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The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Risa F. Isard


BA in Social Change at the Intersection of Culture, Gender, and Sport, Duke University, 2012

Professional Experience

Associate Director, Thought Leadership, KaBOOM!, 2019-2020
Project Director, Sports & Society Program, Aspen Institute, 2014-2019
Community Relations Coordinator, Fresno Grizzlies (MiLB), 2013-2014
Women + Sport Summit Team Member, espnW, 2013
Assistant Event Director, Reachup! with Brandi Chastain, 2012
Co-Head Manager, Duke University Women’s Basketball, 2008-2012
Basketball Communications Game Night Assistant, Phoenix Mercury, 2008

Recent Honors / Awards

Schusterman Philanthropies REALITY Sports Fellowship Facilitator, 2019
Schusterman Philanthropies REALITY Sports Fellowship Participant, 2018

Research Interests

Intersectional diversity and identity in sport organizations (Gender, Sexuality, Race, Class, Ability)
Advancing equity in and through sport
Women’s sport

Teaching Interests

  • Sport for Social Change
  • Sport Policy
  • Sport & Society
  • Sport Leadership

Selected Publications

“Employers need to do more than the bare minimum for LGBTQ employees,” AdWeek; op-ed on creating affirming workplaces in wake of SCOTUS Title VII ruling (2020)

Teen Sport in America: Girls, Women’s Sports Foundation, member of expert review panel (2020)

Communities at the Forefront: Elevating Girls’ Sports Through Local Programs, Women’s Sports Foundation, member of expert review panel (2020)

Keeping Girls in the Game: Factors that Influence Sport Participation, Women’s Sports Foundation, member of expert review panel (2019-2020)

“How do we celebrate Kipchoge but turn blind eye to Semenya, para athletes?” Global Sport Matters; op-ed on double standard of technological advancement and competition (2019)

“Fair Game,” Ideas Magazine; reported article on co-ed sport for kids and elites (2019)

“The Life-Altering Moment that Turned the Father of Title IX into a Champion for Women,” Quartz; reported article on Senator Birch Bayh’s legacy (2019)

“Title IX and ‘Tikkun Olam,’” Jewish News Syndicate; reported op-ed on untold story of Title IX’s grandmother (2019)

“Beyond a Level Playing Field,” Aspen Insight podcast; special episode with Olympians Kristine Lilly, Elana Meyers Taylor and Joe Maloy about mixed-gender sport (2018)

“Put Me in Coach Mom, I’m Ready to Play,” Raising Arizona Kids Magazine; article in print and online, on need for and promise of women coaches (2015)

“An Everyday Athlete is Still an Athlete,” espnW; essay on female athlete identity (2012)

“Opening Historic Trails: Accidental Heroes Stomp Sports Inequity,” On the Issues Magazine; adapted excerpt from original research of Title IX’s history (2012)