From Seoul to Oshkosh: Lee Joins UWO’s Journalism Department

Jin Kyun Lee
Dr. Jin Kyun Lee, the newest member of the the Journalism Department.

By Tom Hanaway (@tomhanaway)

This year there is a new addition to the Journalism Department. Dr. Jin Kyun Lee was hired to teach advertising courses at UWO. Before becoming a professor, Lee traveled far and wide before finally settling down to teach in Oshkosh.

Lee (No relation to Dr. Shu-Yueh Lee, another professor in the department) was born and raised in South Korea. There, he, his brother, sister and parents lived in Seoul, the capital of the country.

After high school, Lee attended Korea University where he received his bachelor’s and then master’s degree in mass communications and emphasized in advertising. After receiving his degrees, Lee wanted to experience life outside of South Korea.

“My advisor told me I needed to see more of the world,” Lee said. “That’s when I wanted to study in the US.”

Inspired by his drive to explore new countries, Lee went to school at Michigan State University in 2003 where he received his M.A. Afterward in 2005 he went to school the University of Texas at Austin where he received his doctorate in advertising.

While in school, Lee was also working at various organizations in America, such as working at a nonprofit organization that helped homeless veterans. Along with nonprofit work, Lee was busy starting a family while obtaining his degree.

“It was a challenge,” he said. “I had to write a dissertation and raise kids.”

Lee eventually received his doctorate after studying advertising intensely. He said advertising has a different kind of learning experience than other classes students take in college.

“Advertising is an interdisciplinary area,” Lee said. “You need to know where the industry is going. You can’t just learn it from a book.”

He said that advertising is constantly evolving, which means that he is always researching new methods of the trade.

“Advertising is a fascinating world,” Lee said. “You will never get bored because it is always changing.”

After graduation, Lee decided he wanted to become a professor and that is when he found an opening for a teaching position at UWO. He said he fell in love with the school the first day he visited.

“When I did my interview, people were so friendly,” Lee said. “Everyone was so nice to me.”

He said he was also drawn to the campus because he likes the climate in Wisconsin, which reminds him of living in Michigan when he was getting his second master’s.

“I like the cold weather,” Lee said. “I would like to go camping in the winter sometime.”

This semester Lee is teaching Ad Copy, Layout and Production and said that he doesn’t want his students to learn by a traditional method.

“You can learn theories from anyone, but I want them to be prepared and get experience,” Lee said. “I don’t want them to just sit at a desk and memorize.”

He said that the most important thing he wants his students to do is to experience life and do as much as possible while they can.

“I want them to see the world and explore,” Lee said. “I don’t want them to have regrets later. I want students to not be afraid to fail. That’s my philosophy. Challenge yourself.”


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