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Professor Kwangwon Lee Shares His Eastern Experience at Indiana University

Published on February 20, 2020

Professor Kwangwon Lee Shares His Eastern Experience at Indiana University

Lee speaks to IU doctoral students about the faculty job search process along with co-panelist Dr. Linda Helmick of the University of Missouri.

Dr. Lee ( second from right) with his past IU cohorts and doctoral advisor, Dr. Hannah Schertz (middle).

Assistant Professor of Education Kwangwon Lee recently spoke on a panel at his alma mater, Indiana University (IU) School of Education, about his journey as a young professor and his experiences teaching at Eastern Connecticut State University. IU’s Curriculum and Instruction Research and Creative Activity Symposium (CIRCAS) occurred on Feb. 14; Lee was invited as a panelist for being a past IU doctoral student who has since successfully landed a professorship.  

Assistant Professor of Education Kwangwon Lee.

Titled “Special Panel: Transition from Student to Professor,” Lee spoke to IU doctoral students about his current position and reasons for choosing Eastern. Much like his undergraduate experience, Lee was attracted to Eastern for its liberal arts mission, a foundation he says prepared him for the education field. He was also drawn to Eastern’s early childhood education program.

Not only was he impressed by the modern facilities of the Center for Early Childhood Education (CECE) and the Child and Family Development Resource Center (CFDRC), Lee said, “I was also impressed by the varied expertise of the early childhood faculty and the resources available to them.” Speaking to his research interests in early childhood special education and early intervention for children with autism, he added, “I saw potential for my own continued research.”

Lee told IU students about Eastern’s commitment to diversity as well. “I immediately felt welcomed in an environment where I was valued for my expertise and diverse background and could focus on my students and research without prejudice,” he said. “For international students at Indiana University, I suggested Eastern as a model university for valuing the diversity of faculty.”

As a new professor, Lee feels supported by the culture of Eastern’s Education Department. “Senior faculty members have been very supportive of me and respect my voice and expertise,” he said, adding that he’s received clear expectations and critiques to help with his professional development.

Regarding the teacher preparation that students receive at Eastern, he praised the education program for sound integration of practical experience into the curriculum. “Early childhood education students can seamlessly blend classwork with clinical experiences in the CFDRC and Windham Public Schools,” he said. “I work closely with directors and teachers to help teacher candidates have the best experiences possible.”

Lee will present at another symposium this month. At the Conference on Research Innovations in Early Intervention in San Diego, CA, he’ll present his current research on promoting nonverbal communication in young children with autism during interactions with their caregivers.

Written by Michael Rouleau