Diversity at CU Spotlighted as Community Asset Contributing to Added Local Employment from INFAC

Diversity at CU Spotlighted as Community Asset Contributing to Added Local Employment from INFAC
When Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear announced a new plant from Korea had chosen to locate in Taylor County, the Campbellsville University Center for International Education shared in the pride because it had played a part in the communications process. CU international student Yoo Jin (Eugene) Lee from Korea worked with Team Taylor County when they hosted the guests from Korea to aid in translation. Pictured from left, are: Dave Walters, CU vice president for admissions and student services; Bill Holmes, director of the CU center for international education; Yoo Jin Lee; Ron McMahan, director of Team Taylor County; Megan Watkins, CU coordinator for international education; and Dr. Frank Cheatham, CU vice president for academic affairs. (Campbellsville University Photo by Linda Waggener)

By Linda Waggener

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – Ron McMahan, director of Team Taylor County, made a call to Campbellsville University’s Center for International Education after he confirmed a site visit by a Korean firm. The result of that call may have been a key contributing factor to INFAC Corporation’s deciding to locate in Campbellsville.

When McMahan made the call, he hoped for assistance with protocol. What he got was a translator, CU student Yoo Jin (Eugene) Lee, who was happy to act as translator and aid in communications with the guests.

“This is another example of how Campbellsville University impacts our community and region and how we in turn benefit from the close working relationship we feel with our community leaders and residents,” said CU president Dr. Michael V. Carter. “The world has literally come to Campbellsville University as well as to our larger community. We’re thankful that our faculty, staff, and students are very much involved in the betterment of this fine community.”

Carter said that this is a prime example of CU and the community working together to help advance economic opportunity and quality of life.

“Eugene was very helpful,” McMahan said, “I credit her assistance with helping close the deal.”

Ohe Gil Choi, CEO and chairman of INFAC Corporation, has said Yoo Jin Lee helped him to better understand Campbellsville. It turned out that the CU student’s father lives near the INFAC Corporate headquarters in Korea.

McMahan said that Jay Choi, director of North America operations for INFAC Corporation, said they felt safe here. INFAC has since asked the CU International Office for assistance with interpreters, student interns and locating a full-time Korean speaking employee.

The CU Center for International Education’s director Bill Holmes said, “We are proud to help in any way – this is part of the process of community learning. I want people to know that I see the CIE as a service, most directly to the university, but also a service to the community and region. I expressed to Ron McMahan that he should feel completely comfortable in asking for our assistance in any way at any time. We are extremely thankful for the chance to serve. Opportunities for our international students to be involved outside the campus are very helpful in making them feel accepted and more at home.”

Megan Watkins, coordinator for international education, was the liaison with Yoo Jin who is traveling this summer to ask her about the experience from a student’s point of view.

“It was a great time to meet with and help people from my country,” Lee said, “I hope it helped them to know more good things about Campbellsville.” She also noted that it was a great opportunity for a Campbellsville Korean student to represent Taylor County. Yoo Jin (Eugene) Lee is a senior majoring in music with an arts minor from Seoul, South Korea.

“As the Center for International Education continues to grow on the campus of Campbellsville University,” Watkins said, “we are pleased that we can give back to the community. There are so many in this community and in the surrounding areas who have assisted our international students in some way. The students are happy to return the generosity.”

Watkins said that it’s always rewarding to know that you can make a difference, but it’s even more special when you can make a connection with home in the process, as Yoo Jin Lee has.

For more information about the Office of International Education at Campbellsville University, contact Bill Holmes, director, at (270) 789-5051.

Campbellsville University is a private, comprehensive institution located in South Central Kentucky. Founded in 1906, Campbellsville University is affiliated with the Kentucky Baptist Convention and has an enrollment of 2,405 students who represent 98 Kentucky counties, 25 states and 36 foreign nations. Listed in U.S.News & World Report’s 2008 “America’s Best Colleges,” CU is ranked 22nd in “Best Baccalaureate Colleges” in the South and eighth in the South for “Great Schools, Great Prices.” CU has been ranked 15 consecutive years with U.S.News & World Report. The university has also been named to America’s Best Christian Colleges®. Campbellsville University is located 82 miles southwest of Lexington, Ky., and 80 miles southeast of Louisville, Ky. Dr. Michael V. Carter is in his tenth year as president.

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