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Volume 10 Edition 6: March 2011

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Visitors from Sogang University, Korea

On February 16-17, IPC welcomed Dr. Jae H. Roe, Vice President of the Office of International Affairs and Professor of American Culture, and Ms. Jin ok Ahn, International Program Officer for the Office of International Affairs from Sogang University in Seoul, Korea, one of our newer exchange partners.

The visitors began with a campus tour led by Tom Martinek, Jr, Assistant Director of Study Abroad & Exchange; Kaitlin Ritchie, Incoming Exchange Student Coordinator; and Wendy Jones-Worden, Spanish professor and Study Abroad Advisor. Afterwards, they met with faculty in the Department of Media Studies, including Dr. Emily Edwards, Professor; Dr. David Cook, Professor and Department Head; and Ken Terres, Instructor and Engineer who gave them a tour of the broadcasting studio.

The two visitors then gave a classroom presentation where they shared information on Sogang University with a class on “The Internet & Global Society and Culture,” instructed by Dr. Seung-Hyun Lee, Assistant Professor in the Department of Media Studies and alumna of Sogang. After the class, they had lunch with Dr. Penelope Pynes, Associate Provost for International Programs, along with Drs. David Cook, Seung-Hyun Lee, and Michael Frierson, Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, all from Media Studies.

Jae H. Roe, David Cook, Jin ok Ahn, Michael Frierson, and Seung-Hyun Lee

Focus on Fulbright Scholar  by Katie Ostrowka

Every semester, UNCG welcomes a handful of international scholars who conduct research in a variety of fields. Each brings with them a unique background that enriches the scholar community on campus. This past June, we welcomed a Fulbright scholar, Mr. Sami Yli-Piipari, from the University of Jyvaskyla in Finland. Sami is working on research in the Department of Kinesiology, with a specialty in physical activity. Specifically, he is researching how physical education enhances and supports physical activity. He has just completed his dissertation which he will defend for his Ph.D. when he returns to Finland this summer.

For Sami, being a Fulbright scholar is not just about the research. It’s about being involved in the social relationships and community engagement that the opportunity provides and being a cultural representative for your home country. He encourages students of all levels of education to learn about exchange programs and to consider going abroad to enrich their academic lives.

Sami (second from left) with other Fulbright scholars in Tennessee

As a Fulbright scholar, Sami has had the opportunity to meet a lot of people of different nationalities and areas of interest. At a recent Fulbright enrichment event in Tennessee, Sami and the other Fulbrighters volunteered at a kitchen/shelter. Sami believes that volunteer work and community engagement is one of the great features of American culture. He enjoys volunteering and thinks that individuals caring through that kind of work is lost in Finland because Finns assume that the government will take care of everything, so they’re not as involved in giving back to the community.

In regards to education, Sami sees many differences between Finland and the U.S. from which he has learned a lot. In the U.S., he says, the educational system is “a fraction more serious,” which he attributes in part to the fact that students in the U.S. pay for their education—in Finland, it’s free—which also changes the dynamic between students and teachers. Sami enjoys working at UNCG because the U.S. leads the research in many fields, especially in terms of the push to publish one’s research.

While excited to be working hard and enjoying it, Sami is also fortunate enough to have his wife and two children (aged 5 and 7 years) with him in Greensboro. In preparation for coming to the U.S., Sami’s children attended an English-speaking kindergarten so they would be ready for the American schools. His family has adjusted quickly and has been appreciating their time away from home.

Resouces:

Previous editions:
- Vol 10, ed 5: February 2011
- Vol 10, ed 4: December 2010
- Vol 10, ed 3: November 2010
- Vol 10, ed 2: October 2010
- Vol 10, ed 1: September 2010
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