Breaking the Turfgrass Ceiling

In 2022 Sheila Schroeder, PhD, was invited to the 2022 US Women’s Open to create social media messaging for the Women in Turf Team, a group of 30 female turf professionals who helped care for Pine Needles golf course. As part of the experiential learning Project DU F.I.L.M. model, she brought along a student to help with this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

After their work that week it was clear there was enough material to launch a web series about the women and their experience. Thus, Breaking the Turfgrass Ceiling was born. Schroeder raised funds from several corporate sponsors, which enabled her to hire three students who worked for ten months to help log footage, develop story ideas, edit the series and launch it.

“I think my favorite part of the project is that we’re bringing these voices [of the Women in Turf team] to the public. I think that’s very important because I’m very much about female empowerment.”

Zyann Rodgers ‘22 Watch the Series



Student-Created Photo Animation

Zyann Rodgers ’22 was responsible for photo animation for the series. She also had responsibilities as an editor for Breaking the Turfgrass Ceiling. You can view an example of her photo animation work below.



Turf team at the US Women's Open.


Photo Caption: Members of the Women in Turf team take a pause from their on-course duties for this photo op. Starting at 4:30 a.m. they were on the course mowing this same fairway.

A professor and three DU students (now alumni) sit in a recording studio.

Entrepreneurship@DU Podcast Feature

Members of the Breaking the Turfgrass Ceiling post-production team were interviewed on an episode of the Entrepreneurship@DU podcast, which features conversations with University of Denver students and alumni who share their entrepreneurial journeys, strategies and perspectives.

Listen to the Episode

Photo Caption: Kevin Douglas (left), preparing to record an episode of the Entrepreneurship@DU Podcast with (left to right) Leif Soederberg, ‘21, Professor Sheila Schroeder and Zyann Rodgers, ’22. Missing from the photo is Davis Mawer, ’22, the fourth member of the post-production team.