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 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
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.
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.
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 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
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.