News Release: International, People

Oct. 29,  2009

Emory Honors International Work

South Korea's Han Wan-Sang, Emory's Juliette Stapanian Apkarian to be recognized

Emory University's Office of International Affairs will host its annual International Awards Night on Nov. 16 to honor two individuals who have helped make Emory a more international university.

Han Wan-Sang, an Emory alumnus and South Korea's former deputy prime minister for the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development, is the 2009 winner of the Sheth Distinguished International Alumni Award.

Juliette Stapanian Apkarian, associate professor and former chair of the Department of Russian and East Asian Languages and Cultures, and former director of the Russian and East European Studies Program in Emory College of Arts and Sciences, is the winner of the Marion V. Creekmore Award for Internationalization.

Emory President James Wagner will present the 2009 Sheth Award to Han. Provost Earl Lewis will present the 2009 Creekmore Award to Apkarian. Lisa Tedesco, dean of the James T. Laney School of Graduate Studies, and Robert Paul, dean of Emory College of Arts and Sciences, nominated the respective winners, who were selected by standing committees involving faculty and administrators from across the university. 

"Throughout his career, Han has advanced the academy, served his country and promoted humanitarianism throughout the world, while also being emblematic of Emory's strong ties to Korea and the benefits of internationalization," said Holli Semetko, Emory's vice provost for international affairs.

On Friday, Nov. 13, Han will speak at Emory as a Halle Distinguished Fellow on "A Peace-Making Pilgrimage in Divided Korea."  Find more information at Emory's Claus M. Halle Institute of Global Learning Web site.

Background on Han, Apkarian

Han was appointed deputy prime minister for the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development in 2001, and in late 2004 was named president of the Korea National Red Cross, where he served until retirement in 2007. Since then he has published two major books on the growth of Christianity and mega churches in Korea. A third book on peace, democratization and national unification is forthcoming. Han's ties to Emory go beyond his own education and the honorary degree he received in 1999-his children and son-in-law also are Emory alumni.

Han received bachelor's and master's degrees in sociology from Seoul National University (SNU), then moved to the United States in 1962 to attend Emory. He received his doctorate in sociology in 1967 and joined the faculty of Georgia State University before returning to SNU, where he became a full professor in 1984. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Han became an activist in democratic social movements that emerged in Korea, and he was subsequently imprisoned for a time, his release coming in 1980. In 1981, he rejoined Emory as a visiting professor, and in 1987 he emerged as a leader in Korea after a series of political reforms set the country on a new path. 

In 1990, Han was elected president of Korean Sociological Association. His involvement in human and civil rights, as well as Korean unification discussions, led to his appointment as deputy prime minister of the National Unification Board in 1993. Continuing his leadership role in higher education, he accepted appointments as president of Sangji University, the Korean National Open University  and finally, Hansung University. 

Apkarian has been a passionate and successful advocate for increasing international activities at Emory and extending the university's reach abroad. She negotiated a consortial program in Moscow that established Emory College's first academic year program abroad. Since then, she has played an instrumental role in deepening and broadening Emory's international profile, with initiatives spanning from Budapest to Beijing, and from Tbilisi to Seoul.

Apkarian helped forge Emory's successful bid for a prestigious grant from the Chinese government, which established the Confucius Institute in Atlanta in 2008, a unique Emory partnership with the Atlanta Public Schools and Nanjing University. She also spearheaded a successful grant from the Academy of Korean Studies, which launched Korean language classes at Emory in 2007. 

See more information on Emory's International Awards is available.

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