Women in Sports Media Symposium

A one-day symposium at UMass will be held 9:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. Friday, March 31. A number of women sports journalists and 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 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 at 10 a.m. in the Integrative Learning Center, Room S240, with keynote speaker Melissa Ludtke. Her 1978 lawsuit (Ludtke v. Khun) gave women the right to equal access to player interviews in locker rooms.

Students should dress as they would for an interview.  RSVP on Facebook here.   


9:15 a.m. Guests arrive, light breakfast outside ILC, S240. 

9:45 - 10:45 a.m. Welcoming remarks. Morning keynote speaker: Melissa Ludtke: “How Far Have We Come? A Look Back at Breaking Into the Locker Rooms.” Integrative Learning Center, S240

10:45 - 11:30 a.m. Panel discussion: “Navigating a Male-Dominated Profession.” Moderator: Jena Janovy. Speakers: Cristina Daglas, Joy Russo, Christina Kahrl. ILC, S240

11:30 a.m. -12:15 p.m. Discussion: “The Job Interview and Negotiating Salaries.” Jena Janovy and Adrienne Matt. ILC, S240

12:30 - 1 p.m. Lunch: Campus Center, Amherst Room.

1 - 2 p.m. Lunch keynote speaker: Patricia Mays, senior director and coordinating producer for ESPN.

2:30 - 3:30 p.m. Breakout networking sessions. ILC 

3:30 - 4 p.m. Closing

Cristina Daglas

Deputy Editor at ESPN.com

She oversees all things baseball, from long-term theme development to multiplatform storytelling and day-to-day coverage. Prior to dotcom, Daglas was a senior editor at ESPN The Magazine, where she coordinated NFL enterprise coverage, edited award-winning long-form, assisted in the creation of several television specials and worked with the college basketball, NBA and MLB teams. Before entering the sports world, Daglas was the editor of D Magazine in Dallas and Milwaukee Magazine. She holds a B.A. in journalism from the University of Wisconsin and an M.A. in journalism from the University of Missouri, where she was awarded the Thurgood Marshall Fellowship. Perhaps most important, she is a Chicago native and die-hard Cubs fan.

Jena Janovy

Enterprise and Investigations Unit at ESPN.com

She plans, assigns, edits and produces online stories and long-form cross-platform features in collaboration with "Outside the Lines," "E:60" and ESPN The Magazine. She has won two Sports Emmys and has been nominated for four additional Sports Emmys for her work as coordinating producer of online content for ESPN.com. 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.

Christina Kahrl

National MLB writer and editor for ESPN.com

She got involved in sports journalism in 1996 by cofounding the Baseball Prospectus, a think tank responsible for industry-leading sabermetric analysis online and a best-selling annual season guide. As an editor and publisher, she helped launch similar quantitative sports analysis in basketball and football, and has been a contributing editor to ESPN’s NFL Encyclopedia. She was part of the first group of online writers voted into the Baseball Writers Association of America in 2008. Kahrl is known as the first sportswriter to come out as transgender, transitioning in 2003. She was inducted into the inaugural class of the Gay & Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame in 2013, and into Chicago’s LGBT Hall of Fame in 2014.

Melissa Ludtke

Award-winning journalist who reported for Sports Illustrated and Time magazine

She was also a researcher at CBS News and edited Nieman Reports at Harvard University’s Nieman Foundation for Journalism. She has been awarded fellowships at Harvard University, Radcliffe College and the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. She received the 2010 Yankee Quill Award for lifetime achievement as a journalist. Ludtke is currently producing and writing the transmedia storytelling and digital curriculum project Touching Home in China: In Search of Missing Girlhoods. In 1997, Random House published her book, "On Our Own: Unmarried Motherhood in America," as did the University of California Press in 1999.

Adrienne Matt

Director of Content Practice at IBM

She directs teams through the entire delivery process, focusing on the end-to-end consumer experience. In this role, Matt leverages her high-level analytical ability and creativity to address ambiguous, large, complex, and often unprecedented problems and projects. She fosters and applies IBM Design thinking to determine priority, scope and relationships of existing and proposed solutions. Matt codifies systems, creates guidelines and manages business rules for content and digital experiences. 

Since 1999, Matt served as the senior content strategist for some of the top digital advertising agencies in North America and Europe, including Ogilvy, Wunderman, Digitas, Sapient, Digitaria/JWT, Rufus Leonard, G2, and Publicis Kaplan Thaler. Clients have included American Express, E*TRADE, BlackRock, Citibank, Bloomberg Wealth, Dawn, Cascade, Qualcomm, SAP, HP, Dell, Pfizer, Novartis, Boehringer-Ingelheim, and United Healthcare. Matt began her career as a sports journalist and is the founder of the Adrienne Matt Scholarship for Women in Sports Journalism.

Patricia Mays

Senior Director/Coordinating Producer in ESPN’s Storytelling Unit

She helps to oversee feature content production for SportsCenter and other studio shows, as well as distribution and integration across multiple platforms, including ESPN Digital, WatchESPN/OTT and Audio. Prior to moving to television in 2016, she was the executive editor for ESPN.com, responsible for the daily content coverage and programming strategy of all pro leagues, college sports, fantasy and premium content. Before joining ESPN in 2009, Mays was the sports editor at The Press-Enterprise in Riverside, Calif. Her journalism career began as a reporter in Detroit with The Associated Press. During a nearly 10-year stint with the AP, she also worked as a medical writer in Atlanta, and editor and manager on both the news and sports desks in New York. As a supervisor on the AP's National Desk in New York, she directed the daily news report and served as a lead editor for some of the biggest stories of that decade, including the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. In 2003, she became the AP's assistant sports editor, directing all NHL, motorsports, women’s basketball and Olympics coverage. Mays, who grew up in Indianapolis, Ind., received a bachelor's degree in journalism from Butler University and master’s degree in public administration from the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy (State University of New York at Albany).

Joy Russo

Deputy Editor of Olympic and International Sports at ESPN Digital and Print Media

She leads planning and coverage for the Olympics, golf, tennis and other international events on the company’s radar. She works closely with editorial, video, social and design teams to build cohesive cross-platform plans that serve fans on all devices. Previously at ESPN, Russo has worked with espnW.com and ESPN Studio Production, where she was a news editor for SportsCenter and ESPNews. Before her time at ESPN, she was a writer and editor at CBS Sportsline.com, Newsday and The Palm Beach Post. Russo lives in Burlington, CT, with her husband, David, and pups, Lucca and Sammie.