[PROFILE] Sue Ann Kim
- Sue Ann Kim, a Pioneer in the Korean American Community, Creates
Endowed Scholarship and Sponsors Celebration for UCLA Asian American
** 1ST KOREAN WOMAN TO RECEIVE DOCTORATE FROM UCLA **
UCLA was a different place when Sue Ann Kim received her doctorate
from the university in 1970. There were only a handful of Asian
Americans on campus. Indeed, Kim was the first Korean woman to
receive a doctorate from UCLA, and the Asian American Studies Center
was just getting off the ground.
Today, Asian Americans are the fastest growing group on campus, with
more than 11,500 students enrolled at the university. The Asian
American Studies Center is ranked number one in the nation, and Kim
has become an important figure in expanding the center's scope.
Kim, 78, of Pasadena established the Sue Ann Kim Endowed Scholarship
to support, in perpetuity, Korean American Studies by UCLA
undergraduate and graduate students. The scholarship also supports
the Korea Times-Hankook Ilbo endowed chair in Korean American
On Saturday, Nov. 16, Kim also will sponsor the center's 33rd
Anniversary Dinner, which will feature such notable Asian Americans
as author/journalist Helen Zia and John Kobara, businessman and
former UCLA vice chancellor.
"We are tremendously honored by Dr. Kim's generosity and commitment
to our center, and to the support of UCLA students interested in
Korean American Studies," said Don Nakanishi, director of the Asian
American Studies Center. "Dr. Kim has led a remarkable life of
service and achievement, and has contributed immensely to enhancing
the lives of children, families, women and immigrants in Southern
California through her career and numerous voluntary leadership
"Her 'American Dream' has been to make it possible for others to
reach their full potential in this society," Nakanishi said.
Kim is proud of the center's accomplishments over the years and wants
to continue to help it grow.
"I appreciate UCLA and will help in any way I can," said Kim, who has
worked as an administrative coordinator for the Department of
Children and Family Services for Los Angeles County since 1975.
** BACKGROUND **
Kim was born in Taegur, South Korea, and taught and worked as a
principal there for over ten years. She is a survivor of the Korean
War and remembers a time in South Korea when "all the country was
just ashes, everything was just burned." She came to the United
States on a Fulbright Fellowship in 1959. Kim received her doctorate
in education at UCLA in 1970. Her dissertation focused on how
vocational education could be improved in South Korea.
** PRESIDENT OF YWCA **
Kim has served as President of the YWCA of Los Angeles; chair of the
Board of the Pacific Consortium on Employment (PACE); vice chair of
the Board of the Korean Institute of Southern California; and on
numerous other community organizations. She also has been honored by
the Los Angeles City Human Relations Commission in its "Bicentennial
Salute to Los Angeles Women of the Year" and has received numerous
Helen Zia, author of "Asian American Dreams: The Emergence of an
American People" and co-author of "My Country Versus Me" about Wen Ho
Lee, will be the dinner's keynote speaker. Tritia Toyota, former
journalist and co-founder of the National Asian American Journalists
Association, will be the mistress of ceremonies.
Honorees include Govind B. Bhakta, businessman and author of "Patels:
A Gujarati Community History in the United States"; the Asian Pacific
Policy & Planning Council; and John Kobara.
Special tributes will be paid to Yuji Ichioka, professor and one of
the center's founders, and Harry Kitano, professor emeritus and one
of the leading authorities on race and ethnic relations.
The reception/silent auction starts at 5:30 p.m. and dinner takes
place at 7 p.m. at the UCLA Faculty Center, 480 Charles E. Young Dr.
For dinner tickets and reservations, please contact the UCLA Asian
American Studies Center, 310.825.2974.
JPEGS of Kim, speakers, and honorees are available.
Don T. Nakanishi, Ph.D.
Director and Professor
UCLA Asian American Studies Center
3230 Campbell Hall
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1546
web site for Center: www.sscnet.ucla.edu/aasc