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Clayton State health sciences spans international borders

Photo by Johnny Jackson 
Daejeon Health Sciences International Programs Director Bong Nam Lee (left) signs a memorandum document alongside Clayton State International Programs Director John Parkerson, Jr.

Photo by Johnny Jackson Daejeon Health Sciences International Programs Director Bong Nam Lee (left) signs a memorandum document alongside Clayton State International Programs Director John Parkerson, Jr.

MORROW — Clayton State University is embarking on an international exchange in health sciences.

The university hosted a ceremony Monday officially acknowledging its partnership with Daejeon Health Sciences College in Daejeon, South Korea.

Officials at both institutions signed onto a memorandum of understanding with an initial five-year term.

Bong Nam Lee is international programs director at Daejeon.

“I feel strongly that this memorandum of understanding for the partnership will be a cornerstone for the wider Clayton State University-Daejeon Health Sciences College alliance and bring both at the communities tremendous benefits as time goes by,” said Lee.

Clayton State President Tim Hynes welcomed Lee and a delegation from the South Korean college. The group was led by Board of Trustees Chairman Dr. Kang IL Rhee, who founded the college in 1977.

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Photo by Johnny Jackson Kang Il Rhee (right) reads a statement he prepared for Monday’s memorandum of understanding ceremony. He is the founder and chairman of the Daejeon Health Sciences College Board of Trustees.

The others included President Dr. Moo-Nam Chung, Nursing School Dean Dr. Hyen-Sook Jeon, cosmetic science department head Dr. Sangjin Kim, dental laboratory technology professor Lim Myung-Sook and executive assistant Randy Towery.

June Towery also joined Monday’s site visit. She is president of the Korea Southeast U.S. Chamber of Commerce and was instrumental in forming the partnership.

Towery is a partner at Nelson Mullins law firm, where she has known John Parkerson Jr., Clayton State’s international programs director. Parkerson is also an attorney.

He said Towery approached him and let him know that Daejeon was looking for an international health science education partner.

Parkerson said the institutions have been discussing possibilities for the past four months. He said the university has multiple foreign partnerships, but this will be the first with a South Korean institution.

Clayton State has roughly 1,500 students enrolled in the College of Health, its second largest program of study. Daejeon has grown to 8,600 students enrolled in a range of health science majors.

Parkerson the cooperative is designed for student, faculty and staff exchanges in health research and education. He said he expects the partnership will offer special joint teaching and collaborative degree program opportunities.

Clayton State’s dean at the college of health, Dr. Lisa Eichelberger, is planning a trip this fall to South Korea to speak with Daejeon officials about potential exchange programs.