Sport Management Assistant Professor Dr. Inje Cho Offers a Dynamic Perspective
With a background in sports and a passion for teaching, Inje Cho, Ph.D., who joined York College of Pennsylvania last year, has brought a wealth of experience to the Graham School of Business.
As a child, Inje Cho couldn’t get enough soccer in his native South Korea. When he wasn’t dribbling the ball down the field, he was glued to the sports channel, following his favorite European leagues.
During high school, inspired by the film “Jerry Maguire,” he discovered his interest in the business side of sports.
“I was really into those types of sports and the business environment surrounding them,” he says. The portrayal of a sports agent’s role in the film, with its compelling blend of communication and professional athlete interaction, left a lasting impression.
Sport management education across the globe
After high school, he enrolled in one of South Korea’s most reputable sport management programs, at Hanyang University, where he honed his understanding of sports marketing and consumer behavior. This laid the groundwork for his academic path, leading to a bachelor’s degree in Sport Industry.
After four years of college followed by a three-year stint as an officer in the South Korean army, he moved to the United States. In 2013, he entered a program in Utah to learn English and gain expertise in business management, a pursuit motivated by his dream of becoming a sport management professor. He then earned a master’s degree in Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Management and, in 2022, a doctorate in Sport Management, both from the University of Florida.
When Dr. Cho became aware of the open Sport Management position at York College of Pennsylvania, he was intrigued. Coming from a research university, he was impressed by the College's emphasis on hands-on learning opportunities. With York College’s focus on real-world learning experiences, Dr. Cho believed he could collaborate with alumni and professionals in the sports industry to provide students with valuable insights. His focus aligned with the College's endeavor to connect students with practical experience. It was an ideal environment for his teaching and research interests.
A ‘five-tool’ educator
Dr. Cho’s multifaceted skill set brought a fresh perspective to York College's Sport Management program, which is offered through the Graham School of Business. The Assistant Professor describes himself as a “five-tool player.” In baseball, that’s someone who can hit for average, hit for power, demonstrate speed, throw with strength, and field the ball. In the world of academia, Dr. Cho has honed his ability to teach multiple courses, collaborate with faculty to secure industry funding, conduct research, provide leadership, and offer mentorship.
His extensive teaching experience, in person and online at the University of Florida, equipped him to address a wide range of topics in the Sport Management major.
At the time of his application, Dr. Cho had published five peer-reviewed articles in reputable journals. Since joining York College, he has added two more to the list. His extensive network in the sports industry has enabled him to arrange guest speaker sessions and provide students with insights directly from the field, which he hopes to expand as he launches into his second year at York College.
While Dr. Cho is committed to his research on gamified technology and its impact on consumer behavior, which was the focus of his doctorate, he recognizes the changing expectations of today's students.
“York College students really want hands-on learning experiences,” he says.
As a result, Dr. Cho is focusing on connecting his research with real-world experiences and making his teaching materials engaging to foster critical thinking through discussions and case studies.
“At York College, we place a high value on both teaching and research,” he says. “You’re going to learn a lot of basic principles and theories, but at the same time learn how to connect your knowledge into practice. It’s going to be a great opportunity beyond what some university students have.”
With a dedicated and talented faculty, strong industry connections, and motivated students, the Sport Management program is poised for success. The emphasis on project-based learning and continuous improvement in curriculum design promises to provide students with unparalleled opportunities, including a 2024 trip for several Sport Management students to the Super Bowl.
Dr. Cho is committed to bridging the gap between theory and practice and building strong industry connections for students seeking a dynamic learning experience that prepares them for exciting careers in the sports industry.