Ji-Yeon Lee (Middle)

Ji-Yeon Lee (Middle)

Honors, achievements, and special recognition:

  • Outstanding GTA award (Finalist), The University of Kansas, 2009
  • Achievement Scholarship, School of Education, The University of Kansas, 2008-2009
  • Helen Rowles Hansen Scholarship, School of Education, The University of Kansas, 2007-2008

How I became interested in my field:

While I was pursuing my Ph.D in Curriculum and Instruction, I worked as a GTA teaching Korean in EALC department. I came to KU to become an expert in English (as a foreign language) education, but I found that teaching my native language to American college students is a very fascinating job that I want to seek as a lifelong career.

An honor, achievement or accomplishment that is most meaningful to me and why:

The past seven years at KU was the most meaningful time to me. Every day I have been working hard to achieve my dream of becoming professor in foreign language education while going through many challenges as an international student, instructor, director of Lawrence Korean School, mother and wife.

Someone who has been a role model for me and why:

The Analects of Confucius has a passage like this. “When I walk with two people, either is bound to be my teacher. Identifying their strengths, I follow them, and identifying their weaknesses, I reform myself accordingly”

Fortunately, I met many teachers, professors, and friends who care for others with truly warm hearts while being successful in their career. They are my role mothers. I want to be like one of them in my field.

Someone who has been influential or had a significant impact on my life:

My parents, parents-in-law and my husband. Their strong support and encouragement in many aspects made me who I am and what I am.

My favorite KU memory:

I was here in 2008 when Jayhawk basketball team won the national championship. The whole town was so excited. On the next day, I went to the stadium to welcome the players. I don’t need to write more for you to imagine how it was.

An important life lesson I have learned:

It does not seem that God answers everything we pray. But He does. He answers everything in His way in His time, which is the best for us. Our job is to keep praying and waiting while doing our best in every minute of our lives.

If I had a sister just entering college, I would want her to know…

In college, there are many things you want to do or you can do in order to make your dream come true. But your priority should be to do your very best to get a good education. Dedicate yourself to your studies, and you will still have plenty of time to do something else.

A favorite quote or saying and why it is meaningful to me:

“Better late than never.”

I often say this to my students who come late for class as even last few minutes of class is worth learning.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
– Philippians 4:6-7

As a Christian, I like this passage because it tells me that God cares for all aspects of my life and to trust him.