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Cronkite Associate Professor Named to Prestigious U.S.-Korea NextGen Scholars Program

June 18, 2020

K. Hazel Kwon, an associate professor at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, was selected for the U.S-Korea NextGen Scholars program for 2020-2022.

The program is an initiative of the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS), which is considered one of the top think tanks for foreign affairs, and the USC Korean Studies Institute with support from The Korea Foundation.

Kwon, who lives in the Phoenix area, was among 10 NexGen Scholars chosen from a national competition who showed scholarship in a range of disciplines, including political science, Korean literature and film, communication, journalism and international relations. Kwon’s research at Cronkite focuses on audience engagement in social news, online emotional contagion and networked social influence on user collaboration/collective actions.

“I am absolutely excited about what I will learn from this program. I especially like the mission of this program to promote public intellectuals,’” Kwon said. “As a social scientist who studies digital communicative processes in the context of global news events, one of my long-term goals is to be an approachable scholar who can effectively share social scientific knowledge to the public.”

Program participants will discuss issues of importance to U.S.-Korea relations with policymakers, government officials, and opinion leaders in Korea and the United States. They will also learn how to engage with the media and help to bridge the scholarly and policy communities.

“Naming Hazel to this elite group of scholars is a testament to her reputation as a top researcher in our field,” said Cronkite Assistant Dean Bill Silcock. “As a digital media scholar, Hazel’s research centers on digital media and society with a timely, current focus on misinformation in the context of politics and national security. She is one of world’s leading experts on Twitter and collective behaviors online.”

Two renowned Korea specialists, program chairs Dr. Victor Cha of CSIS and Georgetown University and Dr. David Kang of the University of Southern California, will mentor the scholars. The program will also receive support from an advisory committee of distinguished American and Korean advisers with experience in academia, government and the private sector.

The program will include three seminars in Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and Seoul Korea in 2021.

“This is a truly prestigious, ultra-competitive program, with each of this year’s scholars possessing eye-popping credentials,” said Senior Research Professor Douglas Anderson, who wrote a reference letter for Kwon. “But I am not surprised Hazel was selected. Though young, she’s already a star, a brilliant researcher and devoted teacher. She’s also modest. That’s a winning combination.”