Dr Thorpe is currently a New Zealand Fulbright Visiting Scholar at Georgetown University where she is teaching a course entitled Sport and National Identity. A sociologist of sport and youth culture based at the University of Waikato, Dr Thorpe has published widely on the topics of the growing phenomenon of extreme sports in global and local contexts, and the changing roles of young women in sport.
Dr Thorpe is co-director of Fuel Aotearoa (www.fuelaotearoa.co.nz), a health-related website designed with the aim of empowering athletic girls and women through education about their bodies. She is also actively engaged in qualitative research on the role of sport in individual and community recovery and resilience following natural disaster. Dr Thorpe is also an advocate for the potential of action sports for new forms of cultural diplomacy.