Tag Archives: college

KFEST banner

Awkwafina and Parker to Headline UC Irvine’s 4th Annual KFEST

The 4th Annual KFEST at UC Irvine kicks off just one week from today. If you’re looking for good food, games and music, you might want to stop by next Tuesday evening. Awkwafina and Parker, a.k.a. Dumbfoundead, will headline as featured performers accompanied by DJ ZO.

This year, KFEST promises “The Korean Experience,” with plenty of Korean cuisine, games and performances by fellow Anteaters. Admission is free, but be prepared to pay for parking if you do attend.

You can find more information at the KFEST Facebook event page.


When: Tuesday, April 28 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Where: UC Irvine Student Center, Pacific Ballroom CD  (Parking in the Student Center Parking Structure)


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James H Kim

Student Spotlight: Touro University-California’s James Hun Kim

Are there any organizations/clubs you are involved in? Tell us about what you’re up to!
I am very active in a professional pharmacy organization called California Society of Health Systems Pharmacists (CSHP). I am a past president of my schools’ chapter, and I stay involved as much as I can now.

With this role, I have advocated for the profession of pharmacy at the state capitol and provided opportunities for students to network with current pharmacists and get involved in community outreach events. Getting involved with this organization was a great way to meet important people in the profession and also improve my leadership and communication skills.


What’s the best thing about your school?
I would have to say the best thing about my school is my classmates. They have become like a second family to me. Shout out to all my pharmies!

Give a little description of your background.
I grew up in a small town called Carson City, Nevada. My brother and I are first generation Korean American. After high school, I moved 30 miles north to Reno, Nevada for undergrad at the University of Nevada, Reno. Go Wolf Pack!

I was the first in my family to attend college. After graduation, I worked for a couple years in the pharmaceutical industry and eventually, I applied to pharmacy school. I was accepted to Touro University-California, where I’m currently working to complete my doctorate. During pharmacy school, I became a proud husband and father of two, a son who is two and a daughter who is just seven weeks old. I’ve had to learn how to balance a lot of roles at the same time, but it’s been so rewarding.

CSHP Health Fair

Your go-to food place:
This may sound cliché for a Korean, but my go-to place is this spot in San Francisco called My Tofu House. I go there as often as I can. Growing up in a small rural town, the only Korean food that was accessible was my mom’s, so finding this place was a dream when I moved to California. It always reminds me of my mom, and it’s hands down the best soondubu in the city.

What has been your favorite memory so far?
Well I have two of them now: when my son, Aiden, and my daughter, Lillian, were born.


If you could sum up your life as a student in three words, they would be…
STUDY, STRESS and FUN… not in any particular order.

What was the hardest thing you’ve done so far?
The hardest thing I have done so far is raising a family while both my wife and I have been in pharmacy school. Granted, raising a family is hard work itself, but the workload of pharmacy school has made it extra hard. If I could go back though, I wouldn’t change a thing.

What was the last book you read…for fun?
The Pout Pout Fish… it’s a children’s book that I read to my son each night before bed. It’s a total tongue twister, and my son loves it.


What does your typical night out consist of?
Nights out are few and far between at this point in my life, but I do enjoy an occasional night out with friends. Usually we will just go out and catch up over some food and drinks.

Coffee, tea, energy drinks, “crazier stuff,” or nothing at all?
All of it. I drink this stuff so much, but I don’t feel like any of it works for me anymore, though.

Who’s the person/people you can rely on for anything?
My wife. We met nine years ago during undergrad, so we’ve been through a lot together by now. She is always there to support me.


If you would like to participate in KoreAm U’s Student Spotlight feature, you can find more information here

University Tuition

UC President Apologizes for Calling Student Protests Over Tuition ‘Crap’

Pictured above: University of California Berkeley student Kristian Kim throws fake money while starting a protest during a UC Board of Regents meeting in San Francisco, Wednesday, March 18, 2015. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

by JAMES S. KIM | @james_s_kim

University of California President Janet Napolitano issued a public apology yesterday for describing a student protest as “crap” during a regents meeting on Wednesday, the Los Angeles Times reports.

“I’m sorry for using a word I don’t usually use,” Napolitano said at Thursday’s regents meeting at UC San Francisco. She admitted to using an “unfortunate” choice of words, but she also asked for “empathy and understanding” in what led to the remark.

Kristian Kim (pictured above) was one of about 30 student protesters in the meeting who, during the public comment period, began yelling and stripping down to their underwear and exercise clothing, revealing the words “Student Debt” written on their bodies. It was during the yelling that Napolitano leaned over regents chairman Bruce Varner and said, “Let’s just break. Let’s go, let’s go. We don’t have to listen to this crap.”

Her microphone caught the words, which were discernible on the UC’s live video stream of the meeting. Napolitano and the regents left the room, followed by the protesters after a warning from the police. No arrests were made, and the regents resumed the meeting.

Needless to say, the remark definitely didn’t sit well with the students.

“It’s an insult to have her as the president of UC,” Kim told CBS News. “I don’t know where she’s coming from, but I’m assuming she’s never had to deal with these issues personally. So I can understand why there would be a disconnect there.”

One of the more pressing issues students were protesting was the proposal for a 5 percent tuition increase every year for the next five years. Napolitano and California Governor Jerry Brown have gone back and forth on possible tuition hikes: The governor has proposed increasing state revenue for UC by $120 million, or 4 percent, next year, but only if tuition remains frozen for a fourth consecutive year, according to the L.A. Times. Napolitano maintained that the UC needs $100 million more than Brown’s proposal to cover costs, such as pensions and salaries; otherwise, the 5 percent hike would be necessary.

So far, the regents have authorized Napolitano to increase undergraduate tuition for California residents by as much as $612 in 2015-16, to $12,804, which does not include room, board and individual campus fees. If the 5 percent hikes kick in over the next five years, California undergrads could be paying $15,564 by 2019-20.


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Study Finds Students Give Lower Ratings to Asian Instructors on ‘Rate My Professors’

by JAMES S. KIM | @james_s_kim

No one hates Rate My Professors more than professors, who claim that the website can lead to unfair ratings. Many students, however, find no issue with referencing the site, and some even take the time to offer their own ratings and comments.

A new study by Nicholas Close Subtirelu, a doctoral student at Georgia State University, examined how students on Rate My Professors rated Nonnative English-speaking (NNES) instructors. Overall, the results suggest that these instructors received significantly lower scores than those with other last names, specifically in the categories of clarity and helpfulness.

Subtirelu looked at the ratings and comments given to over 1,000 mathematics professors with Chinese or Korean-sounding last names, then compared the results to a much larger sample of instructors whose last names did not suggest an Asian background.

After breaking down the numbers between male and female instructors, then by U.S. region, Subtirelu found that instructors with American-sounding last names received clarity scores that were 0.60 to 0.80 points higher (on a five-point scale) than those with Asian names. The gaps in rankings were the largest in the South, while they were closest in the West.

You can see the spread of results below:

ResultsImage via Inside Higher Ed

Subtirelu also looked through the student comments for these NNES instructors, noting a pattern where many students began a positive remark by saying the instructor “has an accent, but …” He also said in certain comments where students commented about language, they “seemed to view that as a surprise or as something that needed to be shared about someone with an Asian last name.”

Comments such as “Her English is perfect,” although seemingly positive, he says, “suggest a focus of students on Asian instructor’s language skills when evaluating them.”

That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Subtirelu does acknowledge there are instructors who are legitimately difficult to understand, but he says with a little effort, students would be just fine with most instructors. The main issue is when students actively avoid certain instructors based on the comments about their accents.

Noting the amount of English language skill testing and training foreign graduates go through, Subtirelu expressed his skepticism of the idea that they are unintelligible and their English proficiency is so poor. In the classroom, there needs to be a little effort “on both sides” for better comprehension.

You can read the full abstract of the study here.

This study comes on the heels of another that looked into the word choices that students used when rating their male and female professors.


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Awk Parker

Parker & Awkwafina Booking College Shows

by JAMES S. KIM | @james_s_kim

Parker, also known as Dumbfoundead, just finished off his Dead End Tour, but he’ll be back on the road soon with his fellow rapper Awkwafina. The two artists are gearing up for their tour through April and May, and they want a few suggestions from the college crowd.

If your school club or organization is interested in possibly hosting them for what will be one heck of a show, contact book.dfd@gmail.com.

You can read our September 2013 cover story on Awkwafina here.


Featured image courtesy of Dumbfoundead

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Santa Clara University Student Arraigned For Stabbing Roommate

by JAMES S. KIM | @james_s_kim

A 19-year-old was arraigned on Thursday for what is being described as a “bizarre stabbing” of his roommate earlier this week.

Dillon Sang Kim, a student at Santa Clara University, stabbed his sleeping roommate multiple times in the upper body with a knife at about 3 a.m. on Tuesday, according to the prosecutor. Kim then apparently cut himself on the neck–a mug shot of Kim (Warning: Graphic image) shows a gruesome stitched wound wrapping around his neck.

Kim did not enter a plea when he appeared in a San Jose courtroom yesterday. He is scheduled to be back in court on Tuesday; in the meanwhile, he is being held at the Santa Clara County Jail without bail, according to Mercury News. A woman believed to be a relative began openly weeping during the hearing when Kim appeared in shackles.

Police are still investigating the motive, saying that the attack was unprovoked. Deputy District Attorney Kalila Spain said the victim of the stabbing was “very lucky to be alive.” The attack began when the victim, also a 19-year-old sophomore, woke up to see Kim standing over him with a knife in his hand.

Kim stabbed his roommate multiple times in the throat, head and shoulder before the victim was able to scramble to an adjacent dorm room, where another student called 911. Police arrested Kim outside Graham Hall, an on-campus housing unit with over 350 undergrads, but not before Kim cut his own neck, producing the gruesome scar.

A number of Santa Clara students, who are also trained EMTs, are being credited with potentially saving the lives of both Kim and his victim, according to ABC News. They usually are the first to respond to medical emergencies on campus, and the students on duty that morning treated the two before they were transferred to a hospital.

The victim is currently in a hospital recovering from his wounds.


Featured image courtesy of Josie Lepe/Bay Area News Group

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KoreAm U Weekly Roundup

Danny Hong

Bishop Gorman Quarterback Danny Hong Commits More Than His Arm to Columbia University

“I want to start my freshman year. I want to get on the field as soon as I can. I want to get out of there with a Columbia degree and go to grad school. Hopefully, the choices I have at grad school whatever school it is, I just want to really, really be a sponge of education there. And just get all the education that Columbia offers. It’s such a great curriculum that they offer, and it’d be a waste not to really embrace it all and make the most of it.”


Student Spotlight: Chapman University’s Jonathan Y. Shin

I was born in Temple, Texas. My dad, a recent immigrant, was pursuing his M.D. at Texas A&M College of Medicine. My family then moved to California when I was six years old. I attended Sunny Hills High School, Troy High School, and graduated from Army and Navy Academy. I then graduated from UC Irvine and worked full time for a few years before attending law school.


Chloe Kim Becomes the Youngest Winter X Games Gold Medalist

Chloe Kim, 14, became the youngest gold medalist in Winter X Games history, edging seven-time X Games gold medalist Kelly Clark to silver in the women’s snowboard superpipe on Saturday night.

“My face kind of hurts right now,” Kim told ESPN after winning gold. “I am just so amazed that I was able to land all that. It was so fun.”

lydia ko

Lydia Ko Reveals New Look for 2015 LPGA Season

The 17-year-old golfer ditched her trademark glasses for contact lenses during her offseason. Ko joked that her transformation was so great that even her caddie, Jason Hamilton, did not recognize her.

U.S. Textbook Skews History, Prime Minister of Japan Says (New York Times)

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan on Thursday criticized an American textbook that he said inaccurately depicted Japan’s actions during World War II, opening a new front in a battle to sway American views of the country’s wartime history.

Students Cram to Chase the Samsung Dream in South Korea (NBC News)

From a young age, these students spent their lives cramming through the night, seeking entry into an elite university and, by the time they graduate, a cushy job with a sprawling and politically connected conglomerate. Every six months, some 100,000 Koreans swarm campus test centers for a shot at Samsung glory.

ROTC Cadets

South Korea’s Marine Corps Accepts First Female ROTC Cadet

Kim Sang-a, a 24-year-old sophomore at Jeju National University, passed her Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) screening test last June and, earlier this month, completed her two-week military training. Kim’s cadet enlistment ceremony is scheduled for next month.

Younger North Koreans Increasingly Sharing Pictures, Video Between Cellphones (NK News)

Report says video and images, often influenced by S. Korean and Japanese culture, increasingly shared among younger generations.

Korean Consul General to Speak at UC Riverside on Feb. 5

Kim’s lecture, a roundtable discussion about Korean Americans and oral history, and a presentation by a visual artist about “comfort women” – all part of the ongoing YOK Center at UC Riverside Korean American Lecture Series – are free and open to the public.

As Korean adoptees return, a complex relationship follows (KPCC)

“It’s a very complicated subject,” said Maggie Jones, contributing writer to the New York Times Magazine. “Certainly lots of adopted children have very, very happy family lives in the United States, but they also often face racial discrimination growing up.”

Her recent cover story for the magazine has sparked debate about the ethics of international adoption and what can be learned from the perspective of adult adoptees.


Yale Student Dies in Apparent Suicide (Angry Asian Man)

At Yale University, community members are mourning a student who died in an apparent suicide. After an extensive campus-wide search, 20-year-old Luchang Wang is presumed to have died Tuesday in California.

Apply to TACL’s 2015 Political Internship Program (Angry Asian Man)

Calling all Taiwanese American young leaders! Taiwanese American Citizens League invites you to apply for its 2015 Political Internship Program in Washington DC. Since 1992, the eight-week summer program has placed college students in the offices of elected officials to give them a hands-on experience in the political process. In addition, interns advocate for issues that impact the Taiwanese American and AAPI communities.

Ohio University’s Program of Intensive English to Host 10 South Korean Engineering Students

OPIE is very happy to be hosting ten students from the Korean University of Technology and Education in Chungcheongnam-do, a province in western South Korea. The students are on campus for four weeks as part of the English Language Study Program; this is the fourth iteration of the program in the previous six years.

“The Korean Peninsula and Korea’s Relationship with its Neighbors” Lecture  by Korean Consul General Kan Jeong-sik at University of Waterloo

Korean Consul General Kan Jeong-sik will be speaking about “The Korean Peninsula and Korea’s Relations with its Neighbors” at Renison University College on Wednesday, Feb. 11 from 2:30 – 3:50 pm.

Youth Unemployment in Seoul Exceeds 10 Percent (Chosun Ilbo)

Unemployment among young people aged 15-29 in Seoul soared to over 10 percent last year, for the first time since the financial crisis of the late 1990s.

Late Start School Program Expands to Seoul (Korea Times)

At least 368 elementary, middle and high schools in Seoul will start classes at 9 a.m. from March 1, the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education (SMOE) said Thursday.


Student Spotlight: Chapman University’s Jonathan Y. Shin

Give a little description of your background (where did you grow up, etc.).

I was born in Temple, Texas. My dad, a recent immigrant, was pursuing his M.D. at Texas A&M College of Medicine. My family then moved to California when I was six years old. I attended Sunny Hills High School, Troy High School, and graduated from Army and Navy Academy. I then graduated from UC Irvine and worked full time for a few years before attending law school.


Are there any organizations/clubs you are involved in? Tell us about what you’re up to!

As a 1L, I founded the Korean American Law Student Association (KALSA) with a few friends on campus. Currently, I am in my second term as the organization’s founder and President. In addition, I am also the Vice-President of the Business and Investment Law Society (BILS), and I am a Student Ambassador for Chapman Law School. I also serve as an Advisory Board Member to Chapman’s Career Services Office, and as an Advocate in Honor Council serving in the Office of the Law School.


I am also an active board member in our law school’s Moot Court and Advanced Dispute Resolution (ADR) competition teams, and currently I am involved in a collective effort amongst student organizations in campaigning for another law journal at Chapman Law. Outside of law school, I am a mentor in our church youth ministry and I serve as a leader in our recently launched young adult ministry, Project Au.

What’s the best thing about your school?

The best thing about Chapman Law School would be the low faculty to student ratio, and the shared sense of community within the student body. While law schools are notorious for their competitive environments, our student body truly thrives off of supporting each other. In addition, the career service advisors at our school really help our students find jobs.


Through an interview set up by Jennifer Kim, a Career Service Advisor, I was hired at MKC Law Group. I am currently still employed at MKC Law Group, and the principal attorney, Min Chai, has become a valuable friend and mentor. Furthermore, by attending Chapman, my network expanded to include individuals such as the Former Mayor of Irvine, Sukhee Kang, who currently serves as an adjunct professor on the undergraduate campus.

What has been your favorite memory so far?

My favorite memory would be competing in Moot Court. My team travelled from California to Louisiana to compete in the Thomas Tang Moot Court Competition held by NAPABA. Upon arriving in Dallas, our second flight to New Orleans was cancelled due to a severe storm. Our coach determined that the only way to make it to New Orleans on time would be to drive. We rented a sedan, and we drove for eight hours in the worst Southern storm that I have ever seen! Severe rain and lightning storms relentlessly trailed our car for eight hours from Dallas to New Orleans.


After arriving at our hotel early in the morning, our team did not enjoy the luxury of sleep or practice. We woke up early to head to the Federal Court house to present our arguments. As a result of our resolve to represent our school, my partner and I won Best Brief and were Semi-Finalists. The other Chapman team went on to win first place. Both of our teams then advanced to Nationals, which was held in Scottsdale, Arizona. At Nationals, my partner and I advanced to the Semi-Finals, and the other team won Second Best Brief! Our success in the competition definitely contributed to making this my favorite memory in law school, but more importantly, the time we all spent together preparing and travelling made this the most memorable law school experience. I would like to thank my teammates Arthur Arutyunyan, Nilo Karbassi, and Lindsay Niles, as well as our coaches Nancy Schultz and Andrew Bugman for their time, dedication and friendship.

Who has been an influential figure in your life?

My parents have been influential figures in my life. They have guided and encouraged me to never give up, and to give my 100 percent no matter what. At a young age, my mother taught me to be confident and to stand up for others, which naturally led to my aspiration to become an attorney. My father inspired me to become a leader by serving others. He demonstrated sacrifice and servitude by giving up his medical practices to become a pastor and establish his church, International Grace Ministries (IGM) in Irvine, California. He attended Talbot School of Theology and graduated a three-year course in two-years with honors at the age of 52. Through his example, I learned to always give 100 percent to all of my endeavors and to continuously strive to help others.


What was the hardest thing you’ve done so far?

The hardest thing I’ve done would be juggling law school, extra-curricular activities, and work, all while representing an individual in a removal proceeding. All of the master calendar hearing dates for the removal proceeding coincided with my finals. On top of stressing for finals, I had to prepare for trial on an unfamiliar issue. This case was particularly stressful because being ill prepared could result in the permanent separation of an individual from his family. Adjusting myself to such a rigorous workload refined my time management skills.


Maintaining a proper perspective drove me through tough times and I know that if I work hard and persevere through difficulties, I can surmount any obstacle. Although I have another master calendar hearing scheduled in March 2015, I am thankful to everyone who has helped me along the way and I am grateful to have an opportunity to assist a person in need.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Upon graduating, I plan on starting my own law firm. In five years, I see myself as a licensed attorney and owner/partner at Aventus LLP. You can check out our site at www.aventusllp.com. In pursuit of my passion for cars, I also plan on launching my auto dealership and brokerage service sometime in 2015. The website for the auto dealership and brokering service is still under construction but if you want, you can check it out at www.embassymotors.com.

Coffee, tea, energy drinks, “crazier stuff,” or nothing at all?

Coffee with two shots of espresso, brown rice tea, and imported Monster Energy drinks.


Who’s the person/people you can rely on for anything?

First and foremost, it would be my wife, Judy. In everything I do, she has been my backbone and continues to be my biggest supporter and motivator. Attending law school as a newly wed can be very difficult for your significant other since the curriculum demands a lot of your time and attention, but my wife has always been very supportive and understanding. My family and my best friends, John Kim and Joe Uhm, are also unconditionally supportive of me and I know I can rely on them for anything.



What was the last book you read…for fun?

The last book I read for fun was Pitch Anything by Oren Klaff, a book my father recommended to me. I know some people think its cheesy reading these “self-help” books, but I actually learn a lot from them and I try to practice what I read.

What’s your go-to selfie face? (A picture is obviously necessary.)

I don’t really take selfies, but my dog loves to, so I’ll let her post hers on my behalf.