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Shepherd's Rhee named distinguished professor

June 12, 2005

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. - Hang Yul Rhee, professor and chair of the political science department at Shepherd University, has been awarded the title of Distinguished Professor of International Relations.

The award is an acknowledgment of his distinguished career as a faculty member at Shepherd University as well as professional recognition from his peers in the political science field, according to a prepared release.

Rhee, a faculty member at Shepherd since 1968, is the first recipient of Shepherd's Distinguished Professor award.

His professional contributions to the academic literature of political science, as well as service to the professional development of political science and governmental organizations, nationally and internationally, have brought recognition and acclaim to him and to Shepherd, the release says. His continued active involvement in peace negotiations between South Korea and North Korea is a hallmark of professional commitment and activism at its highest levels, the release says.

While teaching at Shepherd, he served as the representative and founding member of Faculty and Course Development in International Studies in the State of West Virginia from 1981-1996. This resulted in the Governor's Award for his efforts. He also received the National Endowment for Humanities Scholarship in 1978.

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Rhee began his teaching career at Clark University in Worcester, Mass., in 1966-1967. He also taught at Muskingum College in Ohio in 1967-1968.

He holds a bachelor of laws from the College of Law, Seoul National University; a master of arts from Columbia University, a Ph.D. from American University, and completed his post-doctoral studies at Johns Hopkins University.

Since 1964, he has worked in many capacities for the Korean community in the United States. He was president of the Korean Student Federation in the United States while attending Columbia University in 1963-1964; served as juror at the Presidential Scholarship Committee at the Korean Embassy during the 1980s and 1990s; contributed articles and wrote columns for Cho Sun II and Han Kook II Bo of Washington Editions; served as an adviser for the Advisory Council for Peaceful Reunification of Korea in Greater Washington, D.C., since 1984; and was the president of Seoul National University Alumni Association of the greater Washington area in 1992.

Rhee currently serves as president of the International Council of Korean Studies and as president of the Korean American University Professors Association. He appeared as an analyst on programs and served as a board member for the Affirmative Action Committee in 1989. He was also past president of the Association of Korean Political Studies in North America from 1989-1991.

As a result of his civic contributions on behalf of the Korean community, he received the Presidential Medal of Honor from the Republic of Korea in 1998.

He has participated in national and international conferences and has organized academic conferences on Korean issues, including the June 2000 Annual Conference of International Council on Korean Studies in Washington, D.C., on the "Current Status and Future of Korean Americans," and "The Critical Issues Challenging Korean Societies" in October 1999 in Arlington, Va.

Rhee has had articles published in Asian Forum, East Asia Journal, Korean and World Affairs, and the Korean Observer. His book, "Political Behavior of the Citizenry of Seoul: Opposition of the Party in Power," was published by Seoul Press.

His article on the Korean political economy, "The Economic Crisis of South Korea and its Political Impact," was published in the International Journal of Korean Studies in the winter 1998 issue.

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