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Title:"Circle more before you land": An ethnography of feminist leader Dr. Charlotte West
Author(s):Bartges, Ellyn
Director of Research:Sydnor, Synthia
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Sydnor, Synthia
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Denzin, Norman K.; Littlefield, Melissa M.; Cole, Cheryl L.; Woods, Amelia M.
Department / Program:Kinesiology & Community Health
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Dr. Charlotte West
Southern Illinois University
National Association of Collegiate Woman Athletics Administrators (NACWAA)
Missouri Valley Conference (MVC)
Honda Award
Women's Basketball Hall of Fame (WBBHOF)
Sport History
North American Society for Sport History (NASSH)
Oral history
Gender & Women's Studies
Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (CIAW)
Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW)
NCAA Takeover of women's sports
University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG)
1972 AIAW Basketball Championships
Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library: ALPL Family Memories Collection
Florida State University
St. Petersburg, FL
Women's Sports
Lesbians in sport
Woman's Athletics
Play Days
Sport Days
Phebe Scott
Joan Hult
Christine Grant
Abstract:The dissertation is an ethnographic biography focused on Charlotte West. Material was derived from a series of oral history interviews conducted over a nine-year period starting in 2005 as part of my master’s degree program and then used as a primary resource for my dissertation. Born in 1932, Charlotte is still living, volunteering her time to a variety of causes and working to protect Title IX. Whether it is testifying before Congress or educating future female administrators through the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletics Administrators (NACWAA) she has retained her drive and passion for protecting and extending opportunities for women in sport and athletics. Her humble approach to life is recounted through her actions and stories; over the course of my interviews with Dr. West, she gradually revealed the influences on her philosophy, training, friends and leadership style. Her journey from a snowbird student in elementary school to one of the most influential and well respected leaders of the modern women’s sports era is compelling to historians, and instructive to students of cultural and women’s studies. Dr. West spent 42 years at Southern Illinois University and still splits her time between Carbondale and Estero, Florida. She is still a snowbird! She is a pivotal figure in the sports arena through her work on Title IX, as one of ten presidents who served for the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW), and as one of the few women to serve as an interim athletic director at a Division I athletic program sponsoring football. For her work and leadership, Charlotte accrued some of the most prestigious local, regional and national awards (e.g., 1st Honda Award recipient, Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) Hall of Fame, first female member of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics, and a named award from the MVC [awarded to a male and female student athlete annually] to name just a few. Most recently Charlotte was honored with a named room at the National Collegiate Athletic Association headquarters in Indianapolis and she will enter the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Tennessee as a member of the class of 2014 this June. Through her work in the AIAW and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), Charlotte West is a member of a group of very elite, well-educated, involved, and influential women from the physical education field who helped lay the ground work for women across the United States to compete athletically, coach professionally and become leaders through administrative positions around the country. In 2008 at the Lake Placid North American Society for Sport History (NASSH), Earle Zeigler gave a keynote address memorializing and then criticizing the trend of the organization away from its roots in physical education. Charlotte West is an example of one of those lost physical educators of whom Dr. Zeigler spoke. West’s story is interesting and little known given the stature she has as one of a group of pioneers who deserve to be recognized for their selfless influence, knowledge, power and long lasting generosity to the profession. Her early life contributed significantly to the building of her character and her professional path and is also one of the many focal points of this dissertation.
Issue Date:2014-05-30
Rights Information:Copyright 2014 Ellyn L. Bartges
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-05-30
Date Deposited:2014-05

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