Newsletter 16-2

북미 한인 대학 교수 협회

Newsletter 16-2

December 29, 2016

Publisher: K. Wayne Lee,
Editor: Jongsung Kim,

I. President’s Message

I trust that you had a merry Christmas, and that are enjoying a wonderful Holiday Season. When founders gathered at James Madison University in Virginia on October 12, 1985, and agreed to incorporate Korean-American University Professors Association (KAUPA) at the University of South Carolina on May 16, 1986, one can only wonder if they perhaps dreamed of the profound significance and long-lasting impact it would have on the overall development of association. Since then KAUPA has grown to more than 3,500 members over 30 years, and has engaged in various opportunities to encourage and facilitate academic research and scholarly cooperation among members; to facilitate academic and social exchanges of scholars between North America and Korea; and to sponsor programs for its members and Korean-Americans. We had published KAUPA directories every 3 to 4 years, and signed significant number of Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with various educational agencies, e.g., Winter J Term Course with Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) in 2014.

Through the strong leadership of past presidents and officers, and more importantly, the passion of its dedicated members, KAUPA has become one of the most versatile professional organizations. However, due to the demands brought on by our ever changing society which inevitably impacts various organizations in which we are a part, we have now come to squarely face some formidable challenges in order to keep pace with the changing times. Accordingly, we have focused on the following tasks in 2016:

(1) To make KAUPA more encompassing and at the same time, discipline specific to our respective members and colleagues (while remaining relevant to the Korean communities in North America), we worked that our venues be expanded to cover both topical and inter-disciplinary conferences, symposia, and workshops. One example would be the International Conference on the Territory and Maritime Issues – Sovereignty over Dokdo form Historical, Political, and Cultural Perspectives held in Providence, RI in June, 2015. In this way, we could promote participation of myriad of Korean-American (K-A) professors in various fields of accomplishment.

(2) In order to strengthen our connections with existing K-A professional societies, e.g., Korean-American Scientists and Engineers (KSEA), we first tried to establish sister organization relationship by promoting an open environment that reflects a professional association exuding quality reputation. This could be accomplished by the type of events and conferences we sponsor, distinguished guests, speakers, performers and artists that we invite and written materials that we distribute. Accordingly, our 5th Former President, Prof. Ki-Hyon Kim proposed a Forum on "New Aspect of Current Global Impact by Scientists and Engineers versus Past Fifty Years" at UKC2017. Eventually, these kind efforts should translate into more outstanding professors joining as members. Further these changes would also create more incentive for existing members to actively participate in KAUPA activities.

(3) In order to expand our membership, we have been more proactive in reaching out to K-As whose primary or sole mode of communication is English, i.e., 1.5 and 2nd generations. We have expanded our current programs for such inclusion which should ensure healthy continuum of KAUPA.

(4) As part of KAUPA’s 30th Anniversary celebration, we will start offer at least two scholarships to K-A graduate students who intent to teach at colleges/universities in North America from 2017. Scholarship Committee has been formed and Prof. Kee Bum Kang of NPS will chair the committee. One of initiatives will be establishing Scholarship fund with generous donations, and we also plan to install a named KAUPA Scholarship for an individual (or member) and/or agency who will donate $30,000 for this wonderful cause.

(5) The 12th Executive Committee aggressively has been working to increase our KAUPA (due paid) membership. We are fortunate that Prof. Young B. Choi of Regent U. has been working as Membership Director for this purpose.

(6) We also have tried to find avenues to continue strengthening our financial stability. The first step was to increase our annual due from $25 to $35. In addition, we applied financial support from Oversea Koreans Foundation (OKF) for updating our Directory and/or an Appreciation Recital for Korean War/Defense Veterans at Carnegie Hall by KAUPA music professors to celebrate our 30th Anniversary. The recital will be prepared by our Artistic and Cultural Director, Prof. Youngsuk Kim of Mansfield University of Pennsylvania.

I am optimistic about the future of KAUPA we are fortunate to have talented members who have both knowledge and skills to pull off our renewed goals. Our common interest to promote the betterment of our society through our association would build a formidable coalition consisting of both the Korean-American and Korean-Canadian Professors.

Wishing you a great Holiday Season and Happy New Year!

II. Member News and Activities

1. 2016-17 Executive Committee

We are pleased to inform following 2015-17 Executive Committee members who have been working for KAUPA:

President: Kang-Won Wayne Lee of the University of Rhode Island
V. President: Uk Heo of University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee (resigned and to be replaced soon)
Secretary General: Jongsung Kim of Bryant University
Treasurer: Woonsup Choi of University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee
Membership Director: Young Bae Choi of Regent University of Virginia
Artistic and Cultural Director: Young Suk Kim of Mansfield University of Pennsylvania
Scholarship Committee Chair: Prof. Kee Bum Kang of Naval Postgraduate School

I trust that the above officers will carry out the 30th Anniversary and other events effectively until the end of the 12th term (12/31/17).

2. Scholarship Committee

Scholarship Committee was established in 2016 as follows:

Prof. Kee Bum Kang of Naval Postgraduate School (Chair)
Prof. Dewey Ryu of University of California at Davis
Prof. Nakho Sung of Tufts University
Prof. Young Suk Kim of Mansfield University
Prof. K. Wayne Lee of the University of Rhode Island (ExOfficio)

3. Board Members

Prof. Ki-Hyon Kinney Kim of University of Central North Carolina
Prof. Hang Yul Rhee of West Virginia Sheppard University
Prof. Hongtaek Thomas Hahn of University of Californian at Los Angeles
Prof. Yoon Shik Park of George Washington University
Prof. Nakho Sung of Tufts University
Prof. Sunwoong Kim of University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

4. POSTECH Visit

On July 25, 2016 President K Wayne Lee and Secretary General Jongsung Kim paid a visit to the POSTECH which celebrates its 30th Anniversary too. During the visit, they had a meeting with POSTECH President Dr. Doh Yeon Kim and Professor Euiho Suh of Industrial Engineering to explore an academic exchange between the KAUPA and the POSTECH. Professor Suh arranged the visit and the meeting. President Lee also made a presentation on “Sustainable Infrastructures and Systems for Eternal Peace and Prosperity” to faculty and graduate students.

5. Courtesy Visit to the National Assembly of Korea

President Lee paid courtesy visits to three members of National Assembly of Korea: Hon. In Sook Park, Hon. Yonghyun Shin and Hon. Mioak Mun. During the meetings, President Lee promoted the activities of KAUPA, and sought the support from the Korean National Assembly.

6. Courtesy Visits to KAIST, NRF, and UST

In July 27 and 28, President Lee paid courtesy visits to KAIST President Kang (picture), NRF Director General Moon, and UST President Moon. At the NRF, an agenda of sponsoring the publication of KAUAP Director was discussed.

7. Emporia State University Named Prof. Wooseob Jeong as Dean of SLIM
A faculty member and former interim dean at the University of Wisconsin — Milwaukee, Prof. Jeong started new Dean of the School of Library and Information Management at Emporia State University in Kansas from July 1, 2016. Dean Jeong was served as Vice President of KAUPA during the 11th administration, and has been working as webmaster for the 12th administration. KAUPA would like to congratulate Dean Jeong for his new position.

8. University of Missouri Named Prof. Moon Y. Choi as the 24th President

According to the Press Release on Nov 2, 2016, University of Missouri Board of Curators announced the appointment of Dr. Mun Y. Choi as the 24th President of the University of Missouri System. Prof. Mun Young Choi has been serving as the Provost and Executive Vice President of University Connecticut since 2012. KAUPA President Lee met Prof. Choi at the Drexel University in 2005 when he served as Vice President of KSEA and tried to revive Philadelphia Chapter. Prof. Choi was then served as Chair of Mechanical Engineering and Associate Dean of Engineering at Drexel, and helped Prof. Lee to accomplish his mission. He also received an award of Engineer of the Year from KSEA in 2008.

Prof. Choi was born in South Korea, and came to the U.S. as a child. As a young man, he worked in his family’s successful business in Chicago, and later graduated from the University of Illinois – Urbana Champaign with a bachelor’s degree in General Engineering in 1987. He later earned a master’s and doctoral degrees in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Princeton University. KAUPA would like to congratulate on his magnificent achievement and new high education leadership.
9. KAUPA Grant to the KAGES

KAUPA has granted a financial support of $1,000 to Korean-American Association for Geospatial and Environmental Sciences (KAGES) for Year 2015. Professor Woonsup Choi, President of KAGES provided the following news:

KAGES is a not-for-profit society of academics and professionals in the field of geospatial and environmental sciences based in North America and Korea. KAGES was incorporated in 2008 to foster collaboration between Korea and North America for academic research and provide financial and mental support for graduate students. KAGES holds a general meeting every year in March or April to report its activities, elect new officials, and award scholarships. KAUPA has been financially supporting KAGES for its general meetings over the last few years. The 2015 general meeting took place in Hyatt Regency Chicago on Thursday, April 23. With the vote of 53 members, four board members were elected, and revision of the bylaws was approved. The elected board members included Dr. Ban Hyowon (California State Univ., Long Beach) for V. President and President-Elect, Dr. Lee Wook (Edinboro Univ. of Pennsylvania) for Secretary, and Drs. Sim Sun-hui (Univ. of North Alabama) and Kim Daehyun (Univ. of Kentucky) for regular board members. The student scholarship awardees were Koh Keumseok (Michigan State Univ.), Choi Sungho (Boston Univ.), Choi Young Rae (Ohio State Univ.), and Edward Park (Univ. of Texas at Austin), and it is Edward Park who received the award with the KAUPA grant. Mr. Park wrote an article entitled “Surface water and sediment distribution patterns at the confluence of mega rivers: the Solimões-Amazon and Negro rivers junction,” which has been accepted with moderate revision for publication in Water Resources Research. Water Resources Research, published by American Geophysical Union, is one of the top journals in water resources. There was also dinner at Dao Thai restaurant subsidized by the KAUPA grant.

A recent issue of KAGES newsletter is available in the following link.
10. Boston Consulate General Held a Dinner in Honor of K-A Professors and Scholars

Consul General Song Jun Ohm of the Republic of Korea in Boston invited K-A Professors and Scholars for friendly talk gathering and dinner on December 15, 2016. The main topic was “The Role of K-A Professors in North America,” and KAUPA President Lee and Prof. Sekyung Shklar had keynote speeches.

11. Brain Network Summit on June 23, 2017

KAUPA plans to have Brain Network Summit with SNUAAUSA in Boston on June 23, 2017. The theme would be a balanced development of the natural sciences and humanities fields, as well as a creative research environment for raising future Nobel Prize laureates. This summit could be held jointly with KSEA and/or NRF.

12. Recent Member News

Prof. Seja Oh Kim of University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth has been serving as Chairperson of Mathematics Department.

Prof. Jae H. Yu of University of Texas Dallas (Associate Chair of Physics Department) has been serving as the 45th President of KSEA (a sister organization) from July 1, 2016. Prof. Eun-Suk Seo of University of Maryland (Physics Department) was elected as the 46th President of KSEA (7/1/17 to 6/30/18).

Prof. Kyoung Ae Cho of University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee has been serving as Chairperson of Art & Design Department.

Prof. Helen H. Yu of Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi received a new position offer at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She will complete her responsibilities at Texas A&M through the spring and begin her new position o/a July 1. The new position has a reduced teaching load and comes with research money and credit towards P&T. She is very excited about this opportunity and of course, returning home permanently.

13. Directory Update

The new Membership Director, Prof. Yong Choi of Regent University will continue to work for updating 2012 Directory with the help of Prof. Wooseup Jeong of Emporia University of Kansas and Prof. Sunwoong Kim of UWM. The updated directory is scheduled to be published in 2017.

14. Membership Fee Increase

From 2017, the KAUPA annual membership fee increase from $25 to $35 to be compatible with other sister organizations, e.g., KSEA.

III. Special Article about Southern China Travel

Jongsung Kim, Professor of Economics, Bryant University, USA

Shenzhen, a coastal city in Southern China, is not an ordinary city, at least to people who are interested in the history of China’s unprecedented economic growth in the past several decades.

In 1978, Deng Xiaoping implemented a series of market reform policies to revitalize the Chinese economy. His slogan of “Let someone get rich first”, seemed to be a revolutionary idea since it directly challenges the soundness of the socialist ideological platform of “equality and equity for all”. One of the market reform policies was to designate Shenzhen, a mere fishing village back then, as the first Special Economic Zone which has evolved into a mega player contributing to China’s remarkable economic growth performance.

With this background in mind, I was excited to visit Shenzhen for the first time to attend the 2016 Chinese Economist Society (CES) conference held at the Peking University HSBC Business School. At the conference, I presented a paper about income inequality and household debt in Korea and their implications to China.

To experience the immediate transformative nature from one region to another, I flew directly to Hong Kong instead so I could walk into Shenzhen from the former British colony. Although my route was in the reverse direction, I was reminded of the numerous Chinese who risked their lives crossing the border from Shenzhen to Hong Kong until the late 1970s.

Although Hong Kong has been a part of China again since 1997, it remains as a Special Administrative Region (together with Macau), an autonomous territory where one has to go through an immigration process when traveling between Hong Kong and mainland China. Despite its dramatic history that divided the former British colony and China, both the border experience and immigration process were disappointingly simple. The steel bridge connecting Hong Kong and Shenzhen was only about 60 yards long, and I was admitted to Shenzhen in less than a minute.

The theme of the conference was “Sustainable Development in China and the World” with many concurrent sessions. Many renowned economists presented their take on the theme from different perspectives, undoubtedly influenced by their experiences and backgrounds, reflecting the importance of Chinese economy and its sustainability into the future. Reflecting from my academic interests, I am curious as to China’s ability to create sufficient number of employments when its economy already shows a slower growth pattern which is expected to continue in a more aggressive trend in the years to follow. I am also interested in knowing how the Chinese government and policy makers would address the widening income inequality problem. The rapid economic growth in China has made the world’s most populous country more affluent than ever but what is more striking in this instance is that the vast wealth has been able to be obtained by few in an incredibly short time span resulting in a society of high economic disparity.

Almost all my time was spent attending the sessions at the Peking University HSBC Business School and regrettably I had a little opportunity to witness the developments in Shenzhen. But after the conference, the conference organizer arranged a visit to Huawei, a Chinese multinational equipment and service company in networking and telecommunications. During the short visit, I was introduced to the condensed history of Huawei’s impressive growth.

Part of my itinerary included a visit to Bryant-Zhuhai campus, which took a one-hour ferry ride from Shenzhen to Zhuhai. During my stay in Zhuhai, I was invited to meals, classes, Bryant Forum, and the High-Table Dinner. But the most memorable experience was to spend time with students and colleagues in and out of the classroom. At Bryant-Zhuhai, approximately 160 accounting-major students were admitted last year with all minoring in economics. All students were taking Macroeconomic Principles in the spring semester. I visited one class taught by Prof. Jiang discussing the trade-off between inflation and unemployment where students were both very receptive and engaged in the topics introduced.

I also attended a Bryant Forum led by Prof. Corey Larson with the assistance of Prof. Paul Swift both of whom are old colleagues of mine from Bryant. Dean David Lux and Prof. Sharon Lux also contributed to the session highlighting the importance of reading. At the English Corner, we discussed a variety of topics on the Chinese and global economy. Since my memories from the CES conference were still fresh, I shared what I learned from the conference with students.

Attending the ceremonial High-Table Dinner was a new experience. I was told that this is a function of British tradition, in which a dinner is served to attendees in formal attire. The deans, professor and invited guests wore special regalia and sitting at the podium. Not knowing much about the British tradition, the pictures of this function reminded me of the scenes from the Harry Potter movies. Dean Kevin Zhen led the whole event flawlessly, and the highlight of the dinner was a speech by VP Hong Yang, emphasizing the importance of global perspectives and the spirit of originality and innovation.

In retrospect, at the risk of sounding cliché, hindsight is always 20/20 because I gained so much more than I realized during this one week trip to Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Zhuhai. Albeit the fact that these three cities appear to be burgeoning and thriving economically, they represent only one part of China. As a whole, China, according to a conference presenter, is already showing an economic growth slowdown which has started several years ago as supported by some macroeconomic statistics. The rosy picture of these cities together with the reality check of the downturn, made me realize that there was more uncertainty than ever in the direction of the China’s economy.

I acknowledge the travel support from the College of Arts and Science and the China Institute of Bryant University.

VI. Announcements

1. Membership Solicitation and 2017 Membership Fee Drive

We encourage you to become a regular or associate member of KAUPA, if you have not done yet. To become a member, you need to register and pay the annual membership fee of $35 (1/1/17 to 12/31/17). Please send the attached application along with the fee to the Treasurer of KAUPA: Prof. Woonsup Choi, Dept. of Geography, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, P.O. Box 413, Milwaukee, WI 53201-0413.

We are also receiving 2017 membership due (1/1/17 to 12/31/17) for current KAUPA members.

2. News Contribution
To help us share your news on your recent academic, professional activities, achievements and other news of interest, email Jongsung Kim, the KAUPA Secretary General and Professor of Economics, Bryant University at Your contributions (not necessarily financial) will be greatly appreciated.