I am an education scholar with expertise in global higher education and student mobility. I take a structural approach to mobility by analyzing the political and economic conditions in which the movement of students operates. My work also adopts a comparative perspective in analyzing higher education policies and organizational behaviors in the United States and countries in Asia that shape the flow of students. More than just a comparatist, however, I am a critical social scientist who deconstructs the often messy intersections between institutional and individual agency. I pay special attention to how institutional reforms create and shape new and unexpected pathways of student mobility, which can lead to new discourses of identity, belongingness, and class divisions, a theme that prevails in much of my work in order to advance a vision of social justice and equality.
My scholarship appears in a number of journals and edited volumes. I have also received various awards for my work, including those from the Fulbright Program, Social Science Research Council, Korea Foundation, and Comparative and International Education Society. Most recently, I was recognized by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) as a U.S.-Korea NextGen Scholar to represent the next generation of Korea-focused scholars in the United States.
My larger research agenda entails writing a book that reveals new modes of higher education by following the educational pathways of Korean students in comparative perspective. Although most international students in the United States come from China and India, students from South Korea have consistently been the third largest group over the last two decades despite the country’s much smaller population. What is the larger significance of this astoundingly high proportion of Korean students who have been studying in the United States over a considerable period of time? How do American universities capitalize on this phenomenon? And how do Korean universities respond to the large flows of outbound Korean students as they face tuition revenue shortages? My book takes a deep dive into two seemingly unrelated higher education contexts—the United States and South Korea—and positions them as intertwined global enterprises through examination of student mobility flows.
As Georgetown University, I direct a master’s program in higher education administration and teach graduate courses in Global Higher Education, Higher Education Policy, and Organization and Administration in Higher Education.
Outside of Georgetown University, I am an active member in a number of organizations. I currently serve as Vice President of the Board of Directors of the Fulbright Association National Capital Area Chapter, Program Co-Chair of the Comparative and International Education Society Higher Education Special Interest Group, Associate Editor of the Journal of International Students, and Asia/Pacific Regional Editor of the Journal of Comparative and International Higher Education. I am also an International Affiliate of the Universiti of Brunei Darussalam International and Comparative Education Research Group.
I hold a Ph.D. in Education from the University of California, Los Angeles.