Game Changers

A Roundtable Discussion with Title IX Trailblazers in East Tennessee
East Tennessee History Center
Thursday, April 27, 2023 - 6:00pm to 7:00pm

In her new book Title IX, Pat Summitt, and Tennessee’s Trailblazers, Dr. Mary Ellen Pethel introduces readers to past and present pioneers in women’s sport. Join us for an evening book talk and roundtable discussion with key Trailblazers Dr. Joan Cronan, Ann Baker Furrow, and Missy Kane. Additional Trailblazers will be present for questions and book signing.

Through their lived experiences, the fifty individuals featured in the book laid the foundation for athletic excellence in Tennessee, which in turn shaped the national landscape for women’s sports. With interviewees ranging from age 20 to 93, Dr. Pethel artfully combines storytelling with scholarship. Guided by the voices of the athletes, coaches, and administrators, she vividly documents achievement and adversity, wins and losses, and advice for the next generation. This book represents the first statewide compilation of its kind—offering readers a behind-the-scenes perspective of Tennessee women who dedicated their lives to the advancement of sport and gender equality. Come and learn more from the women themselves and take the opportunity to purchase a copy of the book for signing. 

About the Speaker:

Dr. Mary Ellen Pethel is an Assistant Professor of Honors and Global Leadership Studies at Belmont University and the Executive Director of She is a graduate of the University of Tennessee-Knoxville (BA), Berry College (MEd), and Georgia State University (PhD). Dr. Pethel has published five books and numerous articles and chapters. She is featured in the new documentary "Facing the Laughter: Minnie Pearl" and is currently working on a biography about Sarah Cannon's life and her character—Minnie Pearl.