National expert on Title IX, sports to speak at URI Dec. 10

Media Contact: Dave Lavallee 401-874-2116

National expert on Title IX,
sports to speak at URI Dec. 10
Program will allow audience to
provide comment to federal panel

KINGSTON, R.I. — November 20, 2002 — Donna Lopiano, executive director of the Women’s Sports Foundation, will present “Title IX and Sports: Rooting Out Misconceptions and Having Your Say,” Tuesday, Dec. 10 at the University of Rhode Island.

The program, which is free and open to the public, will run from 7 to 9:30 p.m. in Room 271 of the Chafee Social Science Center on the Kingston Campus.

“The students who planned the program wanted to create a dialogue among individuals who disagree over Title IX and sports,” said Christine Wilson, assistant director of student leadership at URI. “We usually speak only to those with whom we agree about controversial issues, but we hope this program will attract people with many different opinions and experiences with Title IX.”

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 protects people from discrimination based on gender in education programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance.

The first part of the program is a teach-in with Lopiano, a woman The Sporting News called one of the “100 Most Influential People in Sports.” Before her work with the Women’s Sports Foundation, she served as the director of women’s athletics at the University of Texas and the president of the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women. She sits on the executive board of the United States Olympic Committee Executive Board.

She earned her bachelor’s degree at South Connecticut State University and her master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Southern California. She has coached college men’s and women’s volleyball and women’s basketball and softball.

As a student-athlete Lopiano participated in 26 national championships in four sports and was a nine-time All American at four different positions in softball. She is a member of the National Sports Hall of Fame, National Softball Hall of Fame, Texas Women’s Hall of Fame, and Connecticut High School Coaches Hall of Fame.

The second part of the program is an open forum modeled after the regional meetings being run by the National Commission on Opportunity in Athletics.

Audience members will have a chance to voice their opinions and discuss their experiences related to Title IX and sports. The opinions will be submitted to the commission, which the U.S. Department of Education appointed to collect information to analyze issues and obtain broad public comment on Title IX.

The program is sponsored by the URI Student Athlete Advisory Committee, Student Senate, Ram Choices and the Rhode Island Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women.

For more information or to make arrangements for individuals with disabilities, contact 401-874-5282.