In accordance with Massachusetts regulations, strict restrictions are in effect for in-person campus events. Most of the the events listed here are taking place remotely on Zoom and other online platforms. See each listing for details. All times are United States Eastern Time Zone.

The Third Annual Women in Sports Media Symposium

Event Details

April 26, 2019
11:00 am-4:00 pm

Integrative Learning Center

Room: S240

UMass Amherst Campus

Handicap access available
Free admission
Sarah Corso

A number of women sports media professionals, including several pioneers in the industry, will attend.

This event is being co-sponsored by Women for UMass, the UMass Journalism Department and the Mark H. McCormack Department of Sport Management. It has been made possible thanks to a grant from Women for UMass. The event is free and open to all, and lunch will be served. We hope to see you there!

Share the Experience: The Women in Sports Media Symposium will begin with a lunch and networking session at 11 a.m. in the Integrative Learning Center, 4th floor Journalsim Department. At 11:45 am guests will head down to ILC S240 for our first session of keynote speakers, Pro Football Hall of Fame broadcaster Lesley Visser and pioneer Melissa Ludtke. Visser, now in her 29th year at CBS, was the first women ever inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Ludtke's 1978 lawsuit (Ludtke v. Khun) gave women the right to equal access to player interviews in locker rooms. This is are speakers you don't want to miss. 

RSVP on Facebook here.   


11 - 11:45 a.m. Guests arrive, Lunch is served in the Journalism Department in the ILC, 4th floor. 

11:45 - 1 p.m. Welcoming remarks. Lunch keynote speakers: Lesley Visser and Melissa Ludtke, Integrative Learning Center, S240

1 - 2 p.m. Second keynote speaker: TO BE ANNOUNCED, ILC, S240

2 -3 p.m. Editor's Panel: ESPN's Jena Janovy and The Athletic's Sarah Goldstein, ILC, S240

3 - 4 p.m. Alumni Panel, ILC, S240


Lesley Visser is the most highly acclaimed female sportscaster of all time. She is in six halls of fame, including being the first woman enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, along with being elected to both the sportswriters and the sportscaster halls of fame.  She is the only female sportscaster to have carried the Olympic torch; the only woman to have presented the championship Lombardi trophy at the super bowl and was the first woman on the network broadcasts of the Final Four, Super Bowl, NBA Finals and the US Open.  She was voted the outstanding female sportscaster of all time by the National Sportscasters of America. She began writing for the Boston Globe 45 years ago after she won a prestigious Carnegie grant, given to only 20 women in America who wanted to go into jobs that were 95 percent male. After 12 years with the Globe, covering everything from the NFL to Wimbledon to the World Series, she has worked for CBS, ABC and HBO. This is her 29thyear at CBS.

Visser was the first and only woman to win the Billie Jean King “outstanding journalist” award, and was honored as the first woman “Lombardi Fellow”. She was named a Sports Business Journal “champion” and was also elected to the Sports Museum of Boston.  She has been named a Muhammad Ali “Daughter of Greatness” and was honored for her achievements by the 18th World Congress of Sport. In June of 2018, she won the Al Neuharth award for “Lifetime Excellence in the Media”, first given to Walter Cronkite. She had the privilege of reporting from the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and had the honor of throwing out the first pitch for her beloved Red Sox in 2013.  When she became the first woman to cover the NFL as a beat, for the Globe in 1975, the credentials said, “no women or children in the press box” - and there were no ladies’ rooms.

A graduate of Boston College, which awarded her an honorary doctorate in 2007, she has served passionately on the board of the “V Foundation for Cancer Research” for more than 20 years, while also serving on the board of NYU's “Sports and Society”. Visser has mentored young women for decades, while speaking at colleges and businesses around the world, from Doha, Qatar, to Charleston, South Carolina, where she delivered an address at the renaissance weekend, founded by President Clinton. At ABC for nearly 10 years, she became the first woman on “Monday Night Football” and the first woman on a Super Bowl sideline.  She hosted the world games of the special Olympics for ABC, while also covering the World Series, world figure skating, the world skiing championships, and the Triple Crown. She has been voted one of the “women we love” by Esquire Magazine and one of “the five ideal dinner guests” by GQ.  She and her husband, Bob Kanuth, a former captain of Harvard basketball, live in Bay Harbor Islands, Florida.

When Melissa Ludtke was 26 years old, she challenged Major League Baseball in federal court – and she won. The charge was gender discrimination. In pursuing her rights under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, women sports reporters gained equal access to team locker rooms where their male colleagues had worked for decades. From then on, girls who loved sports and wanted to report on games knew they could. 

Melissa is an award-winning journalist who worked at Sports Illustrated, Time, CBS News and the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University, where she edited Nieman Reports. She received the 2010 Yankee Quill Award for lifetime achievement as a journalist and was awarded fellowships at Harvard University, Radcliffe College, and the Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism where she studied and wrote about social issues with an emphasis on women, children and families. Random House published her book “On Our Own: Unmarried Motherhood in America,” in 1997 just after she’d adopted, as a single woman, her now 21-year old daughter Maya. She is writing a social narrative history of her legal case, Ludtke v. Kuhn, placing it in the context of women's inequality and the fight for women's rights during the 1970s.

Editors Panel

Jena Janovy is a senior deputy editor overseeing the domestic digital enterprise unit for ESPN Digital & Print Media. She manages long-form cross-platform features in collaboration with  ESPN The Magazine and TV units, focusing on innovation and new storytelling approaches. She has won two Sports Emmys and has been nominated for four additional Sports Emmys for her work as coordinating producer of digital content for She's spent more than 22 years in newspaper and online journalism. Before joining ESPN in 2006, she was an assistant sports editor at The Charlotte Observer, where she coordinated the NFL, NBA and enterprise coverage and oversaw the night sports desk operation. She also spent a year as the Charlotte 49ers' men's and women's basketball beat writer.

​Sarah Goldstein, The Athletic's managing editor of the NHL-U.S., oversees the long-range plans and day-to-day coverage by reporters in all 31 NHL cities and a team of national writers. Sarah came to The Athletic after nine years at where she coordinated daily news coverage and multi-platform features for the NHL, MLB, and Olympics, as well as a stint with ESPN’s universal news desk. Prior to ESPN, she worked at The Washington Post as a digital editor in the sports department.


The Integrative Learning Center is located in the center of campus, between the campus pond and the Campus Center.