Alumnus from South Korea says Asian Affairs Center helped him stay connected with MU for past 20 years

Aug. 2, 2019


People sit in chairs and listen to a lecture presented by a visiting professor from South Korea.
Yoon Jong-bin, an MU political science alumnus and a political science professor at Myongji University in South Korea, presents his research on South Korean election systems and democracy to students and professors of MU Department of Political Science on Feb. 6 at MU.

Since 1998, the University of Missouri Asian Affairs Center has kept in close contact with MU alumni of Asian countries, and has encouraged them to come back and share their knowledge developed internationally with domestic students and professors at MU.

Yoon Jong-bin, political science professor at Myonggi University in South Korea, was one alumnus who was able to visit MU with the help of Asian Affairs Center.

“MU has traditionally attracted many students and scholars from Asia, and the (Asian) Affairs Center is like a hub for doing that,” Yoon said.

Yoon, who completed both his master’s and Ph.D. degrees in political science at MU in 1995 and 1999, respectively, was given an opportunity to present his research on the Korean political system and elections to a group of students and professors in the MU Department of Political Science on Feb. 6, 2019.

Yoon said a good university should be able to provide diverse experiences and international networking opportunities to students so that they can build up global perspectives and talents.

And that’s what the Asian Affairs Center has been providing to students at MU for more than 20 years, Yoon said.

“What the (Asian) Affairs Center does to connect with Asian countries helps professors research and network and provides students with cultural education,” Yoon said. “So once students graduate and become alums, they could make an equal contribution to diversity back to MU.”

People sit in chairs and listen to a lecture presented by a visiting professor from South Korea.
MU political science professors Jonathan Krieckhaus and Sheena Greitens take notes while Yoon delivers his presentation on South Korean election systems and democracy.

Seungkwon You, who is the director of Global Leadership and Asian Scholar programs at the Asian Affairs Center, said many of alumni with whom the Asian Affairs Center has been in contact are in leadership position in their countries.

“MU and AAC believe that the experiences they had at Mizzou help them become better leaders, and their strong ties with Mizzou show that MU is achieving great success in education and research,” You said.

Meanwhile, the Asian Affairs Center has been playing a key role in establishing a diverse climate at MU. For 20 years, various programs under the center have invited more than 2,800 students and scholars from countries such as China, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Mongolia, Kyrgyzstan and Singapore.

And Yoon was one of them.

“[MU] Asian Affairs Center takes such an important role in this, keeping international alums and MU connected,” he said.