International Spotlight

2013 International Achievement Award recipients

3/5/2014  8:00 am

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will honor alumni, faculty and students at the annual International Achievement Awards banquet on April 3 at the Alice Campbell Alumni Center.

The 2013 International Achievement Award winners are:

  • Dr. MuKeun Lee - recipient of the Madhuri and Jagdish N. Sheth International Alumni Award for Exceptional Achievemeny 
  • Dr. Thomas J. Bassett - recipient of the Sheth Distinguished Faculty Award for International Achievement
  • David J. Krupa - recipient of the Charles C. Stewart International Young Humanitarian Award
  • Yu-Kyung Kang - recipient of the Illinois International Graduate Achievement Award
  • Lun Ou - recipient of the Illinois International Undergraduate Achievement Award

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Dr. MuKeun Lee, a native of South Korea,is a professor emeritus at Seoul National University. He earned a PhD in vocational technical education from Illinois in 1977. He will give the annual International Alumni Lecture at Alice Campbell Alumni Center on April 3 at 9:30 am. The event is free and open to the public. To register, please visit: http://www.cvent.com/d/64qzy2.

Established in 2000, the Madhuri and Jagdish N. Sheth International Alumni Award for Exceptional Achievement is awarded annually to a distinguished international alumnus who has helped to better their own nation or the world through their contributions to government, humanity, science, art or human welfare. Dr. Lee is being honored for his contributions to vocational-technical education and human resource development as well as his work in government commissions that have helped shape economic and labor policies in South Korea.

He is one of the founders of the first vocational doctoral program in Korea in the Department of Agricultural and Vocational Education at Seoul National University. He was the president of Kyungil University and Dongmyung University and has been made a fellow of the Korean Academy of Science and Technology. Dr. Lee received the Blue Stripes Medal in the Order of Service Merit, which is the highest honor presented by the South Korean President to educators. Dr. Lee was the first president of the Korea Research Institute for Vocational Education and Training (KRIVET).

Dr. Thomas J. Bassett is a professor of geography and geographic information science and the director of the LAS Global Studies Program at the University of Illinois. The Sheth Distinguished Faculty Award for International Achievement is presented to a faculty member with profound international accomplishments in teaching, research and public service. Dr. Bassett is being honored for his seminal contributions to the field of political ecology and his pioneering work and its impact on policy discussions surrounding issues such as global climate change, poverty and rural development. He has conducted field research for 33 years in Côte d’Ivoire as well as Mali and Burkina Faso. His current research examines the relationship between agricultural diversification and farmer incomes in West Africa. The award also recognizes Dr. Bassett’s mentorship of international and Illinois scholars interested in exploring interdisciplinary dimensions of contemporary global environment and development issues.

David J. Krupa is a founder of the non-profit organization Range of Motion Project (ROMP) in Guatemala. The Charles C. Stewart International Young Humanitarian Award recognizes the meritorious contributions, research and commitment of the university’s young international humanitarians. Krupa is being honored for his impact in prosthetics care in Latin America and Pakistan, which has brought mobility and hope to countless lives that may not have otherwise had access to needed care. It is estimated that ROMP has helped fit more than 1,500 amputees in Latin America since the project began. He also founded his own orthopedic importation business, Krupa O&P, which supplies critical components and materials to countless other prosthetics clinics throughout Ecuador. He received his B.S. in biology from the University of Illinois in 2002.

Yu-Kyung Kang is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in English with a specialization in writing studies.  The Illinois International Graduate Achievement Award recognizes a graduate student whose innovative and sustained international research or public service abroad has had the greatest impact (or has the greatest potential impact) on the university, larger community or internationally. Kang is being honored for her services and ethnographic research, which will help inform the work of other units at Illinois as they strive to define and improve the integration of international students and fulfill the international mission of the university. Kang also holds an MA in Teaching English as a Second Language from Illinois.

Lun Ou is a junior in agricultural and consumer economics with a concentration in international trade, policy and development, as well as a chemistry minor. The Illinois International Undergraduate Achievement Award recognizes an undergraduate student for a significant service or contribution resulting from participation in an international study course, program or project. Ou is being honored for her commitment to understanding complex global issues such as food security and sustainable development from both life and social science perspectives through her extensive educational travel.