Joy DeSensi is a Chancellor’s Professor in the Department of Kinesiology, Recreation and Sport Studies and associate dean of the Graduate School. Most recently, DeSensi was inducted as a Fellow into the National Association for Kinesiology in Higher Education, the oldest academic society in kinesiology solely focused on higher education and professional development issues. The Association fosters leadership in kinesiology administration and policy as it relates to teaching, scholarship, and service in higher education. DeSensi joined the UTK faculty in 1983 and recently announced her retirement after a long and distinguished career.
Her background as a former intercollegiate athlete, coach, sports official, and Olympic competitor led to her teaching and coaching at the university level. She earned her doctoral degree at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro in Sport Philosophy and Administrative Theory. Her research interests include the areas of diversity and inclusion in sport, women in sport, and ethics in sport management. DeSensi also received the Lifetime Scholar Achievement Award from the Southern Sport Management Association for her textbook and published manuscripts on ethics in sports.
DeSensi is a founding member of the North American Society of Sport Management. She has served as president of the International Society for Sport Philosophy; the National Association for Kinesiology in Higher Education; and the Southern Association for Women in Physical Activity, Sport, and Health.
Among the many awards during her distinguished career, DeSensi received the Earle F. Zeigler Lecture Award from the North American Society for Sport Management, the Rachel Bryant Lecture Award from the National Association for Girls and Women in Sports, and the Delphine Hanna Lecture Award from the National Association for Kinesiology in Higher Education. She has received Distinguished Alumna awards from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, and the University of Memphis.