Award-winning sports journalist joins ASU as executive editor of Sports Knowledge Lab

January 22, 2018

Kathy Kudravi, a veteran award-winning sports journalist who has led news teams at ESPN and CNN, has been named the executive editor of a new international sports research and knowledge lab at Arizona State University.

Kudravi will lead the Sports Knowledge Lab based at ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. The lab is part of ASU’s Global Sport Institute, an international sports research and knowledge lab that connects people to the power of sport by translating and amplifying complex sports research to broad, global audiences. Kathy Kudravi Kathy Kudravi, a veteran award-winning sports journalist, is the new executive editor of the Sports Knowledge Lab, part of ASU’s Global Sport Institute. Download Full Image

In the Sports Knowledge Lab, Kudravi will oversee the publication of GlobalSport Matters, a dynamic multimedia storytelling platform that will be the go-to source for must-read and must-know data and advice from across the world of sport.

“I could not be more pleased that Kathy has joined us to launch and lead what will essentially be the concierge for the Global Sport Institute,” said Kenneth L. Shropshire, Adidas Distinguished Professor of Global Sport who serves as CEO of the Global Sport Institute. “Her experience to guide this effort is unmatched.”

Kudravi will oversee and teach a team of students at the Cronkite School in the production and presentation of a variety of curated and original content that will examine the impact of sport on society and provide context for top sports headlines from around the world. Content will include long-form writing, documentaries, articles, newsletters, data visualization and podcasts.

In addition to students enrolled for credit in this professional immersion experience each semester, Kudravi will hire and supervise student workers and student volunteers to assist in content production.

“I am thrilled to be joining the world-class team at ASU, and I look forward to the opportunity to work with aspiring sports journalists as they prepare for careers in today’s multi-platform media environment,” Kudravi said. “What excites me most is exploring how old-school research, which forms the foundation of great storytelling, can combine with today’s digital tools to create even stronger storylines thereby showcasing the interconnectivity between sport and society.”

Kudravi previously served as a coordinating producer at ESPN from 1999–2012, where she managed reporters, producers and camera operators across the country for reporting on “SportsCenter” and other network programs.

From 2012–2014, she was editorial director of sports at CNN, where she led the direction of sports content across CNN U.S., CNN International and HLN. She also served as the editorial lead on the award-winning “World Sport Presents” documentary series.

“Kathy has worked in leadership roles at some of the most respected outlets in sports media,” said Brett Kurland, director of sports programs at Cronkite. “Plus, she brings so much passion, energy and creativity to Cronkite. That combination of her rich experience and infection enthusiasm are an incredible asset for our students and our school.”

Most recently, Kudravi was the executive producer and digital director of Sinclair Broadcast Group’s American Sports Network, where she created a website focused on college sports and minor league baseball and grew social media followings.

A graduate of Kent State University in Ohio, Kudravi has significant newspaper experience having worked at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in Texas, The Tennessean in Nashville, Tennessee, and The Plain Dealer in Cleveland.

She is the recipient of two Emmy Awards for Best Daily Sports Show and has been recognized by the Foreign Press Association.

The Sport Knowledge Lab will be the 14th immersive professional experience at the Cronkite School that uses the school’s “teaching hospital” approach to education. Programs include a nightly television newscast that airs on Arizona PBS, an innovation and entrepreneurship lab where students create new digital products and services, a news reporting bureau in Washington, D.C., and a Spanish-language bureau where students report and produce news content across media platforms for Spanish-speaking audiences.

In the past several years, the Cronkite School has significantly expanded its sports journalism programs, including bachelor’s and master’s degrees in sports journalism, reporting bureaus in Phoenix and Los Angeles, a summer camp for high school students, and new faculty hires that include Paola Boivin, the award-winning sports columnist for The Arizona Republic.

Cronkite students have covered major sporting events, including the Super Bowl in 2015, the Summer Olympics Games in 2016 and the NCAA Men’s Final Four in 2017.

2 ASU students receive Barrett Global Explorers Grant

Award allows Barrett, The Honors College students to conduct research abroad

January 22, 2018

One will study human-wildlife interactions, the other will study human trafficking support. With the support of the Barrett Global Explorers Grant, Arizona State University Barrett, The Honors College juniors Kinley Ragan and Lauren Barnes will do their best to circumnavigate the globe this summer while conducting research for their senior honors theses.

Previously known as the Barrett Honors Intercontinental Study Award, the newly reconceived grant provides funding for Barrett juniors to conduct a multi-country research project. In addition, students develop global connections and bolster their understanding of world issues. Grants range up to $10,000. Kinley Ragan Kinley Ragan, a biological sciences major, has won the Barrett Global Explorers Grant to conduct a multi-country research project. Download Full Image

A biological sciences major who is also pursuing a minor in statistics and a certificate in Geographic Information Systems, Ragan will conduct research for her project, “Human Wildlife Conflict Management in an Expanding Society,” over a period of 12 weeks in five different countries. To develop an improved understanding of human-wildlife conflict (HWC) mitigation strategies across the globe, she will visit national parks in Thailand, Australia, Nepal, South Africa, and Colombia and interview park rangers and local community members.

“Humanity is expanding and new landscapes are being reached every day. With our development comes decreased land for animals, smaller buffer zones, and more run-ins with wildlife,” Ragan said. “This research is significant because it impacts everyone and is a global issue. To maintain biodiversity and human and ecosystem well-being, we need to coexist with our wildlife,” she added. Ragan said she plans to publish her research and expand on her project in graduate school as she pursues a doctorate.

Barnes, a social work major, will conduct research on the means by which communities around the world provide resources and support to survivors of sex trafficking. She will meet with members of non-governmental and law enforcement organizations in at least three different countries, as well as service providers and non-profit groups to interview them and document what services they provide and how. Considering that she has never before traveled outside the United States, Barnes is especially excited to conduct research in Ireland, France, Spain, Ghana, or South Korea.

“This research is significant because sex trafficking is an under-researched area and being able to identify and understand it on a global level increases our abilities as a world to fight this issue and support these survivors,” Barnes said. 

The application process for the Global Explorers Grant is quite rigorous. Applicants must initially submit a five-page proposal detailing an international research project spanning at least five countries on at least three different continents. A committee of Barrett faculty members then selects the five strongest applicants for development into ten-page proposals. The final selection meeting also includes a 10-minute oral presentation and a 20-minute interview with the award committee.

“It was one of the tougher application and interview processes I’ve been through,” Barnes said. “I am extremely grateful and excited. I know this is a large award and feel so thankful for the (award) committee believing in my project and me. I look forward to spending my summer researching a topic I care deeply about.”

Kyle Mox, director of the Office of National Scholarship Advisement, housed at Barrett on the Tempe campus, said members of the award committee agreed that these research projects are worth supporting because they highlight ASU’s interest in social embeddedness and Barrett’s commitment to global initiatives.

“Both of these projects are not only important for the students’ intellectual and professional development, they also have the potential to help solve important global problems,” he said. “We agreed that they represent the ambitions that we hope to foster at Barrett and ASU — to be future ‘problem solvers.’”

Another important selection criteria for the award are the student’s personal characteristics.

“We hope to see students who are independent, thoughtful, and culturally aware,” Mox added. “Considering that they are going to be essentially circumnavigating the planet on their own, it’s important that they also demonstrate maturity and resourcefulness, not to mention a little courage.”

The expansion and renaming of the program follows a generous donation from long-time Barrett benefactor Charles Bivenour. A member of the Circumnavigators Club, an international organization founded in the early 1990s to promote global travel, Bivenour sees international travel as integral to undergraduates’ educations.

“I feel having international travel and exposure to different countries and cultures is absolutely necessary for students. With support from the Barrett Global Explorers Grant, not only do students develop a project that will satisfy their intellectual growth, they also have an opportunity that will contribute to their overall personal development,” he said.

Bivenour also served as a member of the award committee.

“I am honored to be involved with ASU and especially Barrett by helping support the grant,” he added. “It’s my way of doing something meaningful and worthwhile.”

Barrett, The Honors College is in the midst of Campaign 2020, an effort to gain support for programs like this grant and other opportunities that help students fulfill their goals and potential. The campaign focuses on building support in several areas, including student scholarships; fostering global citizenship by expanding access to educational travel, global leaders and internships; increasing the amount of professional development funds for honors faculty and establishing a visiting honors faculty program; and developing an honors student success center. Find out more about how you can join them in strengthening Barrett’s unique learning environment.

Nicole Greason

Public relations and publicity manager , Barrett, The Honors College