Rockefeller College Professor Lends International Students a Warm Welcome 

Kabsoo Kim (MPA, 2001), is Director of the Korean Cultural Centre in London, and Director General, Ministry of Culture, Sports & Tourism. (Photo, courtesy of Ik Jae Chung)  

ALBANY, N.Y. (February 1, 2016) – As the University continues its efforts to attract greater numbers of international students, one professor at Rockefeller College – Ik Jae Chung – can provide perspective on his approach to international recruitment. Chung has been enlisting executives and civil servants from Korea to the College’s MPA program for more than 15 years.

As the director of East Asia Program in the College, he is managing the Korean Executive Program and Albany-Korean Development Institute (KDI) Program in partnership with the Ministry of Personnel Management and the graduate school of KDI, respectively. The Institute is an economic think tank in the country.

International students “need not only information available from the University website, but also a warm-hearted hand for their first step into the UAlbany community,” said Chung. “I believe that the critical factor for successful student life at UAlbany is active exposure and participation into diverse on- and off-campus activities in addition to language proficiency and academic preparedness.”

Chung, who earned his doctorate in public administration from UAlbany in 1992, grew up in Seoul, Korea, and joined UAlbany in 1986 for his graduate program. He came here for several reasons, and his wife, Jungran Chung, MA in Fine Art ’90, is also an alum.

“The graduate program at Rockefeller College has a high national ranking with interdisciplinary academic focuses, and the location of UAlbany provides diverse field experience in public and non-profit organizations,” said Chung.

In response to an inquiry in the late 1990s from a Korean public agency which showed a strong interest in building organizational capacity through international programs, Chung shared his institutional knowledge of UAlbany as an alum.

“As the number of program participants increases and their positive evaluations about the program accumulate, interpersonal communication in the executive community in Korea works for expanding my cross-cultural activities,” said Chung. “Now, the Ministry of Personnel Management recognizes the program and recommends executives to UAlbany.”

Chung and others at Rockefeller College help the executives settle in.

As international students, they receive campus-wide information including materials about visa issues from the orientation sessions offered by the Center for International Education. Rockefeller College also offers a well-designed orientation session every semester for new students. Events and gatherings are also organized by other international students at Rockefeller College.

There is an impressive list of graduate students whom Chung has drawn to UAlbany, including:

• Kim, Kabsoo (MPA, 2001) - Director, Korean Cultural Centre at London, UK. Director General, Ministry of Culture, Sports & Tourism

• Lee, Deok Soo (MPA, 2003) - Director General, Korean Customs Service at Hong Kong

• Cho, Jun Eok (MPA, 2008) - President, Korea Coast Guard Academy

• Lee, Jun Je (MPA, 2009) - Director, Board of Audit & Inspection

• Kim, Sun Woo (MPA, 2010) - Director, Korea President Security Service

• Cha, Sehoon (MPA, 2011) - Commander, Korea Navy

• Oh, Jong Kyu (MPA, 2011) - Professor, National Police Academy

The total number of MPA alumni through Chung’s programs is more than 80. Over 100 senior executives from diverse public agencies in Korea also joined in specially designed executive programs at Rockefeller College.

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