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Research

Merging Research with Practice

I am pursuing a PhD in Human Kinetics at the School of Kinesiology and Health Sciences at Laurentian University.

I have worked part-time as a Research Assistant on a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Insight Grant project team led by Principal Investigator and supervisor Dr. Kerry R. McGannon. My role has been to lead the qualitative media data collection and organization, assist with data analysis through narrative indwelling, and create elite athlete mother profiles. 

Key learnings from this experience include getting a richer understanding of the role of narrative inquiry as a theoretical and methodological framework, qualitative media data analysis and interpretation, and connecting the findings with research and applied recommendations. A highlight of this research experience is to realize the value of investigating how media narratives and stories socioculturally construct and shape the identities of elite athlete mothers and have psychosocial and behavioural implications for their careers and lives.

Broad Research Interests

My interests revolve around:

  • Athlete identity and its implications for sport performance, participation, and well-being

  • Team sport processes and culture

  • Narrative Inquiry

  • Interviewing, media

  • Cultural Sport Psychology (CSP)

  • Participatory Action Research

Life flourishes amidst a sense of community and nature

I’m an avid mountain biker who is passionate about physical activity, exercise, and active and public transportation.

I am interested in understanding how active (cycling) and public (subways) transportation along with urban built environments and natural outdoors shape the mental well-being, identity, and a sense of community/belonging among teenagers and young adults by identifying the prevalent narratives through interviewing various stakeholders and/or exploring media representations on online news media and social media platforms (Instagram). I am also curious about exploring the structural and individual barriers that teenagers and young adults face to access active and public transportation, and its effects on their confidence in adjusting to life changes and events, motivation related to sport and/or exercise participation, and social relationships.

Exercise psych res

Teaching

As a Graduate Teaching Assistant, I have delivered guest lectures for undergraduate courses such as Mental Training in Sport Psychology (PHED 3406), Sport Psychology (PHED 4216) and Stress Management (PHED 4516). My key roles comprise of interacting with students to review course material, contributing to a positive class environment, supporting students with their goals and questions, and grading assignments and exams. Besides the above courses, my experience includes assisting in Exercise Psychology (PHED 3061).

I tutor students pursuing undergraduate and graduate programs and/or courses related to (sport and exercise) psychology, qualitative research methods, academic writing and professional development. Click here to know more.

Publications

Peer-Reviewed Articles

McGannon, K. R., Kulkarni, S., Hladun, W., Bundon, A., & Pegoraro, A. (2023). Exposing a Motherhood Penalty in Sport: A Feminist Narrative Inquiry of Media Stories of Canadian Athlete Mothers’ Journeys to the 2020 Tokyo Games. Communication & Sport, 0(0). DOI

 

Kulkarni, S., McGannon, K.R., & Pegoraro, A. (2023). Expanding understanding of elite athlete parenthood in socio-cultural context: A meta-synthesis of qualitative media research findings on motherhood and sport. Sport in Society: Cultures, Commerce, Media, Politics, 1-20. DOI

Book Chapters

McGannon, K.R., McMahon, J., & Kulkarni, S. (forthcoming, 2024). The value of big and small stories in the digital landscape: Narrative research examples from motherhood and sport. In V. Goodyear & A. Bundon (Eds.), The Routledge Handbook of digital technologies in sport, exercise, and physical education. London: Routledge, Taylor & Francis.

Conferences

McGannon, K.R., Hladun, W., Kulkarni, S., Bundon, A., & Pegoraro, A. (2023, November). From birth to rebirth: An exploration of comeback meanings in media stories of Canadian elite athlete mothers. For consideration to present at the 42nd annual meeting of the North American Society for the Sociology of Sport, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, November, 2023 .

 

Kulkarni, S., McGannon, K.R., & Pegoraro, A. (2023, March 29).  Expanding understanding of elite athlete parenthood in socio-cultural context: A meta-synthesis of qualitative media research findings on motherhood and sport [Conference presentation]. GSA Graduate Research Symposium, Laurentian University, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada.

 

Kulkarni, S., & McGannon, K.R. (2022, November). Socio-cultural narratives of motherhood and elite sport: A meta-synthesis of qualitative research [Conference presentation]. 41st annual meeting of the North American Society for the Sociology of Sport, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States.

 

McGannon, K.R., Kulkarni, S., Hladun, W., Bundon, A., & Pegoraro, A. (2022, November). Exposing the motherhood penalty in sport: A narrative analysis of media stories of two athlete mothers’ journeys to participate in the 2020 Olympic Games [Conference presentation]. 41st annual meeting of the North American Society for the Sociology of Sport, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States.

 

McGannon, K.R., Kulkarni, S., Hladun, W., Bundon, A., & Pegoraro, A. (2022, October) Expanding understanding of motherhood and sport in socio-cultural context: A narrative analysis of stories in the digital landscape [Conference presentation]. Virtual Sport Canada Research Initiative Conference hosted by the Sport Information Resource Centre (SIRC), Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Knowledge Translation (KT) Products

Kulkarni, S., & Bean, C. (2023). Improving Women’s Experiences of Mentorship in Canadian Coaching. MS Sway Visual Essay

Kulkarni, S. (Host). (2021). Mindsplay [Audio podcast]. Samiksha Sports. Google Podcasts and Spotify

Scenic Road Bike

Research is about collaborations

I am always looking forward to meeting new researchers and learning about your interests, goals and work.

Kindly reach out whether it is just to say hello or discuss a project. 

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