Sports Journalist and MSU J-School Prof. Joanne C. Gerstner has been named the winner of Oakland University's 2020 Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award.
Gerstner, who majored in journalism at OU, is being recognized for outstanding professional achievement. Gerstner is a multi-platform sports journalist, author, sports neurology researcher and speaker, with her work appearing in outlets such as The New York Times, USA Today, ESPN, The Detroit News, U.S. Olympic Committee, The Cincinnati Enquirer, PGA Magazine and other outlets.
Her book on youth sports concussion, "Back in the Game: Why Concussion Doesn't Have to End Your Athletic Career", was honored with the 2017 Association for Women in Communications Clarion Award for best non-fiction.
Gerstner is currently a commissioner on Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's Task Force for Women in Sports, and a Fulbright Journalism Specialist for the U.S Department of State.
Gerstner's career has taken her to the world's biggest sporting events: the Olympics, women's and men's soccer World Cups, French and U.S. Open tennis championships, Ryder Cup, and numerous Stanley Cup, NBA, and NCAA playoffs/championships. She has been an NBA, tennis, golf, international sports and Olympics beat writer, as well as a main features/takeout writer.
She has been on faculty at the MSU School of Journalism since 2014, helping start the sports journalism minor and expanding the program. She received MSU ComArtSci's 2017 Faculty Impact award, given for service to students through mentoring and leadership.
Gerstner is also the 2017 Association for Women in Communication's Headliner Award winner for the Detroit chapter, for her professional achievements and leadership in sports journalism. Gerstner is the past president and chair of the board for the Association for Women in Sports Media (AWSM). She is the inaugural 2014 AWSM Ann Miller Award recipient for her organizational contributions and advancing women in sports media.