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Washington State University
College of Education

Student earns grad scholarship

WSU graduate awarded Sports Ecology Scholarship

By David Blehm – College of Education

A recent Washington State University graduate student has been awarded a scholarship from the Sports Ecology Group for work he did in his studies.

Wanyoung Ha, from South Korea, graduated with a degree in Sport Management last spring. He earned the first-time scholarship in April 2022 thanks to his thesis. The North American Society for Sport Management (NASSM) sorted through 423 pieces of research and determined that Ha’s work stood above the rest.

Ha was awarded $500 and offered high praise to Associate Professor Yong-chae Rhee for making this possible.

“If Dr. Rhee did not give me endless support and encouragement, I would not receive the award,” Ha said. “I am truly indebted for the advice he provided for the last three years at Washington State University.”

While he said he appreciates the money, Ha said the amount of money wasn’t important.

“I place a high value on my academic achievement rather than the money itself,” Ha said.

The respect between Ha and Rhee proved to be reciprocal.

“As a student-athlete from South Korea, he had a steep learning curve in language, culture, and academics,” Rhee said. “On top of that, he had to overcome COVID and the departure of his thesis advisor. He finished his degree with great recognition at a major conference in the sport management field- it almost feels unreal.”

Ha’s presentation, “the impact of different NFL’s corporate social responsibility on behavioral intentions among generation Z fans” was on display at the NASSM Conference on June 3 in Atlanta.

The presentation focuses on how Gen Z NFL fans respond to various CSR initiatives, such as social justice, health, education, patriotism, and environment.

Currently, Ha works for a sports marketing agency that manages professional Korean golf players. The agency is also responsible for planning Korean League Professional Golfers Association’s golf tour. Ha says after he builds experience in this field, he would like to pursue a Ph.D. and become a sport management professor in the United States.

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