|Dr. Sung-Yeon Park
(middle) introduces a group of students from Sookmyung Women’s University in Seoul, South Korea, to BGSU
student Jane Powell (right) Wednesday during a cookout at City Park in Bowling Green. (Enoch
From the Mud Hens to the art museum and the auto industry, a group of 14 young women from Korea will
learn about United States media industry and culture during a 10-day stay at Bowling Green State
The Media and Communication International Summer Institute is running through Monday and has been
featuring a rich mix of academic presentations, hands-on media production workshops, public speaking
coaching and field trips around the region.
Dr. Sung-Yeon Park, telecommunications, has organized the institute. Park made a connection with
Sookmyung Women’s University in Seoul, South Korea, during her 2012 faculty improvement leave.
"SMU is an elite women’s college that has for many years offered its students international trips,
but they wanted something more academic," Park said. "We can provide an interesting,
multifaceted program. Our faculty has always placed an emphasis on teaching and maintaining strong ties
to industry along with our research. And being located where we are, we have access to Google Ann Arbor,
which oversees almost all the advertising operations for the company, plus powerful advertising agencies
in Detroit and Dearborn that are tied to the auto industry.
"Also, local organizations have been so helpful and cooperative," she added. Kim McBroom, chief
marketing officer for the Toledo Mud Hens and Walleyes, and Teri Sharp, public relations manager for the
Toledo Museum of Art (both former BGSU employees), will speak with the students about their jobs
marketing sports, nonprofit and arts organizations. The group will get to tour Fifth Third Field and
watch a baseball game, tour the museum and have dinner in its acclaimed Glass Pavilion as part of the
The Korean students will further strengthen their intercultural literacy and experience Midwestern life
during visits to local malls and restaurants, a picnic at City Park with graduate and undergraduate
students, and a day at Put-in-Bay.
Distinguished Teaching Professor Mary Ellen Benedict, chair of the economics department, will give the
keynote address for the week, as part of the emphasis on women’s leadership. Benedict is an expert in
the area of gender economics, Park noted.
"In Korea, women do better academically than in many other parts of the world," she said.
"Many earn not only bachelor’s degrees but also master’s. But in terms of their participation in
the workforce, they are not meeting their full potential. Opportunities for advancement are lacking, and
the social structure doesn’t accommodate women," who are generally expected to marry and stay home
with their children, she said.
Along with seminars on such topics as "U.S. Media Industry Characteristics and Development
Trends" and "The Role of Media in the Social Construction of Reality," led by faculty
from BGSU’s School of Media and Communication, the young women will be coached by Paul Alday, director
of BGSU’s award-winning Forensics, Speech and Debate Program, and several of his graduate students in
preparation for their final media production project presentations.
In addition to the experience the Korean students will gain, Dr. Laura Stafford, School of Media and
Communication director, sees a range of benefits for BGSU from the institute as well.
"We’re excited about it," she said. "It fits in with BGSU’s strategic plan goal of
internationalizing the campus and gives us the opportunity for more intercultural interactions. A number
of our graduate students from several programs will help with the event, so both they and our faculty
will get to work directly with the Korean students.
"Also, having thee high-profile guests interacting with major corporations raises our own profile
both in the region and internationally."
Meanwhile, interest in Korea and Korean studies is growing at BGSU, which has about 10 Korean faculty
members, Park said. In response to student demand, a Korean language class is forming, to be taught
initially by an incoming Korean graduate student. And in addition to the existing Korean Student
Association, a Korean Club is forming for non-Korean students who wish to learn more about the culture.
(Story by BGSU Office of Marketing and Communications)