“Roller derby’s explosive growth across the country among women from diverse backgrounds offers us interesting opportunities to address the sport’s relationship between athleticism and performance, femininity and masculinity,” Bernardin said. “I think the sport speaks to the desire of women across the nation to challenge traditional gender norms and reshape them.”
Bernardin said Kodrich-Quick, a physics education major with a minor in women’s and gender studies, showed great initiative in researching and writing the essay, reading articles by sociologists and other social scientists and interviewing players on her team about how roller derby has shaped their perception of feminism, of themselves and their bodies.
Kodrich-Quick said the opportunity to be published in “Women in Higher Education” came after the college’s Women’s and Gender Studies and Earth and Atmospheric Sciences departments in November hosted Dr. Lisa Rossbacher, president of Southern Polytechnic State University.
“We had a small sit-down get together with her and discussed being a woman in a science field,” Kodrich-Quick said. “Dr. Bernardin had me explain my ideas to Lisa Rossbacher, who was very interested and encouraged me to submit an essay about my experiences with roller derby to the journal.”
Bernardin called Kodrich-Quick’s published essay “awesome,” and said the editor at the respected national journal was also very excited about the topic.
“I’m so proud of Kajee,” Bernardin said. “She models excellence in everything she does. It was a pleasure to work with her and learn from her.”
Kodrich-Quick’s coach, Beth Ashbaugh, otherwise known as “Shear Terror,” said Kodrich-Quick is “incredibly dedicated.”
“She’s injured right now,” Ashbaugh said, “but she still attends every practice. She’s really involved, and an incredible asset to the team. For someone her age to be taking on these kinds of issues is outstanding.”