Ajhanai Keaton

Ajhanai Keaton

Dr. Ajhanai Keaton's curriculum vitae [PDF]


  • Ph.D.,University of Connecticut, Learning, Leadership, and Educational Policy, concentration Sport Management, December 2021
  • M.Ed., University of Texas, Higher Education Leadership and Policy, May 2017
  • B.A., Colorado State University, Sociology , May 2015

Research Areas

Dr. Keaton studies how race and gender (in)equity inform organizational leadership, processes, and experiences. Her scholarship is interdisciplinary, as her examination of sport phenomena intersects with management, higher education, and sociological communities.


Dr. Keaton utilizes a range of qualitative methodologies and analyses including but not limited to: Interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA), critical discourse analysis (CDA), and case study and basic interpretative methodology.

Selected Publications

  • Keaton, A.C.I., Burton, L., McGarry, J. (2023). Athletic Diversity and Inclusion Officers and Institutional Entrepreneurship. Journal of Issues in Intercollegiate Athletics, 16, 220-242 http://csri-jiia.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/07/RA_2023_11.pdf
  • Howe, J., Keaton, A.C.I., Rockhill, C. (2023). Utilizing a Theory of Racialized Organizations within Sport Management Research and Practice. European Sport Management Quarterly https://doi.org/10.1080/16184742.2023.2237024
  • Keaton, A.C.I. (2022). Black women diversity leaders' perceptions of organizational inclusivity in college sports. Frontiers in Sports and Active Living, 4, 923649. https://doi.org/10.3389/fspor.2022.923649
  • Nite, C., Keaton, A.C.I, Neff, P., Fulk, C. (2023). The legitimacy work of institutional disruption and maintenance: Examining the rivalry between LIV Golf and the Professional Golf Association. European Sport Management Quarterly. https://doi.org/10.1080/16184742.2023.2229848
  • Keaton, A. C., & Cooper, J. N. (2022). A Racial Reckoning in a Racialized Organization? Applying Racialized Organization Theory to the NCAA Institutional Field. Journal of Issues in Intercollegiate Athletics, 15, 189-218. http://csri-jiia.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/RA_2022_09.pdf
  • Sveinson, K., Taylor, E., Keaton, A. C., Burton, L., Pegoraro, A., & Toffoletti, K. (2022). Addressing Gender Inequity in Sport Through Women’s Invisible Labor. Journal of Sport Management, 36(3), 240-250. https://doi.org/10.1123/jsm.2021-0229

Media Commentary

Selected Honors and Awards

  • University of Louisville Student Champion Award, 2023
  • College Sport Research Institute Emerging Scholar, 2023

Professional Memberships

  • North American Society for the Sociology of Sport (NASSS)
  • North American Society for Sport Management (NASSM)
  • The Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE)
  • American Education Research Association (AERA)