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, from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, received her B.S. and M.S. degrees 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, from Beijing, China, received his B.S. degree in Kinesiology from Beijing
Sport University and his M.S. degree 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.
From Hangzhou, China, Hua Gong received his B.S. from the University of Nottingham,
Ningbo, China, and his M.S. 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.
Yongjin Hwang is from Seoul, South Korea and received his B.S. in business administration
from Sungkyunkwan University and his M.S. 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
Vic Kidd, from Washington, D.C., received his B.S. in psychology from Virginia State
University and his M.S. 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 hails from Ithaca, New York, and received his B.S. in athletic training
and his M.S. in sport management from SUNY Courtland. Koba's research areas of interest are finance and leadership
in sport, organizational effectiveness and injury prevention. He and his wife, Charisse,
have two boys, Julian and Christian, and a dog, Neha. Koba has been involved in the sport, fitness, and sports medicine fields for 12 years while
living in the Finger Lakes region of New York State. His resume may be found here.
Evelyn "Su" Jara-Pazmino hails from Quito, Ecuador. Jara-Pazmino earned her B.S. from
the University of Michigan and her M.S. 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.
From Honolulu, Hawaii, Katherine Reifurth received her B.S. in psychology from Northwestern
University and her M.S. in kinesiology from the University of Texas Austin. Reifurth's
research interests are in brand loyalty and team identification.
Walker Ross, from Medford, Oregon, received his B.S. in environmental ethics and policy
from the University of Portland and his M.S. 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.
Chris Scroggins, from Waynesboro, Virginia, received his B.S. in kinesiology / exercise
science and M.S. 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.