Greetings KSU, from Seongdong-gu

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A delegation of top officials and business leaders from the Seongdong-gu district of Seoul, South…

Georgia (Apr 21, 2011)

A delegation of top officials and business leaders from the Seongdong-gu district of Seoul, South Korea, made the rounds at KSU April 19 during a visit to strengthen partnerships with the university and Cobb County.

The delegation of 13, led by Mayor Jae Deuk Goh, met with top university officials, including President Daniel S. Papp.  They also held sessions with administrators and faculty of the Institute for Global Initiatives and Bagwell College of Education, students in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and participants and alumni of KSU’s Teaching English in Korea Program.

The delegation’s visit is a result of the three-year partnership KSU shares with Seongdong-gu and the Hanyang University campus located there.  Both partnerships were instrumental in the success of KSU’s “Year of Korea” country study during the 2009-2010 academic year. KSU has hosted groups of Hanyang students, and this summer will mark the fourth year that KSU education students have taught English in Korea.  Members also met independently with officials of Cobb County, with which it shares “sister city” status.

“These partnership activities have been extremely beneficial and are expanding,” said Dan Paracka, director of education abroad. “We are very pleased to welcome our guests from Seongdong-gu.”

Speaking through KSU students who served as interpreters, Mayor Goh, gave students in professor Heeman Kim’s intercultural communication class a prepared lesson in Korean history, civics, economy and culture, complete with diagrams and PowerPoint slides. 

“Soengdong-gu is small, but so are Koreans; we don’t need much space,”
 Goh said during an extensive comparison of his 6.5 square-mile-district of 310,000 people to Cobb County’s 344.1 square-mile area with more than 700,000.

Goh also described government responsibilities at the local, state and national levels with regards to budget, education, health, police and other public services.  During a rigorous Q&A, students got responses to questions about transportation, taxes, business, access to and attitudes about education, living conditions, healthcare and programs to protect the environment.

Jinny Kim, a KSU graduate who majored in education, and Eunkyung Park, a junior international business major, escorted the delegation during the visit and translated for members.

Other members of the delegation included Hee So Eun, bureau director; Hwan Chang Shin, secretary to the mayor; Ki Ho Na, team manager; So Jung Jun, visit coordinator; Jong Wook Yoon, Seongdong-gu council chairman; Hwa Mok Kim, council representative; Chang Kwan Kim, head of the district’s office of education; Sangwon Lee, Duksoo High School principal; Sangdon Shim, CEO of Starkey Korea; Yisuk Park, CEO of Dongnam Motors; and Jeongwoo Lee, CEO of Vitzrosys. 

-- Sabbaye McGriff 


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