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RECONNECTING WITH GILMOUR’S PACIFIC RIM ALUMNI By Debra Mayers Hollander

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or the past two decades, Gilmour Academy has served as home to more than 40 overseas students who lived on campus or with a host family while studying at Gilmour. With the help of Facebook and other social networking vehicles, Gilmour caught up with many of these alums to learn about their lives post-Gilmour. In some ways these students’ high school experiences were vastly different from their American counterparts – encountering homesickness and language barriers – while in other ways their journey was refreshingly the same – taking pride in academic and athletic successes and forming close friendships. Gilmour wants to hear from you too! Drop us a line at kennyk@gilmour.org or like us on Facebook at Gilmour Academy. Plans are underway for receptions to reconnect Gilmour alums from the Pacific Rim area. If you are interested in attending or planning such a gathering in your home country, please let us know – we would love your support. Sang-Rok Shin ’09 is now a student at Carnegie Mellon University’s Pittsburgh campus. Originally from Korea, Shin plans to complete a master’s degree in the United States and then return to Korea for military service. Looking back on his experience at Gilmour, Shin reflects that living in the dorm helped strengthen his time management skills and improved his performance in college because Gilmour taught him to “effectively prioritize and adjust to college life.” Shin keeps in touch with some close American friends who attended Gilmour as well and has enjoyed traveling to New York City and throughout Korea since graduating. He continues to play soccer and fondly recalls soccer season at Gilmour. Kyu-bum Han ’99 is currently in the third year of a doctoral program in material science and engineering at the University of Utah where he completed his undergraduate degree. He served in the Korean military after his second year of college and returned to Utah to complete his studies. Han has earned multiple research

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grants and scholarly designations for his studies in nanobiomaterials, while serving as a teaching assistant, lab aide, research assistant and tutor. In looking back, he wholeheartedly feels that Gilmour prepared him for college and beyond. “Gilmour provided me with the training that has allowed me to thrive in a Ph.D. program. It is only now that I truly realize the importance of leadership and the strong platform that was established at Gilmour Academy. People can always learn from books and other resources, but it is important to have a positive educational environment where students can learn together and develop their potential,” writes Han. Arriving at Gilmour he knew only a few sentences in English including “My name is…” and “How are you?” He fondly recalls Brother Charles Smith, C.S.C., coordinator of physical plant, encouraging him to stop by his office every day after class so he could practice his English. Han keeps in touch with other Kyu-bum Han ’99 Gilmour alums and has traveled throughout the world to China, Thailand, England, Germany and Spain. He is an outdoors person who enjoys mountain biking, snowboarding, hiking, camping and golfing. At Gilmour, Han says that he learned the true meaning of leadership, which has allowed him to be successful in life. “Gilmour not only provided me the education but also the lessons that have helped me grow and establish myself as a confident person ready to make a difference,” he concludes. Gyu-Tak Lee ’10 lives in New York City where he attends New York University (NYU). This summer he will begin his military service and plans to return to NYU to complete his studies. Lee credits his studies at Gilmour and living in the dorms with both his academic success and his understanding of American culture. When he first came to Gilmour he remembers having a hard time following in class, but with the generous support of the

Gilmour Academy Magazine Spring/Summer 2012  

Gilmour Academy Magazine Spring/Summer 2012

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