story by Claire Miller

College of Education & Human Development doctoral student Myung Ha Sur is one of five students nationwide selected for the Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE) America Ruth Abernathy Presidential Scholarship.

The scholarship, named for former American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance president Ruth Abernathy, is given annually to two graduate students and three undergraduate students, who receive a cash award and a three-year membership to SHAPE America.

Sur is a doctoral student in the physical education teacher education program in the Department of Kinesiology and Health. He earned his bachelor’s degree in adapted physical education at Korea National Sport University and his master’s degree in adapted physical education at Northern Illinois University. Sur was the 2019 recipient of the college’s Roslyn Hirsch Balbirer Memorial Scholarship, which is awarded annually to a graduate student who demonstrates a commitment to advancing opportunities in physical activity, sport for individuals with a disability, and who demonstrates the potential to advance the field of adapted physical activity or sport administration.

His research focuses on promoting health-related quality of life and physical activity of individuals with disabilities. More specifically, he studies how behavior change theories – such as self-efficacy, theory of planned behavior and self-determination theory – with behavior change techniques can increase physical activity and health-related quality of life.

Sur will formally receive the Ruth Abernathy Presidential Scholarship at SHAPE America’s 2022 national meeting in New Orleans, La., this April.

“When I got the email about the scholarship, it was the moment that everything I have done at Georgia State University – including sleepless nights with studying, teaching and researching – paid off,” he said. “I couldn’t have achieved this without the support of my advisor, other faculty in the Department of Kinesiology and Health and doctoral students in the same program. Georgia State has provided me with quality training to build my expertise in my field of study.”

For more information about the scholarship, visit

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