The Stadium Managers Association (SMA) recently awarded University of New Mexico doctoral student Hongyoung Kim with its highest honor, the Ron Labinski scholarship in recognition of Kim’s academic and professional excellence in pursuing his Ph.D.

Hongyoung Kim
UNM doctoral student Hongyoung Kim.

Kim is a doctoral student in the Sport Administration program with minors in Community & Regional Planning and Educational Psychology. His study focuses on sports facility planning and management as well as risk management issues in sports. Since starting his doctoral education at UNM, Kim has been teaching Physical Education (Non-Professional) courses as an instructor in the Department of Health, Exercise, and Sports Sciences. Kim also serves as a graduate student representative in the UNM Athletic Council.

Since 2006, the SMA Foundation Scholarship program recognizes outstanding students enrolled in sports administration programs with an emphasis on the facility and/or event management. A total of three scholarships are awarded each year where the 1st place winner is awarded the Ron Labinski Scholarship. This year, three scholarship winners were chosen from 29 scholarship applications. Kim is the first person to win this scholarship from UNM.

Ron Labinski is considered the forefather of the sports architecture industry and continues to stay active as a mentor to many professionals and students. With a career spanning more than 40 years, Labinski introduced many revolutionary concepts to the sports business market developing the concept of club seating in the 1970s – a concept now standard in sports facility design. Labinski’s legacy thrives in the stadiums he designed and his contributions to the industry are recognized with a yearly tuition scholarship in his name.

“I'm so honored and thrilled to be the recipient of the 2022-2023 Ron Labinski Scholarship. This wasn't possible without the best education at UNM and not to mention great faculty members!” Kim said. “This scholarship will allow me to further my studies for the benefit of our sports administration/management scholarship and practicum. I’m extremely thankful to those on the SMA Foundation Scholarship Evaluation Committee for supporting my doctoral journey financially and believing in my contributions. This scholarship will lighten my financial burden which will allow me to focus more on learning knowledge and acquiring skills. Also, I’m excited to expand my sports industry network through the complimentary one-year membership to SMA. I hope one day I will be able to inspire and support students to achieve their goals just as this scholarship has supported me.”

The Ron Labinski Scholarship comes with $5,800.00 and one-year complimentary student membership in the Stadium Managers Association.

For more information, visit Stadium Managers Association.