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American professor wins Korea Foundation award

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By Lee Hyo-jin

Clark Sorensen, professor emeritus at the Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington, has won the Korea Foundation (KF) Award, recognized for his over two decades of contributions to the development of Korean studies, according to the foundation.

The KF, a non-profit public diplomacy organization, has been conferring the biannual prize since 2008 to honor an individual or organization that has made significant contributions to the enhancement of understanding of Korean culture around the world.

Clark Sorensen
Clark Sorensen
KF said that it chose Sorenson as this year's awardee to honor his 25 years of dedication to fostering research on Korean studies in North America.

Sorensen was appointed as the director of the Korean Studies Program at the University of Washington in 1998 and has played a leading role in advancing Korean studies at the institution.

During his term, when the institution was struggling with financial difficulties due to state budget cuts, the professor actively launched fundraising activities and saved the institution from closure.

In 2006, the Korea Studies Program was elevated to the current Center for Korean Studies. Sorensen served as the inaugural head of the center until July this year, during which he laid the groundwork for the sustainable development of the institution.

Sorensen has been involved in various roles to do with Korean studies in North America. As the Chair of the Northeast Asia Council (NEAC) within the Association for Asian Studies (AAS) and as a member of the Committee on Korean Studies within the council, the professor encouraged cooperation and research exchanges between scholars.

"It is highly meaningful that Professor Sorensen has been selected as the recipient of this year's award, as he basically represents the value of our organization. We hope that Professor Sorensen's recognition will lead to further development of Korean studies in the U.S.," Kim Ki-hwan, president of the Korea Foundation, said in a statement.

The award ceremony will take place in Seoul on Oct. 13 at the opening ceremony of the 6th Public Diplomacy Week, an annual event organized by the KF to raise awareness of public diplomacy.

Lee Hyo-jin


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