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August 2014

Professor Spotlight: Sun-Young Lee, Ph.D.
by Candace Trevino, photo

Sun-Young Lee, Ph.D.

Sun-Young Lee, Ph.D.

More than 6,000 miles from Seoul, South Korea, Sun-Young Lee, Ph.D., brings her background, professional experience and education to the public relations department of the College of Media & Communication.

After earning her Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Lee began her career in the College in the fall of 2012. Lee has since taught Public Relations Strategies and International and Multicultural Public Relations at the undergraduate level. At the graduate level, Lee has taught Research Methods and a special topics course related to corporate social responsibility.

Public Relations, Lee said, is a major closely related to daily lives.

"It's broad and applicable to any area," Lee said.

Having earned her undergraduate degree in advertising and public relations from Ewha Woman's University in Seoul, South Korea, Lee brings unique insight into the global nature of public relations.

"I want to open the eyes of students," Lee said. "Not everyone has study abroad experience or experiences in other cultures. Many students have never been out of the country or are not interested in international people. It's a matter of changing mindsets."

Lee said her class, International and Multicultural Public Relations, analyzes public relations through a global lens.

"It's all a matter of communication. Standards in the United States are not global standards," Lee said. "The class analyzes what is ‘right' or ‘wrong' though various cultural standards."

Lee said growing up her perception of public relations was drastically different from the public relations reality she came to know.

"Before I started with my program, I had a bad idea of what public relations really was," Lee said. "I thought public relations was more of manipulating public opinion. Especially in underdeveloped countries, public relations is seen as manipulation or a subordinate of the government. I grew up in that environment. I want to expose examples from other countries."

"Once you learn and study," Lee said, "it broadens your perspective on what public relations really is."

When she's not in the classroom, Lee spends her time researching corporate social responsibility, or CSR.

"Instead of promoting companies or a specific product, I'm more interested in the relationships the company has and the dynamic of the relationships," Lee said. "Corporate social responsibility requires participation from the public."

Candace Trevino is a senior public relations major from Houston.


Get to Know Your Ambassador: Eric Scharf

Eric Scharf

Eric Scharf

Eric Scharf is a junior advertising major from Austin, Texas.

What do you love about the College of Media & Communication?

I love all of the resources the college has to offer and the faculty.

What are you involved with in the college and around campus?

I'm involved with SGA where I represent the College of Media & Communication and serve on the public relations committee. I am the vice president for the Tech Ad Federation, and I'm also on the dean's student council as a Department of Advertising representative. I'm in a fraternity and am a student ambassador here in the college.

What are your hobbies?

I played soccer in high school and play here at Tech with intramurals.

What have you enjoyed most about being an ambassador?

I really like to promote Texas Tech. With our new building here in CoMC and a lot of new faculty, I feel like we're at Texas Tech during a monumental time.

What is your advice to prospective students?

Get involved sooner rather than later. These students are competitive and it's important to build your resume early on. Also, networking is key. I've met a lot of people through SGA and an internship who are influential. Everyone knows people.

What is your favorite Texas Tech tradition?

Carol of Lights.



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