Computer engineer to teach a different kind of design

Emily Andrews

Information design majors either know or will very shortly know who Hyangsook Lee is.

Lee is heading the information and design program in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. She came to Kent State in January and is teaching news design and graphics.

She was born in South Korea and received a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering from Hongik University in Seoul. She came to the United States in 1997 to attend Ohio University for her master’s degree.

At Ohio, she was still studying computer engineering but became more interested in visual communication. She took all the visual communication classes offered, she said.

During her graduate studies, she had an internship at Newsday for 10 weeks. Using her clips from Newsday, she was offered an internship at The New York Times.

After her internships, she worked at The Tennessean in Nashville, Tenn. and The Courier-Journal in Louisville, Ky.

During this time, she said she learned so much.

“I realized that graphics isn’t just about making things pretty,” Lee said. “It’s about information.”

After working in the newsroom, she applied for a teaching position at Kent State.

Next semester, she will teach News Design, Magazine Design and Visual Design for Media. “This semester, I’m just trying to survive,” Lee said.

Carl Schierhorn, a member of the search committee that chose Lee and the professor who formerly taught News Design, said he is really glad that she is at Kent State.

“She knows more about design than I could ever dream of learning,” said Schierhorn, who is also the Daily Kent Stater adviser. “She is still learning a lot about teaching, but I’m glad she’s here.”

For the future, Lee is already planning what she wants to do next. She said she wants to focus on 3-D and flash animation.

“More and more newspapers are hiring people with 3-D skills,” Lee said.

She said she wants students to know a little bit about everything. That is why she wants to have visual communication students have more internships than they currently need for graduation.

“I just want to help students with their portfolios or questions about how to get a job,” Lee said. “Help them get ready for the real world.”

Contact College of Communication and Information reporter Emily Andrews at [email protected].