritus, Founder and first Director of the Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport at the University of Minnesota. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Illinois with an emphasis in Sport Sociology and is an internationally recognized scholar who has published extensively on issues related to sport and gender, particularly media representations of women’s sports and the social impact of Title IX. Professor Kane was the recipient of the first Endowed Chair in the US related to women in sport: The Dorothy McNeill Tucker Chair for Women in Sport & Exercise Science. She was elected by her peers to become a Fellow in the National Academy of Kinesiology, the highest academic honor in her field. Professor Kane is a past recipient of the Scholar of the Year Award from the Women’s Sports Foundation. Her research has been cited in the New York Times and the Washington Post. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Title IX in 2023, Dr. Kane was interviewed by National Public Radio.


portrait image of Dr. Nicole M. LaVoiDr. Nicole M. LaVoi, Ph.D., is a thought leader and scholar on gender, leadership and sport, a Senior Lecturer in social and behavioral sciences in the School of Kinesiology at the University of Minnesota and the Director of the Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport. Dr. LaVoi has published 100+ book chapters, research reports and peer-reviewed articles in top-rated journals including the annual Women in College Coaching Report Card. She is an championship athlete, award-winning coach, 2015 CEHD Distinguished Teacher, most-cited scholar in 2023 in multiple peer-reviewed journals, 2014 Midwest regional Emmy winner, sought after speaker, two-time athletics Hall of Fame inductee and was named a 2023 Champion of Equality by the USTA. Her 2016 book Women in Sport Coaching was named an Outstanding Academic Title by Routledge. Currently she serves on the Gatorade Women’s Advisory Board and the Board of Trustees at her alma mater Gustavus Adolphus College.


portrait image of Dr. Courtney BoucherDr. Courtney Boucher, Ph.D., is the Assistant Director of Research and Programming in the Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport, an instructor in the School of Kinesiology at the University of Minnesota and three-time Pam Borton Fellow for the Promotion of Girls and Women in Sport Leadership. She examines hiring practices and organizational culture of collegiate athletic departments and the impact on women in sports leadership. She is currently the Product Owner of the TC’s latest initiative Coaching HER, and organizes signature community outreach events such as the Women Coaches Symposium. She is passionate about creating spaces where women feel seen and valued in sport. 


portrait image of Anna Goorevich, MSAnna Goorevich, MS (she/her/hers) is a graduate student pursuing a Ph.D. in Kinesiology with an emphasis in sport sociology at the University of Minnesota, where she is a Research Assistant in the Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport and the current Pam Borton Fellow for the Promotion of Girls and Women in Sport Leadership. Goorevich was a TC Gender Equity Summer Intern in 2021 followed by a US-UK Fulbright Postgraduate Scholarship at the University of Stirling in Scotland where she received a master’s degree in Sport Management. Goorevich’s research interests pertain to the gendering of coaching and sport leadership, gender identity and sport participation, and destigmatizing menstruation in sport contexts.



Previous lectures

Our Distinguished Lecture archive is available here. The archive includes abstracts, multimedia assets, powerpoints, and related materials.