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Chon awarded research fellowship at USC Center on Public Diplomacy

Associate Professor Myoung-Gi Chon

Auburn University’s Myoung-Gi Chon has received a prestigious research fellowship from the University of Southern California’s Center on Public Diplomacy (CPD).

Chon serves as an associate professor of public relations and graduate program officer for the School of Communication and Journalism in the College of Liberal Arts. As a CPD Research Fellow, Chon will conduct studies on public diplomacy between South Korea and the United States.

“This achievement holds great personal significance for me as it represents not only a recognition of my dedication to cultivating quality relationships between South Korea and the USA but also an opportunity to contribute meaningfully to the field of international public relations,” Chon said. “The soft power of South Korea, manifested through its rich cultural heritages and the impact of Korean corporations on American life, has become increasingly prevalent in the United States. However, there exists a gap in empirical research exploring the nuanced dynamics of this influence from the view of public diplomacy.”

The USC Center on Public Diplomacy is “a research, analysis and professional education organization dedicated to furthering the study and practice of global public engagement and cultural relations.”

Chon’s project will investigate the influence of Korean culture, including K-pop and K-drama, and the reputation of Korean corporations, such as the Hyundai Motor Group, in the United States.

“This investigation aims to elucidate the degree of alignment or divergence in perspectives between Koreans and Americans regarding Korea’s soft power,” Chon said. “As a result, the findings of this study will contribute to the assessment of effective soft power strategies and their impact on national reputation.”

Further, Chon hopes the project will enhance relationships within the Auburn community, as the city’s Korean population has grown since South Korean corporations Hyundai and Kia opened auto plants near Auburn.

“By understanding how K-culture and corporate reputation influence interpersonal dynamics, my research endeavors provide insights that can enhance community relations,” Chon said. “In essence, this exploration is not merely an academic pursuit but a practical effort to contribute valuable knowledge that can positively shape the interactions and perceptions within the Auburn community, ultimately fostering a more connected and harmonious multicultural environment.”

Learn more about the public relations program.

Tags: Communication and Journalism Faculty Research

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