11 June 2014
In recognition of her nearly 14 years of leading faculty and student exchanges between Indiana University Kokomo and Jesus University, in Jeonju, South Korea, Wallace became an honorary citizen of the city during a recent visit.
"I am humbled, and immensely grateful, as my life has been greatly enriched through my Korean friendships and partnerships," said Wallace, who is dean of the School of Nursing. "I realize this honor is the result of the work of many individuals over the years."
In 1999, Dr. Se-Ung Lee, a South Korean businessman, met former Chancellor Emita Hill at an international education conference. He proposed an international exchange program, starting with sending an IU Kokomo faculty member to teach for a semester at Jesus University. He has supported the program from its beginning, with Wallace's teaching in South Korea in spring 2001.
The program has grown to include students, faculty, and staff, from all academic areas, and the addition of Sungshin Women's University (Seoul).
Wallace has led groups of IU Kokomo students and faculty to visit the city, and has hosted nearly 100 students from the South Korean universities. She and her husband, David, are well known among those students for their hospitality, and especially for the traditional Thanksgiving meal they prepare and serve to them in their home each February.
"Korea kind of found me," Wallace said. "Now that I have taught in Jeonju, brought IU Kokomo administrators, students, and faculty to Jeonju, and hosted visits by Jesus University faculty and students in Kokomo, I can truly say Jeonju is my second home."
Jesus University faculty member Yang Boksun nominated her for honorary citizenship, and acting Mayor Kim Song Il and the city council presented it to her, in a ceremony at City Hall.
"Linda is instrumental in continuing the partnerships between IU Kokomo and the South Korean universities. She has been a wonderful representative of our campus, and helping provide extraordinary international travel opportunities for our students," said Chancellor Susan Sciame-Giesecke. "Also, we continue to be very appreciative of Dr. Lee and his support of the South Korean exchange program here at IU Kokomo."
Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.