Soojung Kim takes an active role with her students


Dakota Student / Nicholas Nelson

Dr. Soojung Kim is an assistant professor of strategic communication within the Communication program at UND.

Ben Godfrey, Staff Writer

Soojung Kim is an Assistant Professor in the Communications Department at UND. Specializing in strategic communication, Kim plays an active role in educating her students and encourages them to apply concepts and skills beyond the classroom as they prepare to begin their careers.

Along with her work in the classroom, Kim has worked on and continues to conduct many research projects regarding the topics of digital media, consumer behavior and communication strategies in a cross-cultural context.

Kim has an extensive background in the communications field, on both educational and professional levels. While double majoring in Mass Communication and Psychology at Korea University in Seoul, South Korea, she worked with an organization conducting a public relations campaign for South Korea.

The goal of their “Dynamic Korea” campaign was to promote a positive global image to other countries and show that South Korea is a vibrant and developing nation. From this experience, Kim gained skills and interest in strategic communication and research on an international level.

Communication and psychology, in her eyes, are similar in many ways. The topics covered in social psychology stuck out to her as being interesting and useful in the field of mass communication. Unlike most of her classmates, Kim was drawn more to the research aspect of communications rather than the application of concepts in fields like marketing and broadcasting.

It was this interest in research that led her to pursue a masters degree and Ph.D in Mass Communications at the University of Minnesota. Here, Kim had her first experiences with teaching, giving guest lectures as a graduate teaching assistant.

At first, Kim faced difficulties living on her own in a new country. New responsibilities and a different language, combined with the stresses of graduate studies, would be a challenge for most anyone. However, Kim was determined to continue on her path and overcome any difficulties in the way.

In December of 2014, Kim accepted a job at the University of North Dakota. She then finished her dissertation and graduated with her Ph.D in the spring of 2015. By that fall, Kim was teaching her own class at UND.

As a researcher, Kim, along with colleagues including her husband Joongwha Lee, has released articles in many journals and publications. Kim focuses her work on advertising and communication strategies in non-traditional forms of media, e.g. digital and social media.

One project (of many) that is being conducted now is based on a concept of brand interactivity in mobile media. This idea presents a brand’s image and identity as an interactive part of a game or app, instead of an annoying banner ad or pop-up.

As a professor, Kim has an interest and passion in the topics she covers, and aims to spark a similar interest in her students. Both Lee and Kim have worked together organizing courses in conjunction with the city government, in order to create tangible, local issues and objectives for classes to work on. What’s great about it is that this allows older students to take all the skills they’ve acquired in school and apply them to a real-world sort of situation.

Kim has found that the top students in her classes typically are the ones that go out of their way to ask questions, learn what is expected and try to go above and beyond, rather than waiting to be instructed. She has observed students that will see the goal and be content with doing just enough work to get a B. For this reason, Kim continues to set higher goals for her students, so they will push themselves and see what they really can do.

“I don’t think those are only applicable to school work, but professional work as well. Being proactive and setting those higher goals, I think those are important qualities,” said Kim.

Soojung Kim excels as a teacher and a researcher and it will be exciting to see what she can accomplish next.

Ben Godfrey is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. He can be reached at [email protected]