March 17, 2022

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

Skylar Grinnell-Meeler Shares Research at VSU Colloquium

Skylar Grinnell-Meeler

VALDOSTA — Skylar Grinnell-Meeler recently presented “Silenced Sportswomen: An Evaluation of Muted Group Theory in Sports and How Roller Derby Challenges and Reinvents the Ideas of Gender in the Sports Industry” during Valdosta State University’s 2022 Prosper Tsikata Graduate Colloquium.

“My research explores the world of sports and the constant issue of gender discrimination and biases that occur,” she explained. “As a lifelong roller derby athlete, I knew I wanted to tie in roller derby. Roller derby is notorious for its gender inclusivity, so my research explores how roller derby combats the gender biases and gender discrimination in the sports industry.”

Grinnell-Meeler conducted this research under the guidance of Dr. Kim Kulovitz, an assistant professor in the Department of Communication Arts at VSU. She said this work will serve as the foundation for her graduate thesis, and she hopes to share that knowledge at VSU’s 2023 Graduate Research Symposium.

Grinnell-Meeler came to VSU after earning a Bachelor of Science in Sports Administration in 2020 from Baker University in Baldwin City, Kansas, where she was a member of the Sports Administration Club and The Baker Orange Student Publication Newspaper.

Grinnell-Meeler anticipates earning a Master of Arts in Communication Arts in May 2023. She currently works as a graduate teaching assistant for VSU’s Department of Communication Arts.

“I’m not sure what the future holds after I graduate,” she shared. “My husband is in the military, so it’s hard to predict geographically where we will be. That can make career planning difficult.” Ideally she would like to work in the sports industry or pursue a doctorate.

Grinnell-Meeler said she would not be in graduate school without the support of her husband, Dallas Meeler. She said her mother, Mary Grinnell, taught her the value of hard work, and her grandparents, Dave and Kay Grinnell, “are the sole reason I made it past my undergraduate. Without my grandparents, I don’t think I would have even gone to college to begin with.”

Grinnell-Meeler has lived “all over,” but she considers Kansas City, Missouri, to be her true hometown.

The Prosper Tsikata Graduate Colloquium features academic presentations by graduate communication majors from VSU’s Department of Communication Arts. The annual event is named in memory of Dr. Prosper Yao Tsikata, a beloved assistant professor from Ghana who died in 2018. He was an educator strongly committed to student success, and he was well liked by his students, who frequently described him as a role model.

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