KoreanAlumniAssociation_group Graduate student lends co-cultural communication skills for the 7th World Water Forum in KoreaImage of

Graduate student lends co-cultural communication skills for the 7th World Water Forum in Korea

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis April, first year Communication Studies graduate student Min Kim (B.A., ’08), serving as a communication liaison, will travel to South Korea with a CSU delegation composed of administrators and faculty who are participating in seminars and events associated with the 7th World Water Forum (WWF).

Kim has been an active member of the CSU Korea Alumni Association since she graduated from CSU in 2008 with a B.A. in Communication Studies. In 2014 the association hosted an evening reception with CSU President Tony Frank and Vice Provost of International Programs Jim Cooney. Kim was the key organizer.

At the reception Dr. Gye Woon Choi (’91), who is CEO of Korea Water Resources Corporation (K-Water) and President of the CSU Korea Alumni Association, and Dr. Frank agreed to co-host a reception for CSU alumni attending the 7th World Water Forum. K-Water has been instrumental in organizing and planning the forum, which began in 1997, is scheduled every three years, and has become the largest water-related event in the world. When Choi learned that Kim was returning to CSU to pursue a graduate degree, he asked if she would serve as communication liaison between K-Water and CSU during the planning of the CSU alumni event. Back at CSU, Kim’s liaison responsibilities expanded. She helped CSU water experts get involved in the water forum.

“Knowing the two languages and cultures really helped me to navigate the challenging barriers,” Kim says. Still, she had to be careful. Her work regularly involved translating emails and documents from one language into the other.

“Something like this requires heavy reliance on co-cultural negotiation as the different cultural norms and expectations can be a critical element,” she says. “Since [the parties] are not communicating directly, I not only have to translate the language but also the cultural, emotional, and implicit messages. In the midst of this, I also have responsibilities to suggest alternatives that could satisfy both parties.”

Once in Korea, Kim will moderate the 1st Overseas CSU Alumni Reception and assist the delegation in navigating Korean cultural norms. “It is a great honor to be a part of this event,” Kim says. ”Both CSU and K-water’s  support and encouragement were integral to carry out such dignified, intercultural teamwork.”

As an alumna and current student, Kim has “a deep love for CSU and the Communication Studies department,” she says. “I’m glad I can use the co-cultural and organizational communication skills that I’ve gained at CSU, as well as in real-life, for a very momentous event that serves both CSU and the CSU Korean Alumni Association.”

The CSU delegations Kim will be traveling with to the Daegu and Gyeongbuk region of South Korea include:

CSU Administrative Faculties
Dr. Rick Miranda, Executive Vice President of CSU; Dr. Jim Cooney, Vice President of International Affairs; Dr. Lou Swanson, Vice President of Engagement; Dr. James Pritchett, Vice President for Engagement – Associate Department Head; Dr. Dave McLean, Dean of College of Engineering; and, Colleen Meyer, Executive Director of Alumni Relations

CSU Water Institute Faculties
Dr. Reagan Waskom, Dr. Ken Carlson, Dr. Pierre Julien, Dr. Melinda Laituri, Dr. Steven Fassnacht, Dr. Jorge Ramirez, Dr. Lee MacDonald,  and Dr. Ji-Hee Son