PODCAST: S4:EP16–Meredith Whitley, Journal of Sport for Development

Join us for S4:EP16 of the Sports Philanthropy Podcast as Meredith Whitley, Associate Professor at Adelphi University and Editor for the Journal of Sport for Development, sits down with our host, Roy Kessel, to discuss how she has made a career out of giving back to and teaching those who haven’t had the opportunities she’s had.

Meredith Whitley Ph.D. is an Associate Professor and Coordinator of Sport-Based Youth Development at Adelphi University. Her research explores the complex and multifaceted roles of sport and sport for development programs in the lives of youth from under-resourced communities, along with the interrelated systems impacting youth and community development.

Meredith, a member of the women’s basketball team, studied at New York University (NYU) majoring in History and minoring in Computer Applications. She also secured many sports-related experiences as an undergraduate. After graduation, she worked as the assistant women’s basketball coach at Hamilton College for one year. Although she enjoyed working with college athletes, she knew it wasn’t meant for her.

Whitley found her way to Boston University and graduated with a master’s degree in Counseling with a specialization in Sports Psychology; it was there that she found her calling. She returned to a mentoring position at a high school in a low-income area of Boston and began to recognize, how sport could be used as a tool to help student-athletes succeed off the court: in academics, in society and in life.

Invigorated by the experience, Whitley wanted to learn more. This curiosity led her to the doctoral program in Kinesiology at Michigan State University, where she studied under Daniel Gould, the director of MSU’s Institute for the Study of Youth Sports. Whitley journeyed to South Africa and learned how sport is used for development in underserved communities there.

After earning her Ph.D., Whitley arrived at Adelphi in Fall 2012 and realized the opportunity was available to combine her wealth of experience and further advance her fieldwork.

Adelphi University’s mission in sport-based youth development is to lead the field in education, training, and research, thereby enhancing the practice of sport-based youth development locally, nationally, and globally.

Meredith Whitley joins our host Roy Kessel on S4:EP16 of the Sports Philanthropy Podcast


  • 00:00 Introductions
  • 01:00 Meredith’s Background in Sports
  • 02:25 Pursuing Basketball
  • 05:40 Studies at NYU and Thereafter
  • 09:45 Meredith’s Work in South Africa
  • 13:25 Where Experiences Led Meredith
  • 15:10 Sport-Based Youth Development
  • 20:15 Meredith’s Research
  • 25:35 Impact of Structure and Professionalism
  • 32:55 How to Get Away from Professionalism
  • 41:20 Conclusions


Kelsey Donnolo

Kelsey Donnolo

Sports Philanthropy Network

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