Markesha McWilliams Henderson, Ed.D. is an Assistant Professor of Sport Management at the University of West Georgia. In that role she contributes to the discovery, application, and delivery of knowledge with specific expertise in college student development and intercollegiate athletics. She also supervises the experiential learning opportunities of undergraduate students seeking to work in the sport industry. Dr. Henderson presents a unique combination of experiences to inform her work including experience as a former Division I All-American Track and Field Athlete and National Champion, over 10 years of professional experience in the sport industry, and sport scholar.
Prior to joining the academy, Dr. Henderson had many diverse experiences in the sport industry. She started her professional career as a sport journalist at CNN working in their Newsource division and served as a gatekeeper for sport content for over 800 television stations world-wide. After earning a Master’s Degree in Sport Administration from Georgia State University, Dr. Henderson used her background in journalism to transition to a career in administration. She has held senior-level positions on both on the NCAA Division I and Division II levels of intercollegiate athletics, serving in multiple capacities such as managing television contracts, negotiating corporate sponsorship agreements, and participating in conference governance and sport oversight. She also utilized her data analysis and marketing skills to work as an account executive for a technology company that specializes in game film analysis and scouting.
She earned a Doctor of Education in Higher Education Administration at The George Washington University. Her dissertation research examined the career development experiences of Division I female student-athletes and she continues to build a research agenda around intercollegiate athletics to inform policy and practice. She is involved in multiple professional associations, including the American College Personnel Association (ACPA), where she serves as Chair of the Commission for Recreation and Athletics. Dr. Henderson is also the Executive Director of Operation P.L.A.Y., a non-profit organization dedicated to childhood obesity awareness and prevention in Georgia. She conducts programming to help children and their families understand the benefits of living healthy lifestyles.
Ancillary to sport scholarship, Dr. Henderson has authored multiple publications on the intersection of work and life among professional women and has an ongoing research agenda that includes studying role conflict, career satisfaction, and self-care. Much of her work is inspired by her lived experiences as a mother, wife, caretaker for her maternal grandparents, executive, and scholar. The impetus for her work is to encourage and inform women managing the dualities of work and life.
The Milwaukee native currently resides in Austell, Georgia with her husband Derrick and stepson Derrick II, affectionately known as Deuce. They are welcoming a new addition to the family in September 2014.