Dr. Yanghee Kim Accepted an Endowed Chair Position at Northern Illinois University

Dr. Yanghee Kim
Dr. Yanghee Kim accepted the LD and Ruth G. Morgridge Endowed Chair in Teacher Education at Northern Illinois University. She will be leaving the Instructional Technology and Learning Sciences Department at Utah State in January 2018. 

The endowment chair includes an operating budget for research, a secretary, and postdoctoral and doctoral researchers. Dr. Kim explains, "The position facilitates interdisciplinary research on the development of K-12 students and teachers, with an emphasis on state of the art technology integration." The endowed chair belongs to the College of Education and is independent of any departments.

Dr. Kim was approached by a search committee earlier this year and was eventually offered the position in June. "I didn't have any personal contacts and didn't know the school at all until I was contacted by the committee. Things came as a surprise to me," Dr. Kim reported. Nevertheless, Dr. Kim was nominated by someone who knew her or her research well enough to recommend her.

Dr. Kim has been at Utah State for thirteen years. Her favorite memory is teaching a class called Instructional Design Process. She said her students offered her some of the best compliments and the worst complaints for that course. "This challenged me professionally, intellectually, and emotionally, which worked eventually as a vehicle to deepen my understanding of the student need in this domain," she explained.

Ben Haymond, one of Dr. Kim's current students said, "She has high expectations for her team but she is also a very kind and sweet individual who is a pleasure to work with. Working with Dr. Kim has been a wonderful and very rewarding experience for me."

A student Dr. Kim previously advised, Dr. Scott Smith said, "Dr. Kim was one of my co-chairs for my doctoral degree. She was always tremendously supportive of my goal of completing my doctoral degree and always believed in me. Her tremendous expertise in the area of research methodology was enormously helpful for conducting my dissertation study as well as for writing my dissertation. Dr. Kim played a huge role in allowing me to complete my doctoral degree, and I am grateful to have had the opportunity of working with her." Dr. Scott Smith is now an assistant professor at Western New Mexico University.

Dr. Kim has fond memories of all her hard-working and intelligent students and enjoyed the colleagues she worked with. She especially considers President Noelle Crockett as a role model, especially after Dr. Kim worked closely with her as the Faculty Senate President.

Dr. Kim's research focuses on human/robot interaction in education and, as she explains, "requires diverse expertise from engineering, computer science, communication, psychology, philosophy, anthropology, as well as learning sciences." She was happy to discover the faculty she met during the interview process at Northern Illinois seemed sincerely interested in interdisciplinary research. "What I liked about NIU from my short experience was their open-mindedness ... educational research should be inevitably cross-disciplinary, and we have to make our best effort to cross disciplinary boundaries in our research."

There is on-going research at Northern Illinois on intelligent tutoring systems on literacy and STEM education (science, technology, engineering and math). According to Dr. Kim, the faculty at NIU seems very excited to have her on board.

The LD and Ruth G. Morgridge Endowed Chair was established by the CEO of Cisco Systems in 1997.

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