Intramural Distinguished Professor, Ewha Fellows and Emerging Ewha Fellow were Selected As Ewha is concentrating efforts on enhancing its status as a research-oriented university, the faculty positions of Intramural Distinguished Professor, Ewha Fellows and Emerging Ewha Fellow were selected to take the lead in achieving notable outcomes on an international scale. Ewha has selected Ewha faculty members who are elevating the prestige of Ewha through vigorous research activities and outstanding achievements in order to further support research and academic activities at Ehwa. This year, Ewha designated Professor Goo Taeg Oh at the Department of Life Science as an Intramural Distinguished Professor, Professor Ick-Joong Chung at the Department of Social Welfare, Professor Dong Ha Kim at the Division of Chemistry & Nano Science, and Professor Ahjeong Son at the Division of Environmental Science & Engineering as Ewha Fellows, and Professor Tae-Jin Song at the Department of Medicine as an Emerging Ewha Fellow. (From left) Distinguished Professor Goo Taeg Oh, Ewha Fellows Professors Ick-Joong Chung, Dong Ha Kim and Ahjeong Son, and Emerging Ewha Fellow Professor Tae-Jin Song Under the vision of “A Creative and Innovative Platform Leading to a Sustainable Society,” Ewha launched the Headquarters for R&D General Planning in 2021 with the aim to build an ecosystem to create world-class outcomes, and conducted various projects to strengthen Ewha’s research competitiveness, such as selecting the Frontier 10-10 Project. This year, Ewha plans to create an optimal environment for its members to immerse themselves in education and research by focusing on the establishment of a support system for sustainable creative research, such as expansion of the compensation system for excellent research faculty, establishment of an immersive research environment tailored to academic fields and research characteristics, expansion of support to facilitate research activities by the next generation of academics, etc.
Ewha Opens Children’s Environmental Health Clinic in Korea (CHECK) and Institute of Ewha – SCL for Environmental Health (IESEH) in Collaboration with Ewha Medical Center and SCL With the aim to facilitate global cooperation on research to improve the environment and health, Ewha, Ewha Medical Center and Seoul Clinical Laboratories (SCL) opened “Children’s Environmental Health Clinic in Korea (CHECK)” and “Institute of Ewha – SCL for Environmental Health (IESEH)” on March 23 (Wed.) as institutions dedicated to conducting studies on the promotion of the environment and health. Amid growing interest in coexistence between humans and nature and preemptive responses to various environmental threats in the post-COVID-19 era, Ewha established CHECK and the IESEH to investigate the environmental impact on the health of human beings, including children and women, and to identify measures to provide accurate information on environmental threats and improve health. As Korea’s first clinic specializing in pediatric environmental health, CHECK will take the lead in developing a clinical examination model for recent topics of interest such as precocious puberty, allergies, and autoimmune diseases. By researching and providing education on the connection between children’s diseases and environmental substances, the clinic will identify measures to enhance the environmental health of children and women in Korea, and further lead environmental research and education on an international scale. Established alongside CHECK, the IESEH will research methods to establish women’s cohorts, presents environmental health trends in the post-COVID-19 era, research the development of health screening models, research birth cohort studies on children’s environmental health through national networks, etc. In a congratulatory speech, President Eun Mee Kim remarked, “In the post-COVID-19 era, we need to preemptively respond to threats against human health and prepare detailed and sophisticated countermeasures for health effects on vulnerable groups, especially children, the elderly, and those with cardiovascular and respiratory diseases.” She then added, “It is my hope that the Institute of Ewha – SCL for Environmental Health will take the initiative in convergence education and R&D efforts by developing guidelines for environmental clinics, proposing environmental health solutions and establishing cohorts of children and women, based on the linkage model between clinics and research institutes as the foundation for convergence research combining clinical medicine and environmental medicine.” The seminar that followed was held to share plans and goals of research activities and to discuss ways to operate CHECK and the IESEH with a view to facilitate their development. In addition, special lectures were delivered by Professor Ruth A. Etzel of George Washington University and Professor Michelle L. Bell of Yale University under the theme of “A Giant Leap Toward a Healthier Environment for All Children and Adults: Prospects, Clinical Applications and Public Health Research from Ewha to the Global Stage,” which further added to the meaningful nature of the occasion.
2022 New Student Convocation and Welcome Program for Freshmen Held Ewha held the 2022 convocation ceremony for new students at the Welch-Ryang Auditorium at 10 a.m. on February 25 (Fri.) and welcomed a total of 3,495 freshmen. The ceremony was livestreamed on the school’s official YouTube channel (youtube.com/ewhauniv), attracting significant attention with around 2,000 concurrent viewers and 15,000 views in total. The event proceeded in the order of the Korean pledge of allegiance, a hymn recital, a scripture reading and prayer, a convocation speech by the president, introductions of faculty members in key administrative positions, a performance by a school choir composed of male professors of Ewha, the freshman oath, the school anthem, and benediction. President Eun Mee Kim delivered a message to freshmen as they begin their time at Ewha from March, citing the phrase “Stay awake and be courageous” from a bible verse. President Kim also prepared an English congratulatory address to extend her welcome to new international students, remarking, “Since its establishment 136 years ago as Korea’s first educational institution for women, Ewha has constantly led changes in our society by breaking the wall of prejudice against the women and taking many first steps,” and added, “I hope that you, now as Ewha students, will find strength and courage based on solid faith in yourselves and Ewha.” The remarks were followed by introductions of faculty members in key administrative positions, such as the Vice President, the Dean of the Graduate School, and Deans of Colleges, and a congratulatory performance by the male professors’ choir. Subsequently, the freshman representatives, Choi Da-hyeon of the Division of AI Convergence and Shohona Safarova of the ELTEC College of Engineering, who is an Ewha Global Partnership Program (EGPP) participant, took the freshman oath, pledging to grow their great talents as proud members of Ewha. This year, a total of 3,495 new students including 74 international students and 120 freshmen of the College of Pharmacy began their undergraduate journey at Ewha. The undergraduate freshmen will enjoy their campus life for four years as a member of one or two of 75 departments across 15 colleges (including the Division of AI Convergence). Ewha accepted a total of 197 new international students including transfer and graduate students from 34 countries, including ten (five undergraduate and five general graduate students) EGPP scholarship recipients from seven countries. The EGPP is Korea’s first full scholarship program that was launched in 2006 to nurture talented women from the developing world, and the program has since selected a total of 305 students from 45 countries as its scholarship recipients and produced 208 graduates to date. After the convocation ceremony, a welcome program for the 2022 intake of freshmen, titled “Welcome to Ewha – Welcome Ewha Café,” was aired on YouTube. The video of the event, hosted by the SBS News producer Lee Eun-jae (History, graduating class of 2016) with a panel of four enrolled students and an alumna as a special guest, drew attention with 17,000 views on YouTube.
The First Step towards the World: Spring 2021 Commencement Ceremony Held Ewha hosted the Spring 2020 Commencement Ceremony at 2 p.m. on February 28 (Mon.) and graduated a total of 3,680 students, conferring a bachelor’s degree for 2,511 students, a master’s degree for 1,029 students and a doctoral degree for 140 students. To prevent the spread of COVID-19, the commencement ceremony for this year was held online through the school’s YouTube channel with a small number of in-person attendants, including major staff and representatives of the graduates. President Eun Mee Kim blessed the future of the graduates who take their first steps into the larger world, remarking, “Ehwa will always stand here, praying and cheering for each and every one of you, and be your lighthouse as you set sail on the great voyage.” She then presented topics of hyperconnectivity, humanity, and public good, urging graduates to contemplate on their roles and calling in society while upholding the spirit of challenge, courage, and hope. The remark was followed by a congratulatory address by Distinguished Professor Jae Chun Choe, who has contributed greatly to the development of life science as one of Korea’s top ecologists and evolutionary biologists since his appointment as a distinguished professor of the Life Sciences major and the EcoScience Department in 2006. Emphasizing that Ewha's value lies in Excellence, Womanness, Humility, and Adventure, Professor Jae Chun Choe commented, “Ewha is not just a women's university, but a top-class university in Korea in research and education. And as graduates of this great university, wherever you find yourself in our society, I hope you will always challenge yourself humbly but persistently to ultimately become the most respected and valued person in your area of expertise rather than being satisfied with an ordinary life.” Meanwhile, this year’s youngest graduate is Lee Gyeong-min (Computer Science and Engineering), who received her diploma at the age of 20, and the oldest graduate is Baek Mi-ok (Nursing Science), who was readmitted to the school and graduated at the age of 63 after the abolition of the ban on student marriage. Kim Hui-jin, a nursing major who passed the 62nd National Nurse Examination with the highest score, was also a notable name on the graduate list. In addition, six EGPP (Ewha Global Partnership Program) scholarship recipients from Bangladesh, Vietnam, Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan and Thailand also received their diplomas. The EGPP is Ewha’s female talent-nurturing program that provides full tuition and living expenses to female students selected from developing countries. EGPP graduates are expected to return to their home countries and demonstrate the educational capabilities that they accumulated at Ewha in Korea based on their academic excellence.
Ewha Establishes Ewha Safe Campus Ewha installed the “Ehwa Safe Station,” a testing clinic for COVID-19, next to the Student Union to prepare for the operation of full offline classes. It is a part of the “Ewha Safe Campus” system that was launched with the start of the semester in March to create a safe campus and any Ewha member visiting the campus can be preemptively and freely tested at any time. Ewha has strived to build a safe campus with the “Preparatory Committee for the Return to Normality” by analyzing and responding to the situation, and began discussions in December last year on the establishment of the “Ewha Safe Campus” with the Seegene Medical Foundation, a company specializing in disease testing. The two organizations agreed that an educational institution should establish its own quarantine system to tackle the spread of the Omicron variant in order to prepare for the normalization of university education and establishment of a safe campus. Since then, they quickly sought cooperation with institutions inside and outside Ewha, such as Seodaemun Public Health Center, Ewha Medical Center and on-campus health centers. Based on these preemptive efforts, Ewha and the Seegene Medical Foundation signed an endowment agreement on February 17 (Thu.) and 100,000 diagnosis reagent kits and all expenses necessary were donated upon the agreement. This allows Ewha to establish an infrastructure of “Ewha Safe Campus” where members of Ewha can access COVID-19 tests anytime. Ewha Safe Station, installed next to the Student Union, began its pilot operation on February 22 (Tue.) for dormitory residents and related faculty members, and from February 23 (Wed.), full tests became available for all students and faculty members. Any members of Ewha can receive a free test at any time once a week and up to twice a week for the unvaccinated. After making a reservation via EUREKA, test recipients will conduct a self-test with guidance from a medical professional on site. After the test, the results will be notified via a text message or an app notification as early as the afternoon of the test day or the morning of the next day. Individuals who test positive will have the test result further confirmed through a PCR test conducted by experts at the same station, same as in regular screening clinics. Furthermore, for those confirmed positive, thorough follow-up measures will be taken, such as immediate notification to Seodaemun Public Health Center. (See the notice in the testing guide) The establishment of a systematic and safe “Ewha Safe Campus” system equipped with a one-stop response capability is drawing attention as a leading model of COVID-19 safety management for universities. In addition, it is expected to create and promote a safe campus culture through preemptive and routine testing with the voluntary participation of Ewha members.
Chatbot Service Based on AI Technology Launched Ewha newly launched an AI-based chatbot service (https://chat.ewha.ac.kr/) on February 16 (Wed.) for the first semester of 2022. In response to the demands of digital transformation in various working environments and to enhance administrative quality and work efficiency, the Office of Information and Communications has promoted the “Ewha Womans University Chatbot Service Construction Project” for six months since September 2021. The Office of Information and Communications held a naming contest for the chatbot last November to encourage the participation of Ewha members, and Chat-E was selected as its name through an online vote and deliberation. In this January, a beta test was conducted with student participants to increase the accuracy of answers from the chatbot. The newly-established chatbot provides following services: contents of academic affairs such as registration, course application, grades, enrollment, and graduation; campus life guidance including student activities, scholarships, and IT technical support; and information services through links to school sites such as EUREKA, the Ewha library, the Cyber Campus, the THE Portfolio system, etc. In addition, it offers a variety of services for user convenience, such as the autocompletion of major keywords, quick menus, and greeting messages. Enrolled students and freshmen can quickly obtain useful information online through the chatbot service, which is expected to serve as a valid communication channel in the contact-free era. From the service provider’s perspective, it is expected to increase their concentration on work by providing set answers to frequently-asked questions. Jeong-Tae Kim, Vice President of Information and Communications, remarked, “The Office of Information and Communications is promoting various projects to preemptively respond to digital transformation and expand IT services using intelligent technology. The chatbot service is expected to provide high-quality campus contents and administrative services to students and increase the efficiency of handling on-campus complaints in order to improve students' satisfaction towards administrative services.” He also added, “Ewha will continue to advance the service by increasing the accuracy of information provided by the chatbot, expanding the scope of information and providing English translations.”
Opening Four New K-MOOC Courses for the First Semester of 2022 Ewha newly launched four classes for Korean Massive Open Online Courses (K-MOOC) for the new semester. The four new courses are as follows: An English-language lecture titled “Poverty, Inequality & Development Cooperation” by Prof. Jinhwan Oh (International Studies); “In-depth Reading of Korean Culture” by Prof. Hae Ran Cho (Korean Language & Literature); “Biodiversity and Biological Resources” by Prof. Jongwoo Jung (Science Education); and “Understanding of the Environment and Children's Health” by Prof. Eun-Hee Ha (Medicine). Credits earned from a total of 18 K-MOOC courses, including new ones, will be fully recognized and applications can be submitted on the K-MOOC website (http://www.kmooc.kr/school/EwhaK/). The Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning has developed and operated a total of 24 courses since the launch of the K-MOOC in 2015. Seven lectures provided by Ewha were selected as top-rated courses in the 2020 annual evaluation of K-MOOC, and in 2021, eight courses were designated as Blue Ribbon courses, which was the largest number among Korean universities, thereby demonstrating the school’s outstanding educational capacity. With the increase in the number of subscribers and applications for K-MOOC due to the emergence of the contact-free culture, the Ministry of Education announced KRW 25.8 billion of investments this year to develop K-MOOC contents and upgrade related services. In this regard, Ewha will continue to develop high-quality online content, lead global knowledge sharing, and promote the excellence of its education.
Research Team of Professor Oran Kwon Publishes Findings in an SCI-indexed Journal A research team led by Professor Oran Kwon at the Department of Nutritional Science & Food Management under the College of Science and Industry Convergence is drawing attention by publishing findings demonstrating that yellow yeast rice (YYR) prepared by fermenting Aspergillus fungi on steamed rice is effective in lowering plasma cholesterol levels. The research was performed through joint research with DaeSang Corporation. The findings of this study, in which Ph.D. student Seunghee Kang (first author) and Eunok Lee (co-author) participated, were published in the SCIE-indexed international journal Molecular Nutrition & Food Research (IF=5.914, top 3% in the field of food science and technology). Amid growing interest in functional foods that offer the preemptive management of cholesterol which causes vascular diseases, the research team focused on the usefulness of “Aspergillus terreus,” a microorganism that has been widely used in the production of traditional Korean sauces and alcoholic beverages. The study was designed as a randomized controlled trial of 68 men and women in their 50s with moderately high cholesterol levels and compared the intervention effects between YYR and placebo. The study found that YYR contains Monacolin K, a known natural statin, and other multiple components that may synergistically improve plasma LDL cholesterol and apolipoprotein B100 levels by stimulating the bile salt export pump and reducing cholesterol availability in the liver without causing adverse reactions. Based on these results, DaeSang Corporation recently obtained approval from the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety to use YYR for producing cholesterol-modulating health/functional foods. Professor Kwon stated, “These findings suggest that YYR can help modulate high cholesterol levels, one of the leading causes of vascular diseases in Korea. Therefore, daily YYR supplementation is expected to be helpful to the people who are mildly-to-moderately hypercholesterolemic and want to maintain healthy cholesterol levels.”
Ewha Hosts the 2021 Ewha International Winter College The Office of International Affairs hosted the 2021 Ewha International Winter College on December 28 (Tue.) over a period of three weeks during the winter vacation. This year's program, which marks its second anniversary, attracted students from 10 countries including the United States, Australia, Mexico, China, Japan, Vietnam, Germany, Thailand and Russia. The following classes were opened for students of Ewha International Winter College: Korean Ceramics (Studio-type); Gender Relations in Korea; Fashion Psychology & Consumer Behavior; and Korean Language Levels 1 to 3. In particular, unlike last year’s program, which had provided online classes only, this year’s program restored offline classes, allowing international students in Korea to take classes at the Ewha campus, thereby drawing a positive response. Sang Mi Cho, Vice President for International Affairs, extended her congratulatoryaddress at a farewell ceremony held on YouTube on January 14 (Fri.) saying, “Congratulations on the successful completion of the three-week program. I hope you’ll remember your time at Ewha as a precious and meaningful moment in your life.” Amid growing interest in Korea with the success of K-content, students expressed profound satisfaction towards the global seasonal semester program of Ewha, which allowed them to enroll in Korean Studies and earn credits, albeit online. The Office of International Affairs is seeking ways to attract global talent through various programs, including promoting the online Ewha International Summer College and newly establishing Ewha International Winter College. In addition, the school hosts a welcome program titled “Ewha Pre-Orientation (EPO)” for incoming students from abroad and the “2021 HEAT Year-end Party” for the network of scholarship students from the HEAT (Higher Education for ASEAN Talents) Program to enhance the satisfaction of international students and exchange students. Meanwhile, the Office of International Affairs plans to hold the 2022 Ewha International Summer College offline during the summer vacation. Session 1, which will run for four weeks from the end of June, will consist of Korean studies, Korean language classes and general subjects in various fields such as business administration, economics, and engineering, while Session 2, which will run for two weeks from early August, will consist of a customized course titled Introductory Korean Studies. Those who is interested in the program can apply to enroll via the Ewha International Summer College website (http://summer.ewha.ac.kr), and enrolled students can apply for Session 1 (three credits per subject, up to six credits) by registering for the summer session.
Pilot Project of the Ewha-specific Teaching and Learning Model “THE BEST” Launched Ewha commenced the pilot operation of subjects that apply the “THE BEST” class model for the first semester of 2022. “THE BEST” is a project designed to establish a hybrid teaching and learning model combining online and offline classes with the aim to lead the innovation of edutech-based teaching and learning infrastructure and create an Ewha-specific education model. To support students’ self-directed learning based on quality curriculum design and digital technology, the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning developed the “THE BEST” class model consisting of three types of lectures: online, offline and hybrid. Accordingly, a total of 231 new subjects, including 188 hybrid classes and 43 online classes, will be piloted in the first semester of 2022. Offline classes of “THE BEST” are conducted at designated classrooms according to the set schedule, and hybrid classes are made up of both online conceptual learning and offline application learning. In online classes, more than 70 percent of teaching and learning will be conducted online, excluding student evaluation such as mid-term and final exams. These will include hybrid classes that are being newly launched or opened for applications. Hybrid classes consist of online conceptual learning, which accounts for 15 to 70 percent of total learning time, and online conceptual learning conducted outside the classroom (75 minutes) and application learning inside the classroom (75 minutes) for more than five weeks out of 15. Compared to the existing style of blended learning, hybrid classes are characterized by the organic linkage between online conceptual learning and offline application learning, which effectively encourages reflection and transfer of learning for each subject. In order to effectively support the operation of classes, the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning will continue striving to successfully implement the new educational model by conducting orientations and one-on-one consulting for faculty members and discovering exemplary cases of hybrid and online class operation. Starting with the pilot operation of “THE BEST,” Ewha plans to establish a convergence teaching and learning support system, preemptively respond to digital transformation, and lead innovation in education.