KSU grad returns to talk about higher education in Korea

Jackie McLean

Kim recollects about time spent in Kent

For the first time in 21 years, Kent State alumnus Yong Chu Kim is back at his alma mater.

Kim graduated from Kent State in May 1988 with a Ph.D. in higher education administration. He is on a sabbatical leave from his teaching position at Gyeongsang National University in Korea and came back to the university to visit both the city of Kent and the university he once attended.

“I learned a lot of important things from here during my graduate school years,” Kim said. “Kent State is a second hometown in terms of my academic life.”

Kim said his wife, who lived with him while he was attending the university, also missed Kent.

“We spent our mid-30s at Kent, which would be the most energetic days in our lives,” Kim said. “We used to talk about our Kent lives in Korea.”

Kim will be giving a speech from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. today in the Governance Chambers. The speech is sponsored by the Center for International and Intercultural in the College of Education, Health, and Human Services as part of its Gerald H. Read Lecture Series.

Kim will be speaking about Korean education, and he said he would focus on the higher education in Korea and the present problems the country has.

“Actually, the Korean educational system is followed by the United States educational system, so America influenced the Korean educational system,” Kim said. “We have a six-year elementary school, a three-year middle school, a three-year high school and a four-year university, which is almost the same in the United States.”

Kim Sebaly, associate professor for the department of educational foundations and special services, said students and faculty should attend Kim’s speech to hear someone talk about his appreciation for Kent and Kent State University and to learn about the current challenges in higher education in Korea.

Kim plans to stay in Kent for one year before returning to his teaching position at Gyeongsang National University. He said he would retire from his position in eight years.

“I am planning to have a long travel to the western part of the United States,” Kim said.

Kim encourages people to travel around the world to better understand how the world works.

“The United States is such a God-blessed nation in the world,” Kim said. “The young people need to understand and have compassion towards other people who are in trouble with various kinds of painful situations, such as poverty, war and drought, rather than just enjoying their good conditions.”

Contact College of Education, Health and Human Services reporter Jackie McLean at [email protected].