Five Questions with Nicole LaVoi ’91

Gustavus alumna Nicole LaVoi '91 will give a lecture on the current research on girls and women in sport on Monday, Nov. 13.
Posted on November 7th, 2017 by

Nicole LaVoi, PhD, a senior lecturer at the University of Minnesota and co-director of the Tucker Center for Research on Girls and Women in Sport, will present on the current state of female athletics and coaching at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, November 13 in Gustavus Adolphus College’s Nobel Hall Room 201. The event is free and open to the public.

Hosted by the Gustavus Department of Health and Exercise Science, the Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies Program, and the Department of Philosophy with support from the Steve Wilkinson Endowed Professorship of Sport Ethics and Tennis, the lecture will feature research on girls and women in sport as well as context and reflections provided by LaVoi, a 1991 Gustavus graduate.

“Dr. LaVoi is a role model for what it means to use your scholarship for social change,” Gustavus health and exercise science and gender, women, and sexuality studies professor Hayley Russell said. “She’s a dynamic and engaging speaker who is a leading expert on girls and women in sport, and we’re excited to have her return to campus to share her knowledge and enthusiasm with the Gustavus community.”

Leading up to the lecture, LaVoi answered five questions about women in sport and her time at Gustavus…

Gustavus: What do you see as the greatest advances in women’s athletics in the past 20 years? What areas still need to be addressed?

Nicole LaVoi ’91, PhD

LaVoi: Women are playing sports in record numbers at every level, but the percentage of women coaches and media coverage of female athletes is disproportionate.

Gustavus: What is the current state of women in coaching in the United States? 

LaVoi: The percentage of women coaching women at the collegiate level is stagnant at around 40 percent, and women are still denied opportunity to coach men. Therefore most coaching jobs in college athletics go to men, and it is no better at other levels of competition.

Gustavus: Where would you like to see in women’s athletics 10 years from now? How do we make it happen?

LaVoi: I would LOVE to see 60-70 percent of women being coached by women! It happens with a LOT of collective effort to change the system and structure of athletics at every level.

Gustavus: How did your experience as a Gustavus student help prepare you for professional success?

LaVoi: It gave me a solid academic foundation, a great network, and provided me with caring and supportive mentors that I could rely on throughout my career.

Gustavus: Do you have any advice for current Gustavus students (or athletes)?


Visit the Gustavus website to learn more about the departments of health and exercise science, philosophy, or the Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies Program.


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin


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