Dr. Sunggye Hong, associate professor in the College of Education Department of Disability and Psychoeducational Studies and director of the Special Education program, has been named as the recipient of the David and Minnie Meyerson Distinguished Professorship in Disability and Rehabilitation. This 5-year professorship is intended to provide the means to support continued work and skilled leadership in disability and rehabilitation, and to help increase public visibility of the work being conducted in these areas.
“This opportunity is very meaningful to me because my doctoral program was funded by David and Minnie Meyerson Scholarship. Support provided by David and Minnie Meyerson Scholarship helped me greatly when I was completing my doctoral program. I feel very honored to apply to this program as a faculty and can have an opportunity to return what I received from the scholarship to a form of scholarly and professional contributions,” wrote Dr. Hong in his application.
The goal of the fund is to support work in progress and to stimulate new work in the field. Dr. Hong was selected for his commitment to a comprehensive, coherent and sustainable teaching and scholarship agenda that addresses and advocates advancement and improvements in education. As the awardee, his research agenda will be two-fold: first, he will aim to create a platform for STEM education of students with visual impairments.
“Often students with visual impairments do not perform as well in STEM classes as their peers without disabilities. Decrease in motivation and achievement toward STEM subjects is commonly observed. As a consequence, employment opportunities and earning potential of students with visual impairments are negatively impacted,” says Dr. Hong. “It is imperative that students with visual impairments do not miss the opportunity to earn an income that can allow them to take part in all aspects of society while bringing their talent and important perspectives to STEM-related careers that benefit industry, academia, government, and education in the US.”
The second part of Dr. Hong’s research agenda is to design a multi-year research study and look into diverse aspects of braille contraction. “Braille serves an important role as a primary medium for many people with visual impairments [... and] the decline in the number of users who use braille as their primary medium has been reported in the existing literature,” he says.
Congratulations, Dr. Hong, on this well-deserved recognition of your contributions to the field and our college!