Assistant Professor, Virginia Commonwealth University

Assistant Professor, Sport Leadership 
Virginia Commonwealth University
Research Areas:
Vulnerable and At-Risk Youth
Social Determinants of Health
Health Equity
Physical Activity as a Determinant of Health
Community Engaged Scholarship

A native of Wilmington, Delaware, Dr. McDonough is a Fulbright Future Scholar ’22-’23 Australia, Visiting Scholar at the University of Melbourne. Her research interests focus on sport for social justice and youth sport, particularly among young people involved in justice systems. The majority of her research is applied in nature and conducted with and informed by communities of practice and young people. She will assume her duties at VCU once her tenure in Australia is complete.

Before coming to Australia she was the co-head coach of a boys lacrosse team at Ferris School for Boys, a juvenile facility for young men ages 13-18. She helped establish one of the first lacrosse teams in a secure facility, competing against other public and private schools in Delaware.

McDonough was a visiting scholar at the University of Melbourne. She was honored with the 2023 Australia Project Support Award, which she will use to support her research project to promote access to sport and physical activity programs for youth who are incarcerated in Australia. 

The program is a partnership with the Queensland Department of Children, Youth Justice, and Multicultural Affairs, the National Indigenous Sports Foundation (NISF), Confederation of Australian Sport (CAS) and Lacrosse Australia. The objective is to increase access to physical activity, specifically lacrosse, among incarcerated youth. The collaboration of NISF and Lacrosse Australia marks a first of its kind, and can be used as a model for culturally-informed programming among other national sporting bodies.

McDonough earned a master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania and her doctorate degree in Urban Affairs and Public Policy from the University of Delaware.

Dr. McDonough will teach courses on campus and online for the CSL, as well as undergraduate classes in the newly created Sport & Fitness Minor.

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