Julyssa Lopez, Public Information Intern (301) 256-7559
Christopher T. Cory, Executive Director of Public Information (212) 346-1117, firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: Lee can be reached on her cell phone at 828-443-0891
Daughter of Laotian Hmong Immigrants
Wins Fulbright to Teach English in South Korea
New York, NY, May 17, 2007 – Morganton, NC resident Patricia Lee, a member of the Pace University undergraduate class of 2007, has won a prestigious Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to teach English in a South Korean high school during the 2007-2008 school year.
Her year in Asia will complete an international odyssey of sorts – her parents are Hmong, who immigrated to the US from Laos before settling in North Carolina – and start her on an international career.
Since 2002, 20 Pace students have received Fulbright Fellowships, earning the chance to work and conduct research in countries ranging from Israel and South Korea to France and Canada.
Lee graduates on Wednesday, May 23 in ceremonies in Radio City Music Hall at Rockefeller Center in New York City.
Watching videos. Born in California after her parents immigrated, Lee was raised to be bilingual. While she learned English at school, her parents insisted she also learn to read and write her native Hmong. She developed a passion for Korean culture after discovering Korean music at a festival. Falling in love with the language, she soon made Korean her genre of choice in movies and music, subjecting her willing roommates to evenings of watching Korean videos and making a start on becoming trilingual.
A political science major at Pace, she has on the Dean’s List since 2005. She interned at the Unitarian Universalist office at the United Nations from 2004 to 2005, writing an article on human rights violations against the Hmong which was printed in the center’s newsletter, Windows of the World, and speaking on a human rights panel during her office’s annual spring seminar.
North Carolina and New York politics. Lee has been involved in one of Pace University’s two highly-competitive Model United Nations teams since the spring of 2005, when the team won third place. The team won Outstanding Position Papers in 2006, and won Outstanding Delegation in both 2006 and 2007, with Lee serving as head delegate during the latter year.
With strong interests in politics, Lee maintains a membership in the League of Women Voters of North Carolina. During the summer of 2006, she served as an organizer for the campaign of Tom Suozzi for Governor of New York.
“Fighting for those who are threatened.” After the Fulbright year, Lee plans to pursue advanced study in the areas of human rights and international law, pointing toward an eventual career with the United Nations.
She attributes her passion for understanding, tolerance and world peace to her parents.
“My parents’ courage to live in the face of turmoil gives me strength to fight for those whose lives are threatened,”she says. “Their experiences as impoverished ethnic Hmong immigrants from Laos moving to the United States in hopes of creating a better life and future for their children is the very essence of what America is.”
Pace. For 101 years Pace University has been preparing students to become leaders in their fields by providing an education that combines exceptional academics with professional experience and the New York advantage. A private metropolitan university, Pace has campuses in New York City and Westchester County, New York, enrolling nearly 13,500 students in bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs in the Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, Lienhard School of Nursing, Lubin School of Business, School of Education, School of Law, and Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems. www.pace.edu.
Fulbrights. The U.S. Congress created the Fulbright program in 1946, just after the end of World War II, to foster mutual understanding among nations through educational and cultural exchange. Senator J. William Fulbright, who sponsored the legislation, considered it a step toward building an alternative to armed conflict. The U.S. student program awards approximately 1,200 grants annually and currently operates in more than 150 countries worldwide.