June 2022 marks the 50th anniversary of Title IX, which prohibits discrimination based on sex or gender in any educational institution that receives federal funding. We're celebrating this historic anniversary by exploring the impact of Title IX on women in sports. Our panelists include: Stephanie Hightower, first female scholarship recipient at The Ohio State University (Track and Field) and 1980 Olympian; Linda Logan, executive director of the Greater Columbus Sports Commission; and Sue Ramsey, Bexley grad ('74), first female scholarship recipient at Indiana University, and member of the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame. Kristin Watt, former women's basketball captain at The Ohio State University ('86), and longtime color commentator for that team's radio broadcasts, will moderate.
Stephanie A. Hightower is the 8th President and CEO (and first female President and CEO) of the Columbus Urban League (CUL), Columbus’ oldest and most successful urban family advocate. Since taking the helm in 2011, Hightower has transformed the organization into a more relevant and effective force in helping individuals and families overcome poverty and achieve self-sufficiency — today’s civil rights struggle — by offering a holistic set of initiatives focused on economic transformation, foundational education and family stabilization to touch and transform the lives of more than 7,000 people a year.
Hightower is among the greatest student athletes in the history of Ohio State and one of the highest profile female track athletes of the late 1970s and early 80s. Hightower was a world record holder, 1980 Olympian and was an NCAA and Big 10 champion in the hurdles. In four years at Ohio State, from 1977-1980, she was undefeated in Big 10 competition.
Hightower has been equally world-class in her sport since retiring. Active in USA Track & Field’s Athletes Advisory Committee as an athlete, she became active as a volunteer and an administrator, serving in elected positions as chair of the women’s track & field committee and eventually as president of the federation. Hightower now holds a position on the International Associate of Athletics Federation (IAAF). She was selected to serve as the women’s team manager at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, was the Chief of the Delegation for Team USA at the 2003 World Outdoor Championships in Paris and head manager at the 1999 World Championships in Seville, Spain. She also was an Assistant Manager for Team USA at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games.
Linda Shetina Logan
Linda Shetina Logan, CEO and President has served as the chief executive of the Greater Columbus Sports Commission since its inception in June 2002. A trailblazer in the sports tourism industry, Logan has led the Sports Commission to book more than 550 new sporting events that have generated over a half a billion dollars in visitor spending. In return, Columbus has established itself as a top sports destination.
Prior to founding the Sports Commission, Logan was the director of sports marketing for the Greater Columbus Convention and Visitors Bureau, now known as Experience Columbus. Logan has organized, staged and directed hundreds of meetings, concerts, sporting events and conventions, including the NCAA Men’s Final Four, Presidential Debates and the United Nation’s Summit on Trade. Notably for Columbus, she has led the hosting of the 2015 NHL All-Star Game, the 2016 NCAA Women’s Volleyball Championship and the 2018 NCAA Women’s Final Four. She was a past recipient of the Columbus YWCA “Women of Achievement” and was recognized in Connect SPORTS magazine’s cover story “IX Women Who’ve Got Game” for making significant contributions to the sports tourism industry.
Ramsey is a Bexley grad ('74), who has spent much of her life in Division I basketball. After becoming the first woman to get a basketball scholarship at Indiana University, she transferred to Miami University for her senior year. She was an assistant coach at Illinois State, Miami and Cincinnati before becoming head coach at the University of Dayton where she had a 95-128 record in eight seasons. Those years did not compare to the 20 years she had coaching a Division II team at Ashland University. It was at Ashland where Ramsey could fully nurture the holistic growth of her student athletes. Her teams had a 501-364 record over 20 years, finishing .500 or better in 16 of them. The highlight was a Division II national championship in 2013, after being runner-up in 2012.
Watt is a former women’s basketball captain at The Ohio State University ('86). She has provided color commentary for that team’s radio broadcasts for more than three decades. She is a partner in the Vorys Columbus office, where her practice focuses on environmental compliance and counseling, enforcement defense and order negotiation, environmental audits, permitting issues and Brownfield redevelopment. Watt has worked extensively in the areas of solid and hazardous wastes, petroleum underground storage tanks, NPDES permits, wetlands and environmental investigation/remediation. She received her J.D. with honors from The Ohio State University Michael E. Moritz College of Law and her B.S.B.A. cum laude from The Ohio State University.