International Engagement Part IV: Korea w/ the Global Student Forum & World Engineering Education Forum


Welcome to the Fall 2016 Project Page for the “International Engagement and Broadening Participation in STEM …”  project, Part IV.

INFORMED CONSENT: Thank you for visiting our website. The content on this page, including information from any webinars or online discussions, will be used to inform our research on international collaborations and the resulting challenges and strategies that either affect or facilitate career-life-balance. You are invited to participate in the discussion and you are free to use any format for your blog name or avatar. Responses from anonymous users are valued equally among those who use identifiable blogger names or those who use pseudonyms. We welcome and encourage participation from the general public, and seek to hear responses from an international audience. Thank you for your participation.

This page is hosted by the PROMISE AGEP, and this unique international project is sponsored by the Graduate Student Development Unit of Graduate School at UMBC. It is inspired by projects that we’ve held in the past through the National Science Foundation: NSF #1449322, Division of Engineering Education and Centers/Broadening Participation in Engineering (BPE), and the NSF Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Award #1002566 for the University System of Maryland’s LSAMP program. It will be part of the foundation that will be used to develop additional international engagement activities for graduate students in Maryland. This project will feature graduate students who participate in the LSAMP Bridge to the Doctorate program – Award Number: 1500511, and PROMISE: Maryland’s AGEP, Collaborative Research: AGEP – T: PROMISE AGEP Maryland Transformation # 1309290.

The Project: International Engagement Project for Broadening Participation in STEM  

Registration & Preparing for Korea

Student participants will be attending the Global Student Forum (GSF) – part of the Student Platform for Engineering Education (SPEED), and the World Engineering Education Forum (WEEF) in Seoul, South Korea, November 4-10, 2016.

All students, please register for the Global Student Forum (GSF):

Click HERE

Your GSF registration will cover BOTH GSF and WEEF. It will also cover your lodging. We have already discussed your participation with the GSF Chair, and the team is waiting for your registration. We have worked with the GSF Chair in the past. Meet your GSF Chair, Dinesh Radhakrishnan. Dr. David Delaine, whom many of you know as a PROMISE mentor from SPEED conferences in Costa Rica and Colombia, will also be present.

Visit the SPEED International Facebook page:

Specific Items of interest for Participants/travelers from Maryland:

  • Be sure that you have checked your email and followed all instructions from Yarazeth Medina and Shirl Curtis regarding travel insurance, forms, travel allowance, etc.
  • There will be some importation information that you will have to follow, per the UMBC International Education Services office.
  • There will be a pre-travel orientation session.
  • AIRLINE information: Students, please plan your calendars so that you can leave the US on Wednesday, Nov. 2, which will allow you to arrive in time for Day 1 of the GSF on Nov. 4. We will plan to leave Korea on Thursday, November 10, 2016.
    • Most have already checked with your advisors. If you haven’t already done so, be sure to talk with your advisor about how you will follow-through with assignments, experiments, etc.
    • Please be sure that you have had a discussion with your TA or GA supervisor and any peers who may be covering a class for you.
  • Bring some extra $$ to share gifts with those who have done something special to facilitate your trip, e.g., Office mate who is covering your office hours, TA peer who is taking your share of correcting exams, lab-mate who is keeping your experiments running, administrative assistant who may be helping with your schedule, your advisor who allowed you to attend, (and of course, family and friends.)
  • Attire for the GSF: Casual (Friday – Sunday)
  • Attire for the WEEF conference: Business



As US citizens, please remember to VOTE in advance via either early voting or absentee ballot. You will be in Korea during election day (Nov. 8), so you must remember to plan for this in advance. 




Twitter activity is strongly encouraged. Please engage, and include #Thinkbigdiversity with all of your tweets and the conference hashtags so that we can keep up with the events, and to showcase the graduate student diversity and inclusion that will be part of this WEEF conference in Korea.

  • Details will updated regularly:


GSF: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday: Tweet: @SPEEDOrg






Technical Talks from Maryland:

  • Renetta Tull:  Special Session: SS03: Inclusive Engagement – Engineering for All, Weds. Nov. 9, 10 AM – 12 Noon.

Please be sure that your presentations have the correct acknowledgements, grant numbers, faculty names, sponsoring programs, etc. 

The Blogging Process

The study is designed to observe responses of participants from the University System of Maryland, NSF Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Bridge to the Doctorate community, participants and affiliates from the PROMISE AGEP, graduate student members and faculty mentors from Maryland,  who attend the WEEF annual conference, and the community at large.  We are interested in their thoughts about  international engagement. We will be asking all who attend with us to record their thoughts using a blog structure (comments below). Upon return to the states, we will have follow-up discussions  regarding the international experience. The general public is invited to participate in the online discussions. This is a social media, interactive project.

 [A note about blogging: Many people engage in blogging activities on mobile devices, and bloggers who type without an account may not be able to edit their entries. Therefore, there may be small errors within the posts below that are the result of blogging quickly “on-the-go,” or unintentional mobile device “auto-corrections” that produce errors out of context. Errors will be corrected in any resulting publications. Thank you for reading and participating in the conversation.]

This page will be updated regularly. 


32 thoughts on “International Engagement Part IV: Korea w/ the Global Student Forum & World Engineering Education Forum


    This blog discussion is being used for research on international collaborations and resulting challenges and strategies that either affect or facilitate career-life-balance.

    Your comment will be used for research purposes.

    We are planning to write and publish a “thought paper” based on the outcomes of this discussion. We may use excerpts from your comments, but we will never add any text to your post. Your online name may be used in the narrative for the research discussion and the publication. You may use your existing online persona, use a pseudonym, or post as “Anonymous.” All responses will be considered equally valid.

    By posting on this website, you are giving your consent to have your comments considered for use in the research discussions and publications.


    1. Answer to Q#1:

      I expect to learn from the conference better teaching practices than the ones we try to implement. I am intrigued by the idea of seeing what other countries outside of the American continent (since we recently participated in LACCEI in Costa Rica) are doing to promote more students to pursue STEM related fields. On top of this great opportunity, I am just excited to visit South Korea. We, my wife and I, have been exposed a little bit to the culture and language, and we just love it! We noticed many similarities to Latin American culture. Thank you PROMISE and Dr. Tull for this fantastic opportunity!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. As a teaching assistant for engineering courses, I am always interested in new ways in improving my teaching skills. Sometimes I feel it is difficult to keep the students engaged on the material that is being presented. Therefore, I would like to learn new ways in keeping students interested and how to present the material effectively.

      During my high school years, I would attend Sunday church with a Korean community. Since then, I have always been interested in experiencing first hand their culture. The travel to Korean will truly help me to do so.


    3. From GSF, I expect to learn more about SPEED; not only as a non-profit student organization that functions as an interdisciplinary network of engineering students from all over but also how they aspire to create an impact on future development of engineering education. I hope to partake in the workshops that are aimed at providing tools to finding and building innovative solutions to issues in Engineering Education.

      I hope to network with other students and mentors at the conference…probably gleaning from their diverse global perspectives on engineering education and building solutions in local communities.

      I am also looking forward to the WEEF conference following GSF as well. Since this is my first time in Korea, I think this will be a great opportunity for me to explore the city a bit, experience their culture during the cultural evenings, and gain another ‘once in a lifetime experience’ of traveling with a team from school.


  2. I will be speaking at the Intergenerational Panel on Monday morning, and at this session on Tuesday:

    [SS16] Inclusive Engagement – Engineering for All
    Date & Time Nov. 8(Tue) 10:30 – 12:00
    Organization The Ohio State University


    The GEDC and IFEES “Inclusive Engagement – Engineering for All” session will feature a retrospective of the projects that have been highlighted by the GEDC/Airbus Diversity awards over the years. This is followed by an interactive discussion about developing our future as a profession that invites, welcomes, and encourages participation by all. This global session will bring together leaders from each continent to discuss their views on the next line of challenges and solutions for inclusive engineering.We will invite the audience to join the panelists in a “Hacking Inclusive Engineering” brainstorming session to bring all voices to the conversation. The session will end with concluding thoughts about ways in which participants can be leaders for fostering inclusive excellence and engineering for all.

    Chair: Renetta Tull (PROMISE AGEP, USA)

    Darryl Williams (Tufts)
    Rachel Schroeder (Airbus, France)
    Cecilia ParedesVerduga (ESPOL, Ecuador)
    David Delaine (The Ohio State University College of Engineering, USA)
    SirinTekinay (FMV Işık University, Turkey)
    John Beynon (Flinders University, Australia)


    1. Answer to Q#2:
      I am learning at GSF related to:

      It is the first time I attend a conference in a country where I am not fluent in the language. This is absolutely fantastic! We have to rely on our second language to communicate, and depending on how technical the conversations get, it is a little bit frustrating to some of the participants. There is a lot of willingness to contribute and achieve the tasks we are assigned to develop.

      b) CULTURE:
      Koreans are passionate about their customs, and get intrigued when you show interest in their culture. A simple 안녕하세요 (annyeonghaseyo) will get the conversation going of where you learned to say hello, and why are you interested in their language. They are very proud of what they have to offer, and are interested in having some type of involvement with foreigners. They are extremely helpful, and will take a moment during their busy day to just help you if you are holding open a map in a public area trying to figure out where the train station is, without having to ask them for assistance.

      There is a lot of innovation going on in Korea, and there are many programs being implemented by the government that people are part of depending on where they live. One that I found interesting is that people pay for trash bags on a “volume-based waste collection fee system,” and yes, this means that if you need more waste to be picked up at your home, you will be paying more for taking the trash out.


    2. a) collaboration
      Being born and raised in the USA, I relate problems and solution to what I know and see around me. However, after speaking to different students from over 15 counties (including the USA) at GSF, I realized what I see as a problem and a solution to a problem in the USA is not necessarily true in other countries or even in the entire USA. I realized the way I see a solution might be correct for one scenario but might not be true in another. I have really appreciated the importance of collaboration after speaking to the students at GSF. I believe that collaboration allows for a more diverse and thorough solution to a problem.

      b) culture
      Even though Korea is technologically advanced, they seem to really appreciated and practice their old culture. Some cultural appreciations that I have learned which are related to respect of others are: slight bowing in their head when saying hello (annyeonghaseyo); holding off on eating until the guest begin eating; helping other (ex. Holding an elder stranger’s bag on the subway). Even though they take pride in there culture, they are very interested in understanding other fellow GSF student’s culture and how it different from theirs.

      c) engineering and tech?
      The technology and engineering in Korea is very advanced and digital. There is wifi almost everywhere you go and you get lost in what wifi connection to use. Even though they are very technologically advanced, they always tend to incorporate nature with in the building rooftops and gardens with in the middle of the city. They are couscous on about how the advancement in technology impacts the environment.


    3. Here is what I am learning at GSF with regards to:

      a) Collaboration

      The GSF had participants coming from over 15 countries around the world. Not only did I experience language barriers but also cultural overlaps and sometimes clashes. We had to quickly form groups here and work on select projects together. During the engineering solutions sessions, I found that it was really frustrating to convey ideas and collaborate effectively. Besides language slowing down progress, I quickly learned that for competitive group projects, people from different parts of the world had different understanding of working together to produce high quality work.

      b) Culture

      After an entire day of work, we were treated to Korean culture. The first night we enjoyed Korean food, tried out Korean clothing (Hanbok), and went to a Korean palace to take photos in our outfits. I love Korean food. I realized that pork is a big part of Korean meal. I also learned from other cultures (mainly Hispanic and Indian, little bit of African) represented here at GSF. Koreans are really proud of their culture. I find them to really enjoy speaking their language and eating their food although they had the chance to try other kinds of food. I find their culture to be really supportive and family-oriented. To me, it is harder to learn simple Korean survival words like yes, no, please, and thank you. Partly because I get by fine without knowing any Korean words…mainly because Korean is completely unrecognizable to me. for example, in French or Spanish, it is easier to try to sound out the words. In Korean, I do not even know what I am reading :). I will however consider living in Korea just to immerse myself some more in their culture.

      c) Engineering and Technology

      Engineering and technology are both an integral part of Korean development just as much as Arts and Design. I was really impressed to find that the city of Seoul had free wifi besides the various hotspots all over the city. Good Korean engineering and technology is clearly manifested in their beautiful buildings, Eco-friendly habits, and various gadgets that costs cheaper than in the US. At GSF, my Korean roommate shared how their education system pushes hard for more students to go into engineering and technology fields.


    1. Answer to Q#3:

      a) We were part of the Environmental Sustainability track (#4). I worked in a group with 4 Korean students, and one of them was a graduate student (the rest were undergraduates). We started off with the idea around shared dwellings due to having to pay expensive rent/mortgage, and the need for privacy. We originally suggested having some kind of set-up that allowed tenants to gain points to “purchase” privacy, but we steered away from it because it would turn households into real-life “Monopoly” games. We focused on a rewards system that allowed tenants to compete with other dwellings within the building to gain points that could be exchanged for discounts or meals (at a University’s cafeteria, if it was used with students). The way to gain these rewards was through community activities that promoted sustainability: planting trees to improve green areas in a campus, trash collection, increased recycling practices, etc. The whole concept revolved on positive participation rather than penalizing people for not doing something. It is far more interesting to be invited to collaborate than hearing you’ll pay some price if you step out of bounds.

      b) The main characteristic I noticed on the winning projects was that they “proved” some feasibility in shorter amounts of time. They proposed implementation in a span of one year (or less) and had somewhat of a better laid out map of who they would contact (all stakeholders), what concerns they had and possible issues that would have to be solved first. Side note, it was really complicated to elaborate on a topic in 2 days in which you are not an expert, and have just started to get into.


    2. A. Please discuss your GSF projects.
      My GSF project was on minimizing cost of renewable energy and housing. Incorporating solar, wind, rain water collection, geo-thermal, rooftop garden and battery backup resources within a single family home are impractical because of the high cost of the housing and renewable energy units. We planned to combine these different renewable energy resources within a multi-family complex/building. This allows for a significant decrease in home ownership while being environmental sustainable. The decrease in price is contributed to using one single piece of land for multi-family housing and a decrease in price of renewable energy with increasing in size (~40% decrease in price per watt for solar panels when comparing commercial to non-commercial installation). Also, the benefits of buying a home that has all of these amenities installed, the mortgage will include all the expenses and the buyer won’t have to pull separate loans for additional installation of the mentioned renewable energy systems.

      B. What made the winning project(s) worthy of accolade?
      I believe all the presentation at GSF had very impressive ideas and projects were well thought-out. I have learned a great deal about many problems associated with environmental sustainability. However, what I feel distinguished the winner from the others is a very well put together presentation and enthusiasm regarding their project and not necessarily the content.


    3. 1. Discuss your GSF Project:

      My GSF project team was team two under track #1 ‘Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger’. The team was made up of 4 students: 2 guys from India, 1 guy from Korea, and myself from USA. For our project, we proposed a multi-faceted integrated community empowerment program that would allow us to manage a small community in Limpopo(South Africa) through a series of assistance and training from us. The community empowerment program is called iHelp. Under iHelp, there are 4 other projects: iFeed (helping the community grow crops twice the size of its members so they can sell the left over), iGeo (helping the community take care of their land and be more eco-friendly in their habits), iTrain (creating awareness on poverty and hunger and training the community – especially women and kids- on vocational skills to help them get some money. We drafted a centralized -plan where we monitor and track progress from each community over time, assess community strengths and then move on to 2 or more new communities.

      2. What made the winning project worthy of accolade.

      Our team won the competition and I believe what made our project win were the following:
      a) We used a better template for presentation,
      b) We defined the scope, starting point and pilot of our project,
      c) Our pitch was better in terms of timing and articulation of problem and proposed solution.


    1. Answer to Q#4:

      All of the speakers touched on different aspects of how we are moving forward and we continue to improve. The main concept that I kept hearing among all three messages was that in order to solve grand challenges we need to collaborate, understand what we are lacking and implement protocols that will push us towards innovation. I really liked the vision discussed by the third speaker: “Continuation of life on the planet, making our world more sustainable, safe, healthy, and joyful.” We need to change our ways to make our home last longer for future generations, improve on what we know works and keep it a happy place. Also, the Grand Challenges Scholars Program’s 5 competencies encapsulate what engineers need to achieve in order to be better at what we do, they guide the students in a path that touches understanding of providing solutions for different cultures. They mention how important it is to have the entrepreneurial spirit, and how we need to work towards providing a social service.


    2. I have really enjoyed the plenary sessions. I like how they all explained different problem in the world but they included many solution that that different countries are currently implementing. It wasn’t like watching the news where much of it was negativity. They incorporated how we have corrected many environmental mistakes that we have performed in past and potential environmental rehabilitation ideas for the future. I feel that the plenary session gave me a lot of hope and motivation to work in collaboration to change the world.
      Hector and I where discussing some of the topics of the plenary sessions where he mentioned a great point. When watching a move about aliens concurring earth, for example, (Independents Day) all the nations around the world stands together to fight for mankind. Similarly, when there is a big problem in the world, we must stand together and collaborate to solve the issues.


    3. The plenary session were very informative. Together, all the speakers discussed examples,context and issues surrounding “going green” to save the planet. I was really impressed by the Japan example. How the country made a deliberate effort to reduce pollution, minimize waste and produce more sustainable bio-consumables. During the talks, I was caught up with the reality of human evolution and its effect on everything around us.

      One of the speakers touched on another perspective of change as a result of human evolution: Industrial revolution. At the turn of the 21st century, three (3) main changes occurred during the turn of the 21st century. GDP increased, atmospheric CO2 increased, average human lifespan increased. On the surface, it seems natural and in order that GDP, CO2, and lifespan should increase. The real take away was that… there could be a win win situation here. We can overcome environmental pollution and work towards solving the current energy crises. We can have all the benefits of industrial revolution as well as reduce pollution, waste, and CO2 concentration. Our change of mother earth affects our quality of life as well and until we start solving such problems by first understanding the context as described by the speakers, the path to solution will become longer.

      After the talk on The platinum society, I quickly realized that the model described by the speaker was a great model that could be adopted anywhere. In their model for attaining a platinum society, the necessary conditions were: Sustainable Ecology, Free choice (arts, sports, market), More Job Opportunities, Intergenerational Social Interaction, and Sufficient Resources. The speaker considered these conditions as seeds to starting new businesses. In order words, any country aspiring to be a platinum society should pay attention and support businesses that address solutions that work towards creating the conditions stated above.

      The Grand Challenges talk was not entirely new to me. In fact the program is currently implemented at UMBC now. Although I did not know why graduate students couldn’t participate in the competition, it was really informative to hear about the why and how The Grand Challenges started. When I think about both the Grand Challenges and The Platinum Society, they both are alike in so many ways. The global issues in which they both seek to address are alike.

      In summary, I liked all the speakers selected for the opening plenary session. Together they set a great precedent to the conference… giving a broader context of the problem as well as practical examples of attaining a sustainable environment.


  3. Question #5: Based on the activities of Tuesday 8 November:

    a) Please discuss your experiences with mentoring during this conference.

    b) Please discuss how having a research presentation here will advance your degree progress and affect your trajectory toward the PhD.


    1. Answer to Q#5:

      a) Mentoring during this conference stemmed primarily from our interactions during the Global Student Forum. We have had several undergraduate students come up to us, after finding out that we are graduate students and ask several questions for a wide range of topics regarding school and plans for the future. We have explained on multiple occasions a little bit of our trajectory, and what we would like to pursue later on. We have stressed the need for continuing your education and figuring out better ways to contribute to society. It has been a very interesting conversation and enlightening to hear that more students like what we do, and want to travel a similar path.

      b) Having a presentation helps me work on improving public speaking skills. I normally feel the need to just get up there, “drop” all the information I know I have to deliver and be done. I am still working on pacing myself while giving a presentation. This experience helped me better understand some of the requirements I will have to tackle with my adviser and what he will definitely be looking for in my dissertation (great guidance here!). I have had the pleasure of seeing another side that I assumed knew about him, and it was very gratifying confirming these with our interactions thanks to this conference.


    2. a) Please discuss your experiences with mentoring during this conference.
      Similarly to Hector, the mentoring was primary regards to GSF students and GSF student that attended WEEF. Many undergraduate students at GSF have asked me questions regarding graduate school and my experiences. Various students from different countries are interested in finding out the admission process specifically to the USA and Europe. They felt that the study abroad will progress them further and potentially help their country further upon their return. However, many students didn’t want to proceed to their graduate studies and if they did, only for a master’s degree. I felt that when I spoke about my journey and my process going though graduate school, their motivation regarding pursuing higher education increased. Some student however had concerns of the projected time it takes to pursue graduate school specificity for doctorate degree. I helped with their concerns by explaining different accelerated programs and programs to pursue a masters and doctorate degree simultaneously. In addition, I explained what I have learned from Dr. Delaine at the LACCEI conference in Costa Rica. What I learned from Dr. Delaine is that graduate school is a path for personal development. Even though graduate school is a long journey, it’s a path of adventure that allows you to progress in finding your true calling.

      b) Please discuss how having a research presentation here will advance your degree progress and affect your trajectory toward the PhD.
      Every presentation I perform, I learn something new in improving my public speaking and presentation skills. I feel that presenting here at WEEF was also the case. The more I make public presentation at conferences, my confidence in presenting increases. I felt that this presentation at WEEF will help my degree progress by helping in my presentation skills and therefore confidence in presenting my dissertation. In addition, the conference in general really allowed me to take some time off on working directly on my research. This allows me to reflect on my research and figuring out how to move forward to the next step in my research. Also, the presentation at WEEF was on engineering education which was outside my direct research field. I feel that this presentation and learning more about engineering education will allow me to become a better potential teacher and faculty member. Because of this presentation, I feel that I am becoming more rounding researcher with knowledge outside of my specification.


    3. A) My experience with mentoring during the conference has been from 2 different perspectives: Giving and Receiving. During the GSF, my team and I had the chance to be mentored in framing delivering engineering solutions for the track we chose. We had GSF leaders guide us each step of the solutions development phase. The interactions and relationships formed at the conference also provided its own kind of mentorship… whether it was being given or received. GSF had a lot more undergrads than grad student and so I was constantly being asked about my experience with grad school and how to navigate post-undergrad plans.

      Once the GSF ended, WEEF&GEDC started. I was really impressed at how everyone just gave advice and offered to mentor me. Here I received more mentorship than I gave. My initial mentorship experience started with having an “everyone is approachable and willing to help me succeed” mindset. It was great to talk to engineering professors as well as deans about engineering education and get their perspectives of the student’s role in getting successful education.

      As an Information Systems PhD candidate, I frequently sought opportunities to ask questions that helped me apply engineering education strategies to my field. Truth is that, both the engineering and IS fields are similar. I thought through most of my projects and solutions that I had engineered over time and I found that the principles remain the same.

      B) Having presented at WEEF&GEDC gave me an entirely different perspective on delivering digestible information. Unlike local conferences, I had to make sure my english language is clear and concise enough for everyone to understand. I had to tailor my presentation to be relevant to engineering education. In order words, answer the question.. why should people listen to my presentation. As a candidate further along in my dissertation, presenting at this conference really helps me rethink presenting my research findings. I understand that clearly presenting solutions to engineering problems are as important as finding the solutions.


  4. Question #6: You are a U.S. citizen, on foreign soil, learning about the results of an election back in your country.

    A. How are you processing results?

    B. Explain your feelings about your experience at the DMZ?

    C. How do these two events shape the way that you see your role as an engineer/technologist?


    1. Question #6: You are a U.S. citizen, on foreign soil, learning about the results of an election back in your country.
      A. How are you processing results?
      Hearing about the election results, I feel confused and shocked. Looking at the popular vote count, the first think that comes to mind is that there is an obvious division in our nation. We as a nation are divided and to bridge it will be very difficult.

      B. Explain your feelings about your experience at the DMZ?
      Feeling of sadness to know that the Korean war killed so many people and divided families and their nation. I cannot imagine the pain that they felt or are still feeling. It is sad to know that they constantly reminded everyday about this division and the worry about the war repeating.

      C. How do these two events shape the way that you see your role as an engineer/technologist?
      Both of these events show how a divided nation can be painful. Because of these two events, I feel, as an engineer, that we must work together to compromise on problems but compromise to help the better good of our world. We must work together in advancing knowledge to all people. I feel education is the key; we must educate our youth and the world.


      1. Answer to Q#6:

        a) It was very interesting to hear about the live updates while we were riding to the DMZ. It was almost like hearing how a World Series game #7 goes on the radio. There is a visible division in our nation (50/50) and I am excited to see how our country will move forward.

        b) I had a great time at the DMZ learning about the Korean culture. I was amazed of how North Korea kept attacking South Korea, how there was a sudden event and everybody just had to pick up whatever they were carrying, leave their cars and RUN. Learning about how many attempts North Korea has had regarding digging tunnels and trying to get to Seoul, South Korea has been enlightening. This must have been a very difficult conversation between governments: South Korea – “Why is there a tunnel leading into our country?” North Korea – “What tunnel? I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

        c) Both events demonstrate that we have to unify ourselves. If we want to succeed and keep improving what we have build so far, we NEED to work TOGETHER! I greatly enjoy working in teams, and we definitely need to change some dynamics to help us better ourselves.


    2. Question #6: You are a U.S. citizen, on foreign soil, learning about the results of an election back in your country.

      A. How are you processing results?

      I do not know exactly how to process the results. The main source of my confusion about the results is that the analytics from media and other election prediction sources were all way off. For me, processing the results involved a re-visit of who constituted the majority in America and what our forefathers were thinking about when they instituted the electoral colleges. This is actually the first time I had seen a candidate lose an election by winning more votes. In this case, over a million more votes than the president elect. For some odd reason, I wish time could turn back for me to be back in America as the votes were being counted. Not that that will change the results but so I could experience the live reactions of other people relative to mine. For now, I have to heavily rely on social media and comments from my team here to understand the gravity of what just happened.

      B. Explain your feelings about your experience at the DMZ?

      My visit to DMZ was bitter sweet. I was excited to tour the one part of Korea that show the last standing country divide after the Berlin wall. It was really sad to hear about the reason for the separation of both the North and South Korea, what happened during the initial separation, and the true reason for DMZ. I feel that one day both countries would unite into one big Korea. I love the fact that there is a dedicated FM radio station that seeks to comfort people who lost relatives during the war.

      C. How do these two events shape the way that you see your role as an engineer/technologist?

      These two events bring out the human, social, critical components of our world. In my own small world of freedom to travel, internet, luxuries, religious freedom, right to vote, abundance of food, over-gratification, there is a bigger world. A world where things are not perfect. I start to think with a broader farther perspective of designing, building, engineering and developing technology for social good. That is what truly makes a mark.


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