search button
newscenter logo
Friday, December 2, 2022

Follow SDSU Follow SDSU on Twitter Follow SDSU on Facebook SDSU RSS Feed

The Fowler Athletics Center will host Women and Sports in Society: Passion Power and Politics on March 20. (Photo: Jim Brady) The Fowler Athletics Center will host Women and Sports in Society: Passion Power and Politics on March 20. (Photo: Jim Brady)

Sports in American Life

The symposium brings attention to the role of sports in society.
By Gina Jacobs

Sports play a huge role in the college experience, especially at San Diego State University where the university supports 18 NCAA Division I sports teams. However, away from the field and off the court, SDSU scholars are teaching about the role sports plays in society as a whole—from business and tourism, to health and culture.

Through a President’s Leadership Fund grant, SDSU Athletics is collaborating with on- and off-campus partners to expose a broader audience to the various areas of sport scholarship through the SDSU Symposium Series: Sports in American Society.

“As a community leader in both knowledge acquisition and sport, SDSU has tremendous credibility in addressing sport from multiple angles, enriching all those within reach,” said Jenny Bramer, SDSU executive associate athletic director.

The SDSU Symposium Series: Sports in American Society will host two events this spring for the campus community. In partnership with SDSU Sports Business Initiative, the third annual Sports Business Summit on Sunday, March 12 in Montezuma Hall will feature guest speakers and networking opportunities for those who are interested in a career in sports. Students can attend for free by registering at

The second event of the semester is Women and Sports in Society: Passion Power and Politics, co-hosted by SDSU’s Department of Women’s Studies, at 6 p.m. on Monday, March 20 in the Fowler Athletics Center Auditorium.

The lecture will feature Susan Cayleff, professor of women’s studies and an expert on women in sports, and Babe Didrikson Zaharais, one of America’s foremost female athletes and a pioneer in women’s professional sports. David Kamper, professor of Native American Studies, will also speak about the cultural prominence of female basketball players and skateboarders.

"Babe’s life embodies the emergence of the elite female athlete, the perils of homophobia in the 1950s and a lasting legacy of excellence, determination and fierce competitiveness," said Cayleff, whose biography of Babe, "Babe: The Life and Legend of Babe Didrikson Zaharias" was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and won the San Diego Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation Award for best book.

Bramer said she hopes the annual symposium series will continue to engage a large audience and further strengthen the relationship between SDSU Athletics and the university’s academic units, including the Department of Exercise and Nutritional Sciences, School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Sports MBA program and Department of Women’s Studies.