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Visiting Scholar plans to make an impact in international field of sports and exercise psychology

A visiting scholar in sport and exercise psychology will spend the next two years at West Virginia University. EunJoo Ha, from South Korea, will study at WVU through December 2018 during her SEP post-doc to receive more experience and training before pursuing a career within her field.

EunJoo earned a doctorate degree in physical education with a major in sports psychology in August 2016 from Sungkyunkwan University in South Korea.

Prior to receiving her degree, EunJoo played basketball for 24 years, including 15 years at the professional level.

“I had many injuries in my career and really felt the pressure before the game,” EunJoo said. “After receiving counseling from the sports therapist, I was able to be mentally healthy.” At that time, EunJoo decided to pursue a career in the field of sports psychology.

After her retirement in 2016 from professional basketball, EunJoo decided to come to the United States to continue her work. She decided to study under Dr. Ed Etzel, CPASS professor and licensed psychologist, after a previous professor recommended the CPASS’ excellent sport and exercise psychology program. 

“We’re privileged to have EunJoo at West Virginia University,” Etzel said. “She has extraordinary personal and athletic experiences to share with us. We’re fortunate to learn from her and have her interact with our students.”

During her time at WVU EunJoo, plans focus on the field of sports counseling for professional athletes. “Professional athletes in Korea have an extremely demanding career that can be both mentally and physically exhausting,” she explained.

Once completing her post-doc her goal is to return to Korea to launch a career in sports psychology. “I want to advise and support athletes who are suffering from physical injury and mental health problems,” EunJoo said.

Adjusting to West Virginia’s climate has been a challenge for EunJoo. “West Virginia is cold. I like Morgantown, especially now that it’s spring,” she added.

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