Meet our Research Team

Please join us in welcoming our Athlete Ally research team! 

Emma Calow is from Northern Ireland and is a PhD student at Bowling Green State University in the American Culture Studies program. As an interdisciplinary program, her concentration is in ethnicity, gender, and social identity, along with Sport Studies. Her current goal is to never stop learning; she strives to build upon her personal and professional development every day, taking it one step at a time. Her long term goal is to be a part of and contribute into the field of sport research, particularly from a sport for social justice and change perspective. She is tired of seeing and hearing and feeling the discriminatory practices embedded in the hegemonic structures of power and oppression, both in sport and through society at large; so, her goal is to make some noise with like-minded individuals who share the same passion and love of sport so as to make sport (and society) the kind of space it can and should be.

Bernie Compton (she/her/hers) is a doctoral student in Leadership Studies at Bowling Green State University (OH). She is graduate research assistant for Project IMPACT, where she assists in research and professional development in culturally responsive teaching, field coaching, and universal design learning. Bernie’s research centers on LGBTQ+ inclusion, diversity training, and culturally responsive pedagogy in sport. In addition to her duties in academia, Bernie is the Director of Soccer Operations for BGSU Women’s Soccer and a sport psychology consultant. Within her sport psychology consulting practice, Bernie has worked to integrate LGBTQ+ inclusive trainings for consultants, athletic teams, and athletic administrators to build inclusive practices framed in Cultural Sport Psychology. Previously, Bernie was an instructor of record at BGSU teaching Introduction to Sport Psychology and Mental Skill classes. Bernie holds an M.A. in American Cultural Studies from BGSU (OH) where she developed an LGBTQ+ training program for sport psychology consultants. Additionally, she holds an M.S. in Sport Leadership from Miami University (OH), where she researched gender differences in acceptance of aggression. Bernie graduated from the University of Central Arkansas (AR) with a degree in Psychology and a minor in Sociology.


Priyana Kalita comes from India and is a former student-athlete for the Varsity Women’s tennis team for Miami University. Priyana uses they/ she pronouns and recently graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Kinesiology (Coaching) and Bachelor of Arts degree in Women Gender and Sexuality Studies. During their time at Miami, Priyana was a part of the Mid-American Conference Championship and Regular season winning team for the 2018-19 season, was awarded the Mid-American Conference Diversity and Inclusion student-athlete award for the year 2020, was awarded Senior service and Employee Leadership awards and was one of the twenty seniors out of the entire graduating class of 2021 to be awarded the President’s Distinguished Service award for their work on and off campus. They were also inducted in the Theta Alpha Kappa National Society for Religion and Theology studies for their work on the Trans community in sex work in India in 2019. Priyana had also held roles of Research Assistant and undergraduate associate for various research projects and undergraduate classes. Priyana will be attending Florida State University as a Graduate Assistant in the Master of Science Program in Sport Management from the fall of this year.


Abigail Kurtz is a graduate student aspiring to do practical research for accessibility and equity. Helping people by way of data collection, writing and community engagement is her aim. She holds a B.S. in Information Science from Clarion University and has worked as a librarian and writing instructor since 2013. Currently she is a student in the sociology program at Indiana University of Pennsylvania where she also works as a graduate research assistant, applying exchange and rational choice theory to create inclusive undergraduate curriculum.


Joanna Line is currently a PhD candidate in American Culture Studies at Bowling Green State University (BGSU) with a focus on sport for social justice and sport psychology. Her current research examines leadership development and leadership education for collegiate student-athletes. Line is also an Assistant Coach of Cross Country and Track and Field Coach at BGSU. Previously, she coached at Smith College and the Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. While at Smith, Line earned an M.S. in Exercise and Sport Studies. She earned her undergraduate degree from Oberlin College, where she was a seven-time NCAA All-American in cross country, indoor track and outdoor track during her tenure. After graduating, she was awarded a Watson Fellowship during which she trained and competed with teams around the world, in countries including Ethiopia, France, Norway, and Singapore, while researching women’s empowerment through running. She continues to train and compete in races from 5k to marathon.


Francesca Principe has her bachelor’s degree in exercise science from St. Olaf College where she also played collegiate ice hockey. She received her M.S. in kinesiology, emphasis in sport psychology, from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. Currently, she works on the learning and development team for a health coaching company and provides mental skills coaching to sport teams in the area. She is passionate about sports, how sports affect individuals, and how sports affect our society as a whole. She is excited to be a part of Athlete Ally to continue to grow awareness in the role we all play in sport inclusion and believes that sports should be a place for all individuals to grow, develop, and make lasting friendships.


Dr. Cheryl R. Rode is an Assistant Professor of Sport Management in the College of Hospitality and Tourism Management at Niagara University. In addition to teaching courses (Social Issues in Sport, Organizational Behavior in Sport, and Sport Governance), she is actively involved with the student organization, Sport Management Association, where she advises and assists in organizing speakers, panels, travel to conferences, and local activities to make connections in the sport and recreation industries. Dr. Rode is interested in women in sport, contrapower harassment involving female faculty members, and transgender issues in sport participation. Her research has been published in the Global Sport Business Journal and the Journal of Sport.


Laura Rusk is a junior political science and philosophy undergraduate student at Elmhurst College with an interest in law, public policy, and public service. I am passionate about making the world a more inclusive place for marginalized groups. Determined to leave my mark on the world.



Emma Scheetz is graduating in May 2020 from The Ohio State University with a B.S. in Sport Industry and a minor in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. During her undergraduate career, her passion for improving equality in sport lead her to work with Major League Girls as their marketing and social media intern. Emma was also involved in the student activism group Advocates for Women of the World as a part of the Equitable Education Committee, where she worked to improve the educational environments of women around the globe through planning and executing community events focused on fundraising and education. In the future, she aims to attend graduate school to continue her studies regarding gender and sexuality in sporting contexts. Currently, she resides in Columbus, OH where she plays recreational ice hockey and enjoy a healthy dose of crafting in her spare time.


Julie Schreiber is proud to be a volunteer research assistant with Athlete Ally! During the day, she works as a finance associate for Jon Ossoff, Raphael Warnock, and other Democratic Senators. When she’s not at work, you can find her obsessively watching soccer, hockey, and baseball, learning new songs on her guitar, teaching a weekly Hebrew School class on social justice in Judaism, and listening to an absurd amount of podcasts. She splits her time between the New York area, the Chicago area, and wherever the next up-and-coming Democratic legislator may be!



Ryan Socolow is a graduate of Endicott College with a B.A. in Sociology and Gender Studies. He is completing an M.S. degree at Springfield College focusing on Sport and Exercise Psychology with a research emphasis on transgender athletes. Ryan played lacrosse at Endicott College, winning 4 Conference Championships and anchoring the team to the program’s first NCAA tournament win. He founded the college’s GSA and was president for 4 years while also working as a certified writing tutor. Ryan has coached lacrosse at the high school and collegiate levels while presenting across the US and internationally on LGBTQ+ athletes and inclusion efforts. He has seen every episode of The Simpsons and is powered by naps and lean proteins.


Tracey Tran received her BA from the University of California, Irvine with double majors in Film & Media Studies and Education Sciences. She is currently an MBA candidate at the University of California, Irvine, building out her skillset and versatility as a researcher and project manager. Her career has spanned the education, public health, social impact, and entertainment sectors.


Jenna Weiner is a Research Assistant at Athlete Ally. She graduated with an M.A. in Communication Studies from the University of Nevada, Reno after receiving her B.A. in Atmospheric Science from UC Berkeley. Her research and work focuses on LGBTQ inclusion in sports, specifically transgender and non-binary inclusion policies. Jenna also advocates for LGBTQ inclusion as a speaker, trainer, and an organizer. She has given a TEDx talk on reimagining gender inclusivity in sports, co-facilitated trainings on LGBTQ inclusion, and helped organize support groups for transgender and non-binary students. Outside of work, Jenna plays ultimate frisbee and has written about her experiences as a transgender ultimate player. In ultimate, she has helped lead significant policy change efforts for transgender and non-binary inclusion, and has worked as a reporter and commentator.


Elizabeth West, graduating class of 2020 from Roger Williams University with an Anthropology and Sociology major and Biology and Criminal Justice minors. My senior thesis details the changes in anthropological ethnography from the 1990s until 2019 on LGBT+ topics. I am so excited to be afforded the chance to work for something near and dear to my heart, as a queer-identifying previous captain of a fencing team.