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College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management


Our Ph.D. Students

The Department of Sport and Entertainment Management is home to one of the nation’s premier graduate programs. It has a unique focus on the business of both the sport and entertainment industries. Our faculty are internationally renowned experts and serve as editors and editorial board members of leading sport management and entertainment management publications. Further, many of our faculty have been named as research fellows by the North American Society for Sport Management (NASSM), Sport Marketing Association (SMA), and the Sport and Recreation Law Association (SRLA).

Meet our Ph.D. Students 

As one of our PhD students, you'll work closely with faculty on research, grants, and consulting projects. Projects often involve leading organizations within the sport, entertainment, and venue industries. These projects will cultivate lifelong business relationships and networking opportunities you’ll need to advance your career.

kelly evans

Kelly Evans

Kelly Evans, from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, received her Bachelor of Science and Master of Science from the Department of Sport and Entertainment Management at the University of South Carolina. Evans' research interest is in the area of sport and entertainment marketing: sponsorships.

Fei Gao

Fei Gao

Fei Gao, from Beijing, China, received his Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from Beijing Sport University and his Master of Science in Sport Management from Syracuse University. Gao specializes in managerial research on mega-events (i.e., social leverage within large scale events). In addition, as a 10 plus years’ practitioner in the sports industry, he is also proficient in event management. CV available here.

Hua Gong

Hua Gong

From Hangzhou, China, Hua Gong received his Bachelor of Science from the University of Nottingham, Ningbo, China, and his Master of Science from Texas A&M University. Gong's research interests are in the areas of sport economics and basketball analytics. His personal basketball analytics website can be found here.

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Jacqueline "Jackie" Hague

Jacqueline "Jackie" Hague received her Bachelor of Science in Marketing and Communication from Seton Hall University and her Master of Arts in Media Ecology from New York University. Hague has more than 25 years of marketing experience in consumer packaged goods, sports and entertainment partnerships. Her research areas of interest include brand and entertainment characters, anthropomorphization, personification, marketing and family businesses. 

Yongjin Hwang

Yongjin Hwang is from Seoul, South Korea, and received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Sungkyunkwan University and his Master of Science in Music Technology from New York University. Hwang's research is in the area of branding in sports and entertainment. While in New York City, he spent four years as a professional recording/mixing engineer. Yongjin teaches SPTE 202 - Intro to Live Entertainment Management and SPTE 380 - Sport and Entertainment Marketing.

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Jesse Kasser

Jesse Kasser is from Philadelphia, Penn. Kasser received his Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Hofstra University and his Master of Science in Sport Administration from the University of Miami. His research areas of interest include college athletics and consumer behavior. Kasser has lived in five different states and worked for four college athletic institutions. He enjoys college athletics, professional sports, friends, family, and being a mentor.

Victor Kidd

Victor Kidd

Vic Kidd, from Washington, D.C., received his Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Virginia State University and his Master of Science in Clinical Social Work from Howard University. Kidd's research areas of interest include athletic careers: transitions of youth, college and professional athletes, sport retirement, migration patterns and behavioral health of youth, college and professional athletes, and race and social issues in sport. Kidd currently serves as the secretary of Multicultural Student Affairs within the Graduate Student Association. He teaches SPTE 490-001 - Special Topics in Sport and Entertainment Management.

Timothy Koba

Tim Koba hails from Ithaca, New York, where he worked in sports medicine, fitness and athletics for 12 years prior to pursuing his PhD. Koba received his Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training and his Master of Science in Sport Management from SUNY Cortland. His research interests are in sport finance and organizational effectiveness. He currently teaches SPTE 440 - Business and Finance in Sport. CV available here.

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Zikun Li

Zikun Li is a native of Beijing, China. Li received her Bachelor of Science in Sport Management from Beijing Sport University and her Master of Science in Sport Management from the University of Michigan. Her desire to pursue research opportunities in youth sports, sports for development, and positive youth development through sports comes from her extensive experience interning with Nike to assist in the development of young Chinese athletes with Olympic aspirations. Li currently holds the title of assistant researcher for Tsinghua University Center for Development of Sports Industry and is actively involved in governmental projects regarding Chinese youth sports.

Zeqing "Eric" Mao

Eric Mao, from Shaoxing, China, received his Bachelor of Science in Economics from the University of Shanghai for Science and Technology and his Master of Science in Economics from Renmin University of China. Mao's research areas of interest include sport economics and the e-sports industry. In his free time, Mao enjoys Chinese calligraphy.

Eric Nichols

Eric Nichols hails from Blythewood, S.C. Nichols obtained his Bachelor of Science in Sports Management and his Master of Business Administration from the University of Tennessee-Martin. His research interests are in the area of athlete as a brand. He enjoys golf, traveling and odd tasks related to owning a horse farm. 

Su Jara

Evelyn Jara-Pazmino

Evelyn "Su" Jara-Pazmino hails from Quito, Ecuador. Jara-Pazmino earned her Bachelor of Science from the University of Michigan and her Master of Science from the University of South Carolina. Her research interests include organizational behavior, and specifically international student-athletes in U.S. collegiate athletics. She is currently studying the issues and benefits that international student-athletes bring to the U.S college athletic system. Jaz-Pazmino teaches SPTE 201 - Introduction to Sport Management and SPTE 310 - Collegiate Athletics.

katherine reifirth

Katherine Reifurth

From Honolulu, Hawaii, Katherine Reifurth received a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Northwestern University and a Master of Science in Kinesiology from the University of Texas Austin. Reifurth's research interests are in the areas of team identification, brand loyalty, and child fan development.

Ross Walker

Walker Ross

Walker Ross, from Medford, Oregon, received his Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Ethics and Policy from the University of Portland and his Master of Science in Kinesiology from the University of Georgia. Ross' research interests are in environmental issues in sport, sustainability in sport, ethical issues in sport, sport organization behavior, Olympic games and the FIFA World Cup. CV available here.

Christopher Scroggins

Chris Scroggins, from Waynesboro, Virginia, received both his Bachelor of Arts in Kinesiology / Exercise Science and Master of Science in Kinesiology / Sport and Recreation Leadership from James Madison University. Scroggins' research areas of interest are disability / adaptive sport, sport for development, ADA accessibility and serious leisure in sport. 

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Misun Won

Misun Won, from Gyeonggi-do, Republic of Korea, received her Bachelor of Science in Sport Administration from Lewis-Clark State College and her Master of Professional Studies in Sport Industry Management from Georgetown University. Won's research areas of interest include consumer behaviors in purchasing sports event tickets and attending sports events, ticket sales, and the Olympics. Her hobbies include volleyball, swimming, watching movies and listening to music. CV available here.

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Tsu-Lin Yeh

Tsu-Lin Yeh is from Taiwan, where she studied information management for both bachelor's and master's degrees at Chang Gung University (CGU). She also received her master's degree in international sport affairs from National Taiwan Sport University (NTSU). During her studies at NTSU, she completed the one-year program of Master of Sport Administration (MSA) at Russian International Olympic University (RIOU). Her research interests are in the area of sport business management.