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 Ph.D. 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.
Saad Alshamari, from Doha, Qatar, received a B.S. in physical education from Qatar
University and an M.S. in sport management from the University of Florida. His research
areas of interest are in ticket sales, consumer behavior and the impact of hosting
sport mega-events. While at UF, he worked as a student assistant at the department of TRSM and an assistant coordinator
at the UF Athletic Association. Alshamari has worked in commercial banking, earned a Diploma of Refereeing (UEFA)
from Nylon, Switzerland, and worked at the Asian Football Confederation and FIFA as
an international referee. He also received an Executive Certificate in Marketing and
Sales at Hautes etudes commerciales de Paris and a Postgraduate Certificate in Educational
Leadership at the University College of London.
From Seoul, Republic of Korea, Deukmook Bae received both his B.S. in physical education
and M.S. in global sport management from Seoul National University. Bae's research
areas of interest are in consumer behavior, consumer emotions and ticket pricing.
In his spare time, Bae enjoys playing basketball and tennis, watching movies and time
Ryan Dastrup is from Salt Lake City, Utah. He received his B.S. from Utah Valley University
and his M.S. in Sports Management from Ohio University. Dastrup brings significant
sponsorship industry experience and expertise as he has led client engagements with
both brands, rights holders and agencies working across a wide range of industries.
Ryan has experience in selling and activating sponsorship for the Phoenix Suns, Arizona
Coyotes and Harlem Globetrotters. He has worked on market research, media evaluations
and consulting for some of the largest brands and sports properties worldwide during
his time with Nielsen Sports and Major League Soccer.
Rodrigo Feller is from São Paulo, Brazil. He received a B.S. in international business
from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and an M.S. in sport administration from Ball
State University. In 2016, Rodrigo worked at the Olympic Games as an NOC assistant,
which led to his research interest in examining legacies left to host cities / nations
after hosting the Summer Olympic Games. Rodrigo's research interests are also in the
areas of international student-athletes' experiences and transitional challenges —
interests he acquired due to his background as a former collegiate student-athlete.
Wil Fisackerly is from Englewood, Fla., and earned his Bachelor Science in sport communications
and marketing, multimedia journalism and film studies from Florida Southern College
and his Master of Science in collegiate athletic administration from Coker University.
Additionally, he earned an undergraduate degree in film studies and a minor in economics
as an undergraduate. His research interest is in collegiate esports with a focus on
the development of competition infrastructure and the effect on higher education.
SPTE 101 – The Student-Athlete Experience
SPTE 440 – SPTE Business and Finance
SPTE 550 – The Business of Esports
View Wil Fisackerly's CV
Rich Hart joined the Ph.D. program in sport and entertainment management after first
earning his B.S. in sport management from Hampton University and then a master's in
sport business from Temple University. His professional work experience includes working
in marketing and public relations with Comcast-Spectacor in Philadelphia (concerts,
family shows, sporting events); boxing promotion at Philadelphia's legendary Blue
Horizon; and sales/marketing with the Carolina Panthers. His research interests lie
in socio cultural issues in sport, the intersection of race and sport, and the effects
of stadium building on communities of color. With a love of all things Philadelphia
sports, Hart also has musical talents that landed him a scholarship as an undergraduate
at Hampton. Hart is the father to an incredible son, Elijah.
SPTE 380 – Sport Marketing
Xiaoan Huang is originally from Beijing, China. Huang received his bachelor's degree
in finance from Georgetown University and his master of finance degree from Johns
Hopkins University. Huang has lived in more than six states and ten cities in the
U.S. His research areas of interest include professional sport leagues, sport management
in developing countries, college athletics, sport finance and sport economics. In his
free time, Huang enjoys playing basketball, working out and listening to podcasts. His
favorite food is Kung Pao chicken and Ben & Jerry's ice cream.
Chan Hyeon Hur
Chan Hyeon, from South Korea, received his Bachelor of Physical Education in Sports
and Leisure Studies from Korea University and his Master of Sport Management in Global
Sport Management from Seoul National University. His research areas of interest include
sports economics (economic impact / legacy of mega sports events and others) and big
data and analytics. He received Best Conference Presentation Award of "The 2019 Sport
Issue Forum & The 31st Seoul International Sport Conference in Commemoration of the
1988 Seoul Olympic Games" from Korean Society for Sport Management in 2019. He also
served as a secretary at Korean Society for Sport Management (KSSM). Outside of academia,
Chan Hyeon enjoys playing golf.
Jesse Kasser is from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 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 area of interest is in collegiate athletics fundraising. Kasser has lived in five different states and worked for four collegiate athletic institutions. He enjoys college athletics, professional sports, friends,
family, and mentorship.
View Jesse Kasser's CV
Grace Kazmierski is from Southlake, Texas, and was recruited to the University of
South Carolina to compete on the Gamecock swimming and diving team. While at USC,
she received her Bachelor of Arts in Public Health and Master of Education in Higher
Education and Student Affairs. Grace’s research interests include college athletics,
the Olympic Games, and sustainability in sport. She currently works as the Assistant
Director in USC’s Office of Sustainability in addition to her studies. In her free
time, Grace enjoys spending time near the water, watching football, and traveling
to the mountains and coast.
Suji Kim joined the College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management in fall 2022.
Originally from Chungju, South Korea, Kim received her bachelor’s in exercise, sports
and leisure science from Ewha Womans University and later a bachelor’s in law from
Korean National Open University. She also owns a master’s in civil law from Chung-Ang
University and another master’s in law from the University of Minnesota. Her research
interests consist of sports law pertaining to intellectual property, professional
athlete contracts, sponsorships and mega sporting events. Kim is also interested in
comparative research between American and South Korean governing sports bodies. In
her spare time, she enjoys skiing, water skiing, golf, running, yoga and volunteering
with animal organizations.
Eric Nichols hails from Blythewood, South Carolina. 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.
Deokkyung Ock is from Busan, South Korea. He received his B.S. in sport science and
M.S. in sport management from Seoul National University, where he received a lecture
and research scholarship in 2019. While there, he was also a member of the Handball
Athletic Team. Ock's research interests include e-sport consumer behavior, sport marketing
strategy and new technology-based sport. In his free time, Ock enjoys playing soccer.
Jiayao Chee Qi
Jiayao Chee Qi, from Hangzhou, China, earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration
- Finance from Northern Arizona University and his Master of Science in Education
- Sport Management from Baylor University. His research interests include organizational
behavior and human resource management in sport. Chee also has experiences in mentoring
at-risk undergraduate students from various backgrounds. He enjoys automobile track
events and performance driving.
Chris Scroggins, from Waynesboro, Virginia, received both his Bachelor of Science
in Kinesiology / Exercise Science and Master of Science in Kinesiology / Sport and
Recreation Leadership from James Madison University. Scroggins' research areas of
interest are esports, underrepresented populations in sport, disability / adaptive
sport, and social connectedness through sport. In his free time, Scroggins enjoys
fishing and hiking.
Michael Seidman is from New Orleans, Louisiana, where he worked at the world-famous
Commander’s Palace for the better part of a decade in several roles — accounting
and community bank regulation. Seidman received a Bachelor of Science of Accounting
and Business from the University of Phoenix and an M.B.A. with a finance specialization
from Loyola University. He loves talking accounting, business, and finance and has
research interests related to esports and the novel industry’s struggles with discrimination,
pay inequity, and other important phenomena.
Kemardo Tyrell, from Enfield, Saint Mary, Jamaica, received his B.A. in management
information systems from Notre Dame College, and his M.S. degree in operations management
from the University of Arkansas. Tyrell also obtained an MBA in business administration
with a focus on finance and athletic administration from Idaho State University. His
research is aligned to technology innovation and entrepreneurial engineering in the sport industry at the intersection of strategy, innovation and entrepreneurship, with special focus
on the diffusion and adoption of innovation, psychological influences on consumer behavior
and decision-making, entrepreneurial finance, and strategic analysis.
SPTE 580 – Business Principles in Sport Management
Yutong Xu joined the College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management in 2022.
No stranger to the University of South Carolina, Xu received her Master of Science
in sport and entertainment management from USC. A native of Feicheng, China, Xu earned
her bachelor’s in international economics and trade from Zhejiang University City
College prior to joining the graduate school. Her research focuses on the representations
and discourses of females on esports social media. In her spare time, Xu enjoys cooking,
baking, hiking, fishing and being around her five cats.
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.