A Bigger Slice of the World

Double major from South Korea excels at EMU

by Linda Hass , Published October 09, 2013

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Attending Eastern Michigan University not only gave international student Sangeun Lee a chance to see unity in a diverse student population—it gave her a chance to hear it.

“Eastern has helped me see a bigger slice of the world. But participating in Hansori, a Korean drumming band, helped me to hear unity in diversity,” says Lee, vice president of the 22-member student-run band that performs on campus. “Although Hansori performs traditional Korean music, we are composed of students from several different countries. It’s the perfect example of how diversity can unite to make beautiful harmony, regardless of nationality.”  

Lee, who arrived on campus in 2012, is one of many South Korean dual degree students who complete a two-year program at Keimyung University in South Korea, then complete the remaining two-year curriculum at EMU, earning a bachelor’s of business from both EMU and KMU.

The ambitious senior, a double major in the College of Business, is on track to earn a bachelor’s degree in computer information systems (CIS) and a bachelor’s degree in supply chain management (SCM) from EMU in April 2014. She plans to pursue a master’s degree in human computer interaction and she dreams of becoming a professor in the field of information technology at a university with a vibrant international community, like Eastern’s, she says.

Huei Lee, professor of CIS and SCM, describes Lee as “active and enthusiastic” in student activities and leadership. Sock Chung, professor of CIS, agrees. “Not only has Sangeun exhibited excellence and a strong sense of commitment in my classes, she has brought knowledge of the Korean culture to the CIS Department and EMU.”

In addition to sharing the heart-beat of Korean culture with a diverse student body, Lee  has seized every opportunity to immerse herself in American culture, serving as EMU’s global ambassador through the Office of International Students, tutoring at the Holman Success Center, and managing Google Adwords and Analytics accounts for her Information Systems classes, among activities.

Her major reflects a deliberate global orientation, says Paul Chao, professor and interim marketing department chair. In fact, the SCM program, housed in the department of marketing, has a large number of international students and a strong international business focus designed to broaden students’ perspectives, equipping them to compete in an increasingly interconnected world, Chao says.

The SCM Program is characterized by a practical, applied approach and offers a variety of electives reflecting different career paths, including international business, retailing, purchasing, logistics, operations management and information systems, Chao adds.

According to the U.S. Dept. of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary in the SCM field was $70,800 in May 2010. The Bureau also noted that employment of SCM workers is expected to grow 26 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations.

“Eastern’s enrollment in the SCM program reflects this trend, growing by 35% over the last few years,” says Chao.

Geoff Larcom



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