Sunday, February 5, 2023

Dr. Namyeon Lee’s Story to Teaching at UNCP

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Dr. Lee instructing her Mass Comm Theory and Research class on the basics of empiricism, positivism and reductionism. Lee is the newest professor in UNCP’s mass communication department. PN Photo/Anayah Peterson

By: Anayah Peterson, Reporter

Dr. Namyeon Lee bridges the gap between science and accessible information, by engaging her students in several topics on health sciences.

Dr. Lee obtained her bachelors, master’s and Ph. D at the University of Missouri. From there she also obtained her bachelor’s and master’s degrees. This is her first semester at UNCP.

Her courses are focused on public relations, social media and mass communication theory and research. When she was a young student, she was curious about economics. The passion for journalism itself came from Dr. Lee’s personal interest in science.

During her undergraduate study and master’s work, she had interned and worked at several media-related organizations. Among the many different places that she worked at Slow Food Korea was her favorite. She was a public relations intern. It was a nonprofit organization.

“I enjoyed interning at Slow Food Korea. It brought out the passion that I had for agriculture journalism,” Lee said.

Slow Food Korea is a grassroots organization that is global. It focuses on preventing the disappearance of local food cultures and traditions. According to Slow Food Korea’s website, they believe that peoples’ food choices can influence how food is cultivated.

Teaching students is different for everyone because no one does it exactly the same way. Lee wants
her students to be able to feel comfortable around her. She does this by pausing when teaching when students want her to go back to something. She tries to teach her lessons orally and visually.

Justin Heath, a senior, is currently taking Dr. Lee’s Mass Communication Theory and Research course for the fall 2021 semester.

“I can tell that Dr. Lee is a new professor, but I have seen many jaded professors and she is not one of them. She is very straightforward and empathic with students,” Heath said.

Heath explained how he had a tough situation going on. He was pleased with how Lee was very empathic with him during the situation. Expressing how she showed an understanding his situation.

Isaiah Dunovant, a junior, also attends her class with Justin Heath.

“It is a pretty good class to take for my major. I haven’t had any problems with Dr. Lee,” Dunovant agreed with Heath that Lee is very straightforward.

When Lee teaches her class, she takes pride in knowing that she is preparing them to succeed after college. She wants her students to develop skills that they take from the class to put it in their individual work.

“I ultimately decided to pursue academia so that I could merge my background in strategic communication with my personal interest in science and health,” said Lee.

While she was interested in science, Lee also wanted to conduct research to improve the public’s
understanding and engagement of science. She said sometimes it can be hard to understand certain scientific terms so she wants to be able to simplify it for the public.

Dr. Lee is planning to attend the commencement ceremony for the University of Missouri. The commencement ceremony could not happen during May 2021 because COVID-19. She is also going to check up on one of her research projects at the lab. It was a study about tracking the movement of the eye through social media from stimulants. She has been able to collect data for the study with help of a colleague from the University of Missouri while she is teaching at UNCP.

COVID challenged Lee when trying to complete her research. She wanted to experiment people’s eye movements when they were viewing the news. How they are affected mentally while they are interpreting the content with sight. Because of COVID, the lab had to be closed and testing could not be completed. The experiment had to be put on a halt.

“As a scholar, you must always be updated on what is going on,” Lee said.

She is fascinated that students are motivated and keen about learning. Dr. Lee wants her students to be up to date with the latest trends.

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