A CSU delegation that included administrators, faculty and a graduate student traveled to South Korea last month to participate in the seventh World Water Forum and host an alumni reception at the event.
First-year CSU communication studies graduate student Min Kim served as a communication liaison at the World Water Forum, which was held April 12-17. Other CSU attendees included Provost and Executive Vice President Rick Miranda, Vice Provost for International Affairs Jim Cooney, Vice President of Engagement Lou Swanson, Associate Department Head James Pritchett of the Office of the Vice President of Engagement, Executive Director of Alumni Relations Colleen Meyer, and College of Engineering Dean David McLean. Several faculty members in CSU’s Colorado Water Institute also attended, including Director Reagan Waskom, Pierre Julien, Jorge Ramirez, Melinda Laituri, Steven Fassnacht, Lee MacDonald, Ken Carlson and Nancy Grice.
At the WWF, which is the largest water-related event in the world, experts discuss topics such as water quality, water security, and helping developing countries with water problems. Academic experts as well as non-government, private, and government organizations take part in the event to discuss such issues. WWF began in 1997 and is considered the “Olympics of the water industry” not only because it only takes place every three years, but because of its global impact. This year’s WWF was held in Daegu and Gyeongju, South Korea.
Kim has been an active member of CSU’s Korea Alumni Association since she graduated from CSU with her bachelor’s degree in communication studies in 2008. The seed for the alumni event was planted last year, when Kim helped the association organize an evening reception with CSU President Tony Frank and Cooney. CSU alumnus Gye Woon Choi (’91), CEO of Korea Water Resources Corporation (K-Water) and president of the CSU Korea Alumni Association, and Frank agreed at the reception to co-host a new event for CSU alumni attending the seventh World Water Forum. K-Water has been instrumental in organizing and planning the forum. When Choi learned that Kim was returning to CSU to pursue a graduate degree, he asked if she would serve as communication liaison between K-Water and CSU during the planning of the CSU alumni event. Kim’s liaison responsibilities included helping CSU water experts get involved in the water forum.
CSU co-hosted the alumni reception with the Korea Alumni Association. The event, held April 14 at the Hotel Laonzena in Daegu, attracted more than 100 CSU alumni.
The next day, the members of CSU’s Colorado Water Institute hosted a North American Water Experts Seminar in Gyeongju, giving the CSU faculty an opportunity to share their expertise on hydraulics in presentations and panel discussions.
Kim’s work regularly involved translating emails and documents from one language into the other.
“Knowing the two languages and cultures really helped me to navigate the challenging barriers,” Kim said.
“Something like this requires heavy reliance on intercultural negotiation, as the different cultural norms and expectations can be a critical element,” she said. “Since [the parties] are not communicating directly, I not only have to translate the language but also the cultural, emotional, and implicit messages. In the midst of this, I also have responsibilities to suggest alternatives that could satisfy both parties.”
The Department of Communication Studies is in the College of Liberal Arts.