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Friday, September 24, 2021
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Nojin Kwak named vice provost for international education

Kwak will lead UB initiatives in international scholarship, inclusivity

Nojin Kwak will inherit the position from Interim Vice Provost for International Education John Wood, who has served in the role since 2018.
Nojin Kwak will inherit the position from Interim Vice Provost for International Education John Wood, who has served in the role since 2018.

Nojin Kwak will serve as UB’s next vice provost for international education, UB announced in a news release Tuesday.

Kwak comes to UB from the University or Michigan, where he has served as the chair of the Department of Communication and Media since 2016, and as director of the Nam Center for Korean Studies since 2009. He holds a master’s degree in mass communications and journalism and a Ph.D. in mass communication from the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

As the director of the Nam Center, Kwak inaugurated undergraduate and graduate fellows programs; increased summer study abroad scholarship offerings; broadened mentorship and research programs and strengthened UMichigan’s reputation as an institutional hub for Korean studies. 

“Kwak stood out because of his impressive leadership experience, commitment to international research programs and student experience, innovative approach to building partnerships, dedication to inclusive excellence and creative vision for the future of international programs at UB,” UB Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs A. Scott Weber wrote in an email to the campus community. 

During his time at UMichigan, Kwak also successfully secured over $13.6 million in gifts and grants, including a U.S. Department of Education Title VI grant that facilitated his collaborative work with area centers to offer educational programming, such as the University of Puerto Rico Symposium, East Asia K-12 workshops and foreign language instruction.

As vice provost for international studies at UB, Kwak will be tasked with pioneering the following initiatives:  

  • Leading internationally-focused research and academic programs and services,
  • Working with UB’s global partners and stakeholders to “advance the university’s mission,” 
  • Overseeing international student services and study abroad and exchange programs,
  • Overseeing immigration services for non-American visiting scholars and foreign-national employees, 
  • Working collaboratively with deans and faculty members to “support the internationalization of university curricula, and the growth of international research and training partnerships.”

Kwak was selected from a “highly competitive pool of candidates” by a search committee led by Department of Political Science Chair D. Munroe Eagles, according to the news release. 

Kwak will assume his new role this summer. 

He will inherit the position from Interim Vice Provost for International Education John Wood, who has served in the role since 2018. 

Elizabeth Napolitano is the senior news editor and can be reached at elizabeth.napolitano@ubspectrum.com

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ELIZABETH NAPOLITANO

Elizabeth "Liz" Napolitano is the senior news editor for The Spectrum. She's an optimistic pessimist who found her love for journalism in Ecuador. She likes late night walks and reading Twitter threads in their entirety. 

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