ASU assistant professor named U.S.-Korea NextGen Scholar

By

Catherine Sebold

YoungJu Shin, assistant professor at the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication and affiliated faculty at the Center for Asian Research, was recently named as a 2018-19 U.S.-Korea NextGen Scholar.

The U.S.-Korea NextGen Scholars Program is a unique two-year program that provides opportunities for mid-career Korea specialists to discuss issues of importance to U.S.-Korea relations with policymakers, government officials and opinion leaders in Korea and the United States; learn how to effectively engage with the media; participate in the policymaking process; gain experience as public intellectuals helping to bridge the scholarly and policy communities; and address issues of importance to the U.S.-Korea relationship.

“As a communication scholar focusing on intercultural communication, I hope to help facilitate discussions on ways to engage in meaningful intercultural dialogue,” Shin said. “The NextGen Scholar program will provide me with the opportunity to collaborate with other scholars and key policymakers in Washington and Seoul in an effort to address important social issues in innovative ways.”

NextGen Scholars are selected by the Center for Strategic and International Studies Korea Chair and the University of Southern California’s Korean Studies Institute. Shin was one of only 11 scholars chosen.

The scholars will participate as a group in three sets of programs: 1) In Washington, D.C., for briefings with policymakers in the U.S. government; 2) in Los Angeles for academic mentoring and media training; 3) in Seoul, South Korea, for briefings with policymakers and exposure to media and opinion leaders.

Since 2016, Shin’s teaching has included several courses at ASU on intercultural communication. She has served as a panelist on several on-campus events, exploring topics that include procedures used in communication research. She is also a faculty member of the ASU Intercultural Communication Interest Group (ICGlobal).  

Shin hopes to expand her current research on immigrant communities to include those in Korea.

“There are two particular groups I am interested in researching,” said Shin. “Refugees from the North, who are now referred to as ‘new settlers,’ and laborers from Southeast Asia who come to Korea and form interracial families. Korea currently lacks civil dialogue on these immigrant populations, and as a result, they often face discrimination.”

Following her participation in the NextGen program, Shin hopes to apply her learnings and experiences to the classroom. 

“I am very excited to be a part of this program, especially now, not only because of what is transpiring between the U.S. and South Korea but also between the North and South. The study of intercultural communication reveals that dialogue is one of the keys to bridging differences and divisions to work collectively toward a shared future.”