A prestigious U.S. Student Fulbright award has been awarded to UScience’s Hanna Hyon MOT’12 for 2012-13. She will depart in early August 2012 to begin her 10-month stay at Far East University in Gamgok Eumseong Chungbuk about an hour South of Korea's Capitol, Seoul.
A Fulbright awards stands among the highest honors for students. According to its website the Fulbright program is sponsored by the United States Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, and “provides funding for students, scholars, teachers, and professors to undertake graduate study, advanced research, university teaching, and teaching in elementary and secondary schools.”
Hyon’s study is based upon assistive technology provision for OT clients. She will explore differences in the acceptance and use of the technology available to clients in both the U.S. and South Korea. In the U.S., people with disabilities are entitled to any technology to help them adapt and work towards independence. With scarce provisions and greater stigma surrounding the disabled, OT clients in South Korea face more challenges than those in the U.S..
“I hope to create more awareness, evidence, and knowledge of the topic. I want to promote the importance and indispensable need for OT in both cultures,” Hyon said.
Hyon’s choice to study in South Korea was fueled not only by her interested in the country’s OT practice, but also by her ethnic roots. She has yet to visit South Korea—birthplace of her parents—but still displays a certain pride in being Korean and having the ability to speak a bit of the language as an American student.
Far East University Professor Jiyun Kim will serve as Hyon’s primary contact and resource in South Korea. Hyon met Kim through USciences’ Dr. Rochelle Mendonca, assistant professor of occupational therapy, who mentors Hyon.
Fulbright will provide Hyon with a monthly stipend, travel fare, and language enhancement coursework. She will be asked to give two presentations at the Fulbright Center in South Korea. Hyon also looks forward to working at the National Rehab institute and forging relationships with many healthcare professionals in South Korea. She will work with Dr. Mendoca to produce four manuscripts which she hopes to have published.
For more on the US Student Fulbright Award program, visit http://www.iie.org/fulbright.