Joanne C. Gerstner is an award-winning multi-platform sports journalist, author, researcher and thought leader.
Her work appears in The New York Times, USA Today, ESPN, The Detroit News, U.S. Olympic Committee website, The Cincinnati Enquirer, PGA Magazine and other outlets. She is the co-leader of the Sports Journalism program in the School of Journalism, teaching upper-level sports journalism classes and directing the Education Abroad program.
Gerstner's book, "Back in the Game: Why Concussion Doesn't Have to End Your Athletic Career", was honored with the 2017 Clarion Award for best non-fiction. The book, which focuses on youth concussions and sports - aimed at coaches, athletes and parents, was released by Oxford University Press.
In June 2019, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer appointed her as a Commissioner to Michigan's Task Force on Women in Sports. She is the only sports journalist on the inaugural 14-person task force. Additionally, it is the first task force in the country to be empaneled at the state level to examine and make recommendations about girls and women in sports.
Also in 2019, Gerstner was awarded a prestigious Fulbright Specialist designation the U.S. Department of State, for journalism, sports media, journalism leadership and women in media leadership.
She received ComArtSci's 2017 Faculty Impact award, given annually to a faculty member who impacts 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's career has taken her to the world's biggest sporting events: 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 and Olympics beat writer as well as a main features/takeout writer.
In 2015, she became the first sports journalist to be awarded a Jacobs Foundation Fellowship for neuroscience. She studied under key researchers, professors and doctors at the University of Zurich in social neuroscience and neurology. She returned to Zurich in 2018, continuing her interaction with the Jacobs Foundation as a media consultant for its scientists and researchers.
During 2012-13, Gerstner was a Knight-Wallace Fellow at the University of Michigan, focusing her studies on sports and concussions. Gerstner frequently provides expert analysis and lectures on sports neurology. She was a featured panelist at South by Southwest Sports 2015 for the festival’s first discussion of brain health and athletes.
She is a frequent commentator and expert on sports and women’s media issues for global outlets, such as CNN, BBC and NPR.
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.
Gerstner is a graduate of Oakland University (BA) and the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University (MSJ).