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Avatar of GI KoreaBy on May 30th, 2012 at 5:07 pm

Student Becomes First Korean Summa Cum Laude from Harvard

Congratulations to Jin Kwon-yong for has accomplishments at Harvard.  Very impressive what he has been able to accomplish academically at the age of 20 years old:

A Korean student has graduated summa cum laude from Harvard University for the first time. Jin Kwon-yong (20), an economics major, was one of the two highest-ranking undergraduates with a grade point average of 4.0, the highest possible score, in a graduating class of 1,552 students.

Jin completed the four-year course in just three years and also received the John H. Williams prize for the top graduating student in economics and the Hoopes Prize, Harvard’s top honor for undergraduate writing.   [Chosun Ilbo]

You can read the rest at the link.

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21
  • Leon LaPorte
    5:59 pm on May 30th, 2012 1

    Plus, he didn’t even shoot anybody! :grin:

  • Rob
    7:18 pm on May 30th, 2012 2

    Erm.. my classmate Richard Kim graduated Summa in Computer Science in 2002 from Harvard. Am i missing something here ?

  • G.I. G.I. Joe
    7:30 pm on May 30th, 2012 3

    >>”Plus, he didn’t even shoot anybody!”

    Not yet anyway.

  • Teadrinker
    11:04 pm on May 30th, 2012 4

    #2,

    The Korean reporters are prone to hyperbole.

  • Tracy More-gan
    11:08 pm on May 30th, 2012 5

    4- What are you talking about? It’s true that if one Korean restaurant in Koreatown, NYC, sells kimchi that means that all of the world is now eating Korean food and only Korean food.

  • Seoul Guy
    1:45 am on May 31st, 2012 6

    ;-) #2,4,5 all maybe true. Stuff like this seems to grab a top headliner here in Korea which almost never does in the U.S. or other “western” nations. Never liked it personally though ’cause that kid sure does shame others who didn’t do so well academically. There are so many smart kids here and abroad who are Korean.
    We Koreans seem to have this insane need for recognition from other people: that we are the best. It got us to where we are right now from dirt poor nobody in the 60′s to the 10th largest overall trading nation in the world – in less than 50 years. That says something about Koreans but it sure puts a lot of pressure on you to catch up to the hyper warp speed of life. You wouldn’t know what I mean until you have lived in Seoul, Korea.

    I’m sure most foreigners think Koreans are weird because many Koreans seem to be always on the run. Koreans want to take it easy too but we’re afraid that we wouldn’t have money to buy oil, American beef and other stuffs…. just a thought

  • guitard
    4:59 am on May 31st, 2012 7

    Rob wrote:

    Erm.. my classmate Richard Kim graduated Summa in Computer Science in 2002 from Harvard. Am i missing something here?

    At what point does a Korean stop being a Korean – and becomes an American?

    Maybe Richard is considered to be an American? Was he born and raised in Korea? Or in America? Or was he born in Korea, but raised in America?

    The kid in this article came to the US when he was in the 6th grade, so by the time he got to Harvard, he was completely Americanized. If he had come straight from Korea as an exchange student – it would be just that much more impressive that he graduated #1 in his class at Harvard.

  • ARash
    5:19 am on May 31st, 2012 8

    Someone who is ethnically Korean is Korean if they do things that are good.

    If they do something bad, the “they’re not really Korean” argument applies.

    Either that, or it’s the old, “they were corrupted by _______ society” argument. Either way, it’s always implied that it’s not their fault because of some lame ass excuse/reason.

    For example, Hines Ward was touted as being Korean, but the Oakland University shooter, “isn’t really Korean anymore” according to many Koreans. Sounds like 2007 all over again.

    Quite pathetic really.

  • Seoul Guy
    6:57 am on May 31st, 2012 9

    Hines ward is Half Korean. That’s a fact

  • guitard
    7:10 am on May 31st, 2012 10

    ARash wrote:

    For example, Hines Ward was touted as being Korean

    Please provide some citations from reputable sources that touted Hines Ward as being Korean.

  • Rob
    8:59 am on May 31st, 2012 11

    Hrm.. I think AAK might have touched upon this at some point, about how much easier it is to become American than say an older culture like French.

    With America all you need is to be born here or be naturalized. In Korea (and Japan), identity is by blood. So a case like Hines Ward can be fully true in both respects, American by naturalization and Korean by blood. And yes, success makes it easier to be accepted in Korea, but isn’t that true in America too?

  • kushibo
    9:19 am on May 31st, 2012 12

    If they do something bad, the “they’re not really Korean” argument applies.

    The individuals and authorities falling over themselves to apologize for mass shooter Cho Seunghui smashed this old chestnut to bits.

  • Tom
    9:29 am on May 31st, 2012 13

    As always, memory is selective for ESL and GI crowds.

  • kushibo
    9:31 am on May 31st, 2012 14

    The first part of what ARash wrote in #8 is true, though. Someone who has done good and is a quarter Korean or even an eighth Korean might show up in the press as “someone of Korean heritage” if they do something like, say, win Miss Hawaii/USA/Universe.

    In that vein, Guitard, in 2005 and 2006, people were falling over themselves about “mixed Korean” Hines Ward.

    The tendency for this to happen goes up the stronger or more visible the connection is. The aforementioned Brook Lee has the Korean last name of her father (and she may have wanted to emphasize it for future lucrative contracts), while Hines Ward was in fact born in Korea and his obviously Korean mother is the one who raised him.

    When Hines Ward decided to take his newfound fame in Korea to address the plight of mixed Korean kids in difficult circumstances, the press handed him a mic and took lots and lots of pictures (and they still do).

  • kushibo
    9:34 am on May 31st, 2012 15

    Above I should have said that Brook Lee has the Korean last name of her grandfather, from whom she gets her one-quarter Korean background.

  • Teadrinker
    3:34 pm on May 31st, 2012 16

    “We Koreans seem to have this insane need for recognition from other people: that we are the best.”

    What’s insane is how this goes to the point of twisting reality. Case in point, the “Korean Wave” and the obligatory stories of how Korean pop stars are supposedly breaking the charts abroad.

    Oh, but they are breaking the charts?…

    Click on “Chart History” at the following link: http://www.billboard.com/#/artist/girls-generation/977738

  • Tom
    3:55 pm on May 31st, 2012 17

    Meanwhile what’s more insane is little crying white boys trying to prove Girl’s generation is not popular as much as themselves who think they are relevant in Korea. :lol: The truth is, they’re nothing but wetback laborers hired as minimum wage slaves. In other words, they’re no more relevant than a pond scum who should be thankful Korea gave their unemployable butts, jobs. :lol:

  • Seoul Guy
    6:22 pm on May 31st, 2012 18

    #17, I gotta hand it to Tom this time: never thought I would. Whether Tom is a Chinko or pinko lover, I gotta say he is very consistent in defending all things Korean. On the contrary, #16, Teardrinker and others on this board seems to have this thing with being better than anything Korean. I think they are jealous that Koreans are actually doing better than they are in ALL fields.

    Having said that, I do believe that there is rather an exageration on the part of Korean media but #16′s assumption that “chart abroad” equates to American Billboard chart is rather naive. K-pops stars are indeed making heavy in-roads into foreign markets and that includes the U.S. It may not be breaking charts yet in the U.S. but American market is no longer the only major market in the world so it is really not important to “break” an American ranking chart. It is only one of many major market – albeit the largest one. Sure, it would be great to be recognized by American audiences but Americans have traditionally been very narrow minded anyway when it came to the music and movies they heard or seen: it always has to be in English.

    Indeed, K-pops stars are shooting through the roof in Chinese, Japanese and other Asian markets that have many more consumers than the European and the U.S. markets combined.

    I hope American readers here realize that your country no longer wields such absolute influence on the world in terms of cultural, economic, and military as you did before some twenty years ago. The World is changing at a very fast pace.

    And for once, I agree with Tom.

  • Jimbob
    8:01 am on June 1st, 2012 19

    #18, But at the end of the day the lingua franca of the world is still English is that is not going to change. Just because the Chinese are so numerous, and because more companies have begun doing business with them, does not mean people are running out en masse to learn Mandarin. Quite the opposite in fact, with more Chinese learning English than the opposite.

    Therefore, it can be argued that our cultural product – while having less overall consumers (because there are over a billion Chinese alone) are more worthy because we reach more markets and a more diverse selection of people from all over Asia, the Middle East, the Pacific, and Europe.

    Asia is more or less just confined to Asia because it only appeals to the Korean-speaking market or the Chinese-speaking market or the Japanese-speaking market, for the most part.

  • Tom
    10:17 am on June 1st, 2012 20

    Why don’t you spill it out Jimbob? “We are better because we were born better”.

    It’s funny but if you look around, it’s the west that’s causing all the financial mess for the rest of the world through their greed and excesses. Now they’re going to pay for it. Let’s wait and see what the world will look like in 15 years after the wreckage is counted. I got a feeling you will be singing a different tune come that time, just like what you guys used to say about Korea during 1997-1998 IMF Crisis.

  • Jimbob
    5:11 am on June 2nd, 2012 21

    Because there’s nothing to spell out, Tom. Only your racist tendencies lead you to such conclusions.

    I’m simply looking at the sociological aspects of the situation – the demographics.

    You’re the one looking at race, at skin color and ethnicity.

    And although the majority of the world is now intrinsically linked economically because of our ever-tighter ties, you cannot POSSIBLY think that the US is responsible for the debacle that is going on in Europe right now. That’s on the EU – that is truly the definition of “you’re only as strong as your weakest link”. Well, the EU is only as strong as Greece’s economy was.

 

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