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SUNY Korea

Celebration Honoring Professor Emeritus James Larson​
Hits : 473 Registration Date : 2024-06-21 Author : Administrator

 

SUNY Korea celebrated the illustrious career of Professor Emeritus James Larson on Wednesday, June 5th. The event, which commenced at noon in Academic Building A402, honored Dr. Larson’s significant contributions to the institution and the field of ICT4D (Information and Communication Technologies for Development). 

Dr. Larson has been a distinguished faculty member at SUNY Korea since 2014. During his tenure, he served as Vice President for Academic Affairs and Chair of the Department of Technology and Society, demonstrating exceptional leadership and dedication to academic excellence. His recognition as an Emeritus Professor marks a historic first for SUNY Korea.

 

Here is a short interview with Professor Larson. 
Please introduce yourself.

I first came to Korea in early 1971 at age 23 as an American Peace Corps Volunteer and taught English at Kangwon National University in Chuncheon. Over fifteen years later I returned to Korea as a Senior Fulbright Scholar at Yonsei University in the Department of Mass Communication.  In 1996 I joined the staff of the Fulbright Commission (Korean-American Educational Commission) in Seoul and have been living and working in Korea continuously since then.


How do you feel about your retirement as the first Emeritus Professor in SUNY Korea (and the Department of Technology and Society)?

I am genuinely honored and humbled to be designated as SUNY Korea's first Professor Emeritus. It will allow me to continue my association with this history making venture in international education as I enter the retirement phase of my career. I know that others will follow as SUNY Korea continues to grow and thrive.


Could you introduce some of your accomplishments while in SUNY Korea?

The privilege of co-authoring the book Digital Development in Korea:  Lessons for a Sustainable World 2nd ed., London: Routledge 2020 with SUNY Korea's founder and honorary president Dr. Oh Myung was my major achievement.  Other main accomplishments included introduction of the ICT4D specialization in the curriculum of the DTS and establishment of strong working relationships with both the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) in Songdo and SafeNet Forum, Korea's multi-stakeholder organization dedicated to oversight of Korea's efforts to build the world's first nationwide public safety network.  Finally, I've enjoyed teaching and developing several new courses, most recently EST 204 Modern Digital Technologies and Innovation, into which I've introduced critical use and understanding of generative AI models like ChatGPT and Gemini.


I am confident to say Dr. Larson helped SUNY Korea to grow this much successfully. What are your thoughts on the future of SUNY Korea?

I believe SUNY Korea has a bright future, based in part on the wisdom of its founders and the acknowledged excellence of its two schools, Stony Brook University and FIT.  The departments represented here and the curriculum are particularly well-matched for Korea, given this nation's status as the only developing country in the world to so effectively harness the power of information and communications technology (ICT) for national development.  Korea's digital transformation was accompanied by tremendous growth and change in the fashion industry, including global recognition.


Could you speak about the future outlook of the Technological Systems Management field, especially ICT4D? 

As to the technological systems management field, current changes including the arrival of generative artificial intelligence (AI) suggest that there will be new employment opportunities for graduates who are AI literate and equipped to deal with both the positive and negative aspects of this new technology.  There will likely be future management challenges across many related technologies including, to name a few, robotics, quantum computing, biotech, and nuclear fusion.  I believe that graduates of SUNY Korea will be well equipped to deal with the challenges of AI if indeed it turns out to be the next big wave of technology change.


Lastly, do you have any words of advice for the students? 

Always keep in mind the new imperative of global sustainability, as all of our best human efforts will be for nothing if life on planet earth cannot be nurtured and sustained.  

 

Written by Student Reporter, Hyeonha Hwang
(hyeonha.hwang@stonybrook.edu)

 

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