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UF Distinguished Alumnus Byong Man Ahn Lectures About North Korea March 23

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March 22, 2006
Dr. Byong Man Ahn, the immediate past president of Hankuk University in Seoul, Korea, is visiting UF this week. On Thursday, March 23, he will give a public lecture on "Dealing with North Korea" at 7:30 pm in the President's Room at Emerson Alumni Hall. There will be a question and answer sessions after this talk. Contact for more information.

Dr. Ahn received a UF Distinguished Alumnus Award in May 2005. He is recognized as a national leader in South Korea and throughout the world for his innovative approach to language instruction and research in area studies. The 1974 political science Ph.D. graduate's distinguished 40-year career is marked by his in-depth studies of government, economics and culture, as well as his monumental contributions to education and university leadership.

Dr. Ahn was born in Seoul, Korea and earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in law from Seoul National University in 1964 and 1967, respectively. After teaching in the Department of Public Administration at Myong-Ji University in Seoul from 1967-1970, he was a Fulbright Scholar in 1970 in Korea. The Fulbright program recommended UF's Ph.D. program in political science, and Dr. Ahn made the decision to come to Gainesville.

He finished his doctoral degree in three years and maintained a perfect 4.0 grade point average. After returning to Korea in 1975, he joined the faculty of Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in Seoul, one of the premier institutions of higher education in Korea. He has served the university in numerous roles, including professor in the Department of Public Administration, dean of Student Affairs (1978-1980), dean of the Office and Planning and Coordination (1988-1992), vice president and dean of the Graduate School (1992-1994) and president (1994-1998 and 2002-present). He is the first president elected to serve a second four-year term, and during his tenure he has developed top-notch programs, including the Department of Information and Communication, the Graduate School of Global Business and the Campus Faculty Research Center.

Dr. Ahn was a Fulbright Scholar in political science at the University of Delaware from 1981-1982 and a visiting professor at Harvard University from 1981-1993. He has distinguished himself for his studies of the political attitudes and policies of his native South Korea and its relationships to the United States. He has published numerous articles and books in Korean and English, including Elections in Korea (1987), which received the Korean Political Science Association's Book of the Year Award. He also received an honorary doctorate of humane letters from the University of Delaware in 2004.

He has served as president of the Korean University Presidents Association, the Association for Public Administration, the Korean Fulbright Alumni Association and the Korean Gator Club.

In 2004, Dr. Ahn returned to UF to sign a cooperative agreement between the university and Hankuk University, providing for the exchange of faculty and students. He says his most memorable professor and course at UF was Political Science Professor Alfred Clubok and his Scope and Methodology of Political Science class. "Dr. Clubok taught me how to look at reality and how to raise questions to all issues," says Dr. Ahn. "He emphasized that the way to seek answers is through scientific inquiry."

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