In 2000 Dr. Yang Kwangja, President of Margaret Pritchard University visited IU Kokomo. Dr. Linda Wallace hosted that visit and subsequently visited Margaret Pritchard University in August 2000, when she first met Dr. Lee. Dr. Wallace returned to Korea in spring 2001 to teach at Margaret Pritchard University (single purpose nursing university) for a semester and to help in whatever way she could to move their diploma nursing program to a baccalaureate granting program. Since that time three other IU Kokomo nursing faculty have had the life-changing opportunity to teach there.
In August 2001 Dr. Chung Yeo Suk from Margaret Pritchard University came to IU Kokomo to teach at IU Kokomo for a year. In Academic Year 2004-2005 Dr. Yoon Jin taught at IU Kokomo. Since her retirement in 2012 from Jesus University, Dr. Whang Sungja has been teaching at IU Kokomo.
As a result of the relationships built by faculty from both universities began a student exchange in 2003. Students from Jesus University came to IU Kokomo for a two week exchange each spring before their semester started in March and IU Kokomo nursing students exchanged to Jesus University each May while students there were still in school. In 2009 we added students from all academic disciplines, in 2010 we added students from Sungshin Women’s University and we added graduate students in 2013. To date 37 undergraduate and five graduate students from IU Kokomo have participated, 80 Jesus University students and six Sungshin Women’s University students have participated in the exchange. Two Sungshin Women’s University students have studies for a year at IU Kokomo. Thirteen IU Kokomo and seven Jesus University faculty have participated. We have been honored to have President Shim from Sungshin University, and President Kang and Dr. Im from Seoul Cyber University also visit IU Kokomo. IU Kokomo Chancellors Harris and Giesecke and many other administrators and faculty have participated in some way in the program which continually facilitates new collaborations. One IU Kokomo student who went on the exchange is now preparing to spend a year in China as a part of a study abroad program. One or two Korean professors plan to spend a sabbatical year (2014-2015) at IU Kokomo.
Education professors Drs. Michael Tulley and Shirley Aamidor have taught at Sungshin Women’s University. Dr. Tulley taught courses in advanced English conversation and writing, while Dr. Aamidor connected Sungshin Elementary School children virtually and through letters with children in two elementary schools in Indiana, North Miami and Galveston.
This program has greatly impacted those who have travelled and many who have not. When our Korean students come they participate in classroom interactive activities with students in a variety of majors and in lab and clinical activities with nursing students. Each time our guests come we host them in our homes for dinners. This has really brought our campus faculty and administration closer together. The children of our faculty have grown up anticipating visits by friends from South Korea. These children, many of whom are now college graduates, have used their experiences with our Korean guests as the basis of school assignments. They feel a special kinship with Korea.
Our Korean guests have had the opportunity to meet Kokomo mayors McKillip and Goodnight. Kokomo Mayor Matt McKillip proclaimed June 1st 2006 as Margaret Pritchard University Day. Dr. Wallace was recently made an honorary citizen of Jeonju, South Korea. As a result Dr. Wallace is working with the City of Kokomo to create opportunities for collaboration with Jeonju, South Korea.
This exchange program, started 14 years ago, has continued and is even more robust than ever because of the relationships it has created. When IU Kokomo students go to Korea they go to see Korean students they met in Kokomo. When Korean students come to IU Kokomo they come to see students they met in Korea. Many faculty and staff at Jesus University, Sungshin University and IU Kokomo know each other and collaborate together on projects. Their students are our students and our students, theirs.