Spring 2016 Featured Researcher: Dr. Perry Hamalis

March 9th, 2016

2015-16 Fulbright Senior Researcher and Underwood Visiting Professor at Yonsei University’s United Graduate School of Theology Dr. Perry HamalisK-Pop, companies like LG and Samsung, and the rise of Kimchi-infusion dishes – Korea is making waves in economic and cultural sectors with increasing global recognition. The 10th General Assembly of the World Council of Churches (WCC) sited in Busan in 2013, however, called for a distinct break in the otherwise uniform news cycle – and for good reason. 2015-16 Fulbright Senior Researcher and Underwood Visiting Professor at Yonsei University’s United Graduate School of Theology Dr. Perry Hamalis not only took part in the seminal WCC assembly; he’s here for the year to study the longitudinal impact of the event on Korea’s Orthodox Christian community and presented his preliminary findings at the Fulbright Forum on February 12th, 2016 last week.

Dr. Perry Hamalis is known stateside as the Cecelia Schneller Mueller Professor of Religion at North Central College in Naperville, Illinois, and made a splash at the WCC’s General Assembly in Busan as both a delegate and moderator for the organization. As an institution, the WCC has a profound global presence; Established after World War II, the WCC is the world’s most inclusive ecumenical organization with over 345 member churches across 110 nations. The ecumenical goal of the WCC is to promote visible unity and collaboration within and among Christian churches, and including its members and partnership with the Roman Catholic Church, has influence over 75% of the world’s Christian population – about 1.6 billion people.


Matt D'Arcy: Resident Rocket Scientist

June 7th, 2015


Meet our Junior Researcher and resident rocket scientist, Matt D’Arcy. He is currently working with the Space Systems Research Laboratory (SSRL) of Korea Aerospace University (KAU) to build a 3U CubeSat (a small satellite that is 30x10x10 cm) to launch into orbit and take pictures of the Earth.

Matt, who says he was interested in space from a young age thanks to his grandfather’s work on major U.S. space projects (including the Apollo missions and the Mars Viking Lander), came to Korea after earning his Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering at Drexel University. His plan was to conduct mission operations of the satellite in orbit, but he soon discovered that due to the unique build-from-scratch approach of the lab and the enormity of the project, the launch would be significantly delayed.

Matt says he quickly found that his mechanical engineering background and research experience had not prepared him for the electronics and computer programming-heavy work that awaited him. Not one to back down from a challenge, he spent the first few months of his grant year powering through several textbooks and tutorials to attain working proficiency in several computer programming languages and expand his practical knowledge of electronics. Matt says that tackling the steep learning curve that awaited him was both the most challenging and the most rewarding part of the year.

I had to learn entirely new skill-sets, but I had the time to sit down and learn them well, down to the nitty-gritty, as I did not have other courses or work pressures in my day-to-day.

Since then, Matt has become more involved in many aspects of the design and building process, but has found perhaps his most notable contribution in an entirely different area: project management. Matt says he faced an internal and cultural conflict with the work culture in the lab – namely, 20+ hour days and/or 6-day-long stints. During the series of all-nighters incurred for the construction process of the test model in particular, he worried that staff exhaustion could potentially harm the final product due to the extremely detail-oriented nature of the work. After careful discussions, Matt helped create a shift in work structure and new guidelines for the next construction process, introduced new team management software, and also reorganized much of the clean room and lab and helped institute policies for disposing of needles and other waste.

In the time he carves out away from the lab, Matt enjoys spending time with friends, exploring the Hongdae-Sinchon area he calls home, and hiking and biking in the spring weather. We wish Matt all the best in finishing up his project and his grant year!


Aimee Lee: Bringing Worldwide Recognition to the Art of Hanji 

June 7th, 2015

Aimee Lee, a Fulbright Korea alumnus, was recently recognized for her work with hanji in the Korea Times. A graduate of Oberlin College, Lee’s interest in hanji, otherwise known as traditional handmade Korean paper, grew during a Chinese Art History course in college.

Motivated by her interest to learn and pursue Korean traditional art – which is widely unrecognized in comparison to Japanese and Chinese art – Lee learned the process of making hanji from Jang Seong-woo, a Korean traditional paper making artisan, in 2009. Since then, Lee has used her Fulbright research, experience, and skills to spread awareness of the hanji tradition and to open the Anne F. Eiben Hanji Studio. Her studio, the first and only Korean paper making studio in North America, is located at the Morgan Conservatory in Cleveland.

Lee has also written the first English book on hanji, titled Hanji Unfurled: One Journey into Korean Papermaking (The Legacy Press, 2012).

To read more about Aimee Lee’s accomplishments, check out the original article on the Korea Times website.