Destination UE

An International Perspective on Politics

“I cannot convince [students] what to think, but at least they will know what they believe.”

Young Kim, PhD

Associate Professor of Political Science, Austin S. Igleheart Chair in Political Science, and Director of International Studies

The Journey to UE

As a first-year university student in South Korea, Young Kim was inspired by his political science professor. Throughout his college career in South Korea, Kim became increasingly involved in various social and political movements against the authoritarian government in power at that time. This participation strengthened his desire to learn more about world politics in an effort to solve South Korea’s political turmoil.

Destination UE

Kim took a leap of faith moving to the United States to follow his passion for political science. He earned his doctorate from Texas Tech University, specializing in comparative politics. In 2004, Kim joined the UE faculty. After 13 years here, he explains that UE’s size is still greatly appealing. “The campus has a certain family feel to it, so everyone feels united and whole.”

Personal Attention on Student Projects

“Studying relations between the individuals, governments, and states is so fascinating. If you want to make a contribution, small or big, to your community or world, studying political science is a great discipline.”

Having visited or researched in more than 40 different countries, Kim is both distinguished and experienced in his field. He involves his students in as many projects as possible to broaden their perspective. One project involved conducting field research in South Korea with three of his most passionate, brilliant students while providing excellent one-on-one instruction. Kim advises his students to study abroad because the lessons learned and the knowledge gained from traveling is unparalleled compared to simply reading a textbook.

The Value in Political Science

“It doesn’t matter whether you want to go into engineering, business, teaching, or baseball: You still have to understand [the world] outside of [the United States] because we are living in the twenty-first century.”

Kim’s World Politics course is always in popular demand. Both international and domestic students compete for spots in this introductory course to political science and comparative politics. According to Kim, many students comment that before taking these political science courses, they hadn’t thought about their political beliefs and weren’t interested in politics, but now they have a better understanding of their place in the world and the effect they can have.

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