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Nov 12, 2015

Calvin Chung: A Doctoral Student Taking Success In Hand

man sittingFall 2015, Calvin Chung is in his second year as a graduate student in JMU's Strategic Leadership program with a concentration in Nonprofit & Community leadership. He greatly enjoys his classes at JMU and meeting fellow students from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines. He is from Seoul, South Korea but has lived in the U.S. for the past five years and studied at JMU for the past two. He moved to the U.S. with his wife and two children, a three year old daughter and a one year old son.

In South Korea, many students start to learn English in middle school. Calvin recalls learning mostly about grammar rather than focusing on English conversation skills. Prior to moving to the U.S., Calvin worked for the Korean government. In this position, he travelled to different countries to encourage foreign investments. Calvin loves to travel, meet new people, and experience other cultures. In the future, Calvin might work to teach others about intercultural business.

The writing-intensive nature of the doctoral program led Calvin to visit JMU's Learning Centers where he discovered English Language Learner Services. Because this is a doctoral program, every class requires a major research paper. "We are preparing ourselves for a dissertation," Calvin shared about the challenging coursework.

By meeting with a tutor at ELLS, Calvin has been able to receive help not only with grammar and language but also with developing a clear structure and argument for his advanced writing assignments. "I gained more confidence in my ability to write research papers," Calvin said of his experience with ELLS.

For undergraduate international students, Calvin encourages them to fully explore American culture and focus on all aspects of college not just academics. He believes that students can learn a lot from meeting new people outside of the classroom and this provides a chance for students to broaden their perspectives. He also recommends international students to seek help if they need it and not to be shy about asking for extra assistance when it comes to using English in their school work. In his advising work, he sometimes sees struggling students who are reluctant to visit the Learning Centers or meet with a tutor and encourages them to feel more comfortable utilizing JMU's resources.








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