Los Angeles (July 30, 2010) – The University of California at Los Angeles’ Asian American Studies Center (aasc.ucla.edu) announced Friday, that UCLA Professor Jerry Kang is appointed the inaugural holder of the Korea Times-Hankook Ilbo Chair in Korean American studies. Professor Kang, considered an influential scholar of law and Asian American studies, teaching at the UCLA School of Law since 1995, becomes the first endowed chair of what is called the first of its type in the nation.
“Professor Jerry Kang is an outstanding and accomplished scholar and an award-winning and exceptionally gifted teacher,” said David K. Yoo, director of the UCLA Asian American Studies Center. “As a leading legal mind and with an exemplary record of innovative and interdisciplinary scholarship, professor Kang will contribute a great deal to the field of Korean American studies.”
Kang is an internationally recognized legal scholar whose research has focused on “technologies” broadly construed. His focus on communication technologies has included innovative work on cyberspace as well as the social impacts of new information structures. In addition, Kang’s research in critical race studies had garnered much attention not only from legal scholars, but also throughout the academy.
Kang is among UCLA’s most distinguished faculty. He was named Law School Professor of the Year in 1998, and received the Rutter Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2007.
Kang was awarded the 2010 Eby Award for the Art of Teaching, one of six Distinguished Teaching Awards given by UCLA across the university. He has been an active member of the Faculty Advisory Committee of the Asian American Studies Center throughout his career at UCLA.
Kang earned his A.B. in Physics and J.D. with honors from Harvard University. Born in Seoul, Korea, Professor Kang was raised in Illinois.
The Korea Times-Hankook Ilbo Chair in Korean American Studies was made possible by the generosity of lead donor, Jae Min Chang, a UCLA alumnus and chairman, publisher and CEO of The Korea Times-Hankook Ilbo newspapers as well as UCLA alumnus Mike Hong, chairman and CEO of Dura Coat Products, Inc.; and Do Won Chang, co-founder and CEO of Forever 21.
“It is a deep honor to be named to the Korea Times-Hankook Ilbo Chair in Korean American Studies” said Kang. “It is the first chair of its kind, and I am mindful of both the recognition and responsibility that it carries.
“Since my research spans multiple fields, I’m excited about the Chair allowing me to focus more of my research on matters that interest and impact Korean Americans,” he added. “Some examples include comparative work between Korean and United States Internet law, as well as the rise of Korean American lawyers.”
Kang said that, generally, he enjoys channeling the generous resources of the Korea Times Chair to enrich UCLA’s intellectual environment, to make certain that questions, issues, and concerns relevant to Korean American communities be treated seriously.
“I am especially thankful to Mr. Jae Min Chang of the Korea Times, whose leadership made the Chair possible,” Kang added. “I am committed to acting as a dynamic but responsible steward of this extraordinary community resource.”
The Los Angeles metropolitan area has the largest urban concentration of people of Korean descent outside of Korea. There are close to 300,000 Korean Americans living in the L.A. metro area according to updated census estimates (2008).
The UCLA Asian American Studies Center, founded in 1969, is the nation’s premier research, publications, public education, and archival and library program in Asian American studies. The center‚s nearly 50 faculty members, drawn from throughout the UCLA campus, specialize in disciplines ranging from the social sciences to the humanities and represent many professional fields, including law, urban planning, education, public health and the arts.
Along with numerous books and reports, the center’s press publishes two national journals: Amerasia Journal and AAPI Nexus Journal: Policy, Practice, and Community. The center also maintains an array of relationships with organizations, elected and community leaders, corporations, and foundations throughout the nation and the world.
With the Korean American studies chair, the center now has four endowed chairs which focus on groups such as Japanese Americans and issues such as U.S.-China relations.