Joy DeSensi, the associate dean of the UT Graduate School and a professor of kinesiology, recreation, and sport studies, received the inaugural diversity award from the North American Society of Sport Management (NASSM). The award recognizes exceptional contributions to promote diversity and inclusion within NASSM and related sport management disciplines.
DeSensi champions the concept of inclusive excellence–taking diversity beyond its simple, confined definition to a more open-ended definition that celebrates inclusion as a measure of excellence.
“Inclusive excellence is not achieved through a workshop or one simple dialogue,” DeSensi said. “It is a lifelong learning process and a commitment.”
DeSensi is the first NASSM scholar to address inclusive excellence.She did so through NASSM’s distinguished Earle F. Zeigler Lecture–an award she received a few years prior–and through published research on the topic. She teaches a graduate level course on ethics and morality in sport management in which she employs a cultural competency and values approach to understanding inclusive excellence.
“Joy represents the essence of NASSM as a founder and lifelong contributor, and she radiates the spirit of diversity in all she undertakes,” said Janet Fink, professor of sport management at the University of Massachusetts, and NASSM president.
DeSensi has been with the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences for thirty years and has been an associate dean in the Graduate school for five years. She received her doctoral degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where she was named a distinguished alumni, and she is one of the authors of Ethics and Morality in Sport Management. Her scholarly interests include the sociocultural issues of sport, the broad aspects of diversity, and ethics in sport management.