Inspiring Graduate: YJ Doe (‘22)
- Hometown: Daegu, South Korea
- Degree: M.S. Technical and Professional Communication
YJ Doe has been a bilingual English as a second language instructor at a private language institute in South Korea for about 15 years. She has also worked as an English/Korean translator, TV program host at a nonprofit Christian broadcasting company and taught ESL and SAT preparation in New York.
Doe started learning English from native English-speaking teachers when she was 9 years old.
“It totally changed my life. I developed a better multicultural perspective and interest in multilingual issues ever since,” she said.
She earned her Bachelor of Arts in English and English literature from SookMyung Women’s University in Seoul, South Korea. She then “wanted to find an authentic university in the U.S. for my master’s degree. While navigating many universities and degrees, I was so glad to find that Stout was providing online courses.”
Doe graduated from UW-Stout’s online master’s in technical and professional communication program on Dec. 17.
As an international student with the Office of International Education, she watched the Graduate School commencement ceremony virtually at home. She will continue to work as an English instructor and plans to earn her Ph.D. in psychology, possibly from an online program in the U.S.
How has Stout prepared you to work in your field?
I feel more confident. The discussions with my classmates and professors helped me to think and speak critically and write logically.
As an English instructor, these learning experiences surely helped me to incorporate my upgraded skills in the classroom for my students.
How did you overcome the challenges you faced in earning your degree?
The time zone difference was not a problem at all because the courses were online. Upon doing a group project, my classmates were so kind to agree on a time slot that fit all group members.
I was working while earning my degree. So, I had to manage my schedule and kept myself busy, doing assignments and preparing for quizzes. Well, after all, it’s worth it.
What stands out about your Stout experience?
My professors and the helping hands at the university stand out. Laura Tomcik, the librarian, and Toni Bixby, from Registration and Records, were always there for me with prompt responses and the details I needed. I really appreciated their help.
Specifically, my gratitude goes to my program director Dr. Julie Watts, who answered my endless emails promptly and warmly. I will never forget the connection with her on top of the warm encouragement and advice from my thesis adviser, Dr. Joleen Hanson. I’d love to visit Stout in the future and meet the staff and faculty members who helped me through.
What are you most proud of as you finish your degree?
I feel fulfilled that I finished this program thoroughly. Above all, I will never be able to forget my efforts, time, energy and passion I put into my thesis. I am proud of myself that I finished my thesis while working at a language institute.