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UM Graduate Student Honored for Health Analytics Work

Seungho Ryu, a University of Mississippi doctoral student in health and kinesiology, has been named the 2020 Measurement and Evaluation Graduate Student of the Year by the Society of Health and Physical Educators, known as SHAPE America.

UM doctoral student Seungho Ryu has been named the 2020 Measurement and Evaluation Graduate Student of the Year by the Society of Health and Physical Educators. Photo by Sarah Sapp/School of Applied Sciences
A national organization that serves more than 200,000 health and physical education professionals, SHAPE America is one of the largest national organizations in the kinesiology field. This award is given to an outstanding graduate student pursuing studies focusing on psychomotor measurement and evaluation who demonstrates potential for succeeding in both the degree program and as a professional.

“Seungho is one of the few doctoral students being trained in analytics in the health area,” said Minsoo Kang, professor and chair of health, exercise science and recreation management. “He started the doctoral program with limited research and measurement skills; however, he has studied very hard and has a strong motivation to learn and improve.”

Since fall 2019, Ryu has served as a student consultant in the School of Applied Sciences Research and Analytics Laboratory, providing measurement and statistical consulting services. The lab support student- and faculty-led research projects and provides research opportunities for Ole Miss students.

Ryu is studying trends in physical activity and sedentary behavior, and their effects on health. Kang and Ryu have been evaluating trends of the relationship between variables and whether the relationship between two variables changes significantly over time.

“Our findings suggest that increased physical activity and decreased sedentary life have a positive effect on health and wellness,” Ryu explained. “I believe that this information can have a large impact on influencing individual and societal health.”

Ryu was attracted to the field of measurement and evaluation because of the interdisciplinary collaborations that can happen across numerous research areas, where he prefers to take a different approach to research and statistical analysis techniques.

“Many researchers use a variety of statistical techniques when studying relationships among variables; however, I prefer to use logistic regression,” he said. “The main reason is that readers can easily understand the results.

“When we do research, it is important to analyze and interpret data, but it is also essential to easily communicate the results to our readers.”

Ryu’s career goals are to obtain an academic position at a university, teach and mentor students, conduct research that will influence health-related issues, and contribute to his community.

“I am so proud of Seungho and I am so grateful for his excellent work,” Kang said. “Considering there is a huge lack of expertise in analytics area, he will become an individual of great demand in the field.”

For more information about the health and kinesiology doctoral program in the Department of Health, Exercise Science and Recreation Management, visit https://hesrm.olemiss.edu/.

By Halleigh Derrick, UM Communications

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