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Yoon Named Special Assistant to the President

Dr. Suk-Chung Yoon of Cherry Hill, N.J., William R. Bailey Endowed professor and chair of the Department of Computer Science at Widener University, has been appointed to a new, part-time position at Widener as special assistant to the president.

Yoon is currently working on two projects; he is helping to develop plans for a new academic building that will serve students in the communications studies, computer science and newly formed informatics programs. He is also working to build a working relationship with leading universities in Asia, with underlying goals of identifying and establishing good practices in internationalization, developing innovative strategies to enhance campus internationalization and preparing all students to live and work in a global and multicultural society.

“Over the past 20 years, Widener University has been extremely supportive of my career development, and now it is time for me to make a contribution to the university,” Yoon said. “These projects will provide the next-generation of students with the knowledge and skills needed to excel in and make a significant contribution to an ever-changing global society.”

Last year, Yoon was selected to join the 2010-11 class of the American Council on Education (ACE) Fellows Program, a premier fellowship that prepares tomorrow’s leaders of American colleges and universities. Often called “the pathway to the presidency,” the ACE Fellows Program has produced hundreds of presidents in addition to vice presidents, deans, department chairs and other notable leaders in higher education. 

Yoon completed his ACE fellowship at two area institutions: Villanova University and Richard Stockton College. He spent the Fall 2010 semester shadowing Villanova’s president, the Rev. Peter M. Donohue, O.S.A., and the Spring 2011 semester with Stockton’s president, Dr. Herman J. Saatkamp, Jr. He also had opportunities to shadow a range of academic leaders at both institutions from provosts to financial officers.

“As an ACE fellow, I gained knowledge of trends and issues in higher education that I can apply in my new responsibility at Widener and hopefully help President Harris in taking the university to the next level as an educational institution,” Yoon said.

Yoon joined the Widener faculty in 1991 and has since amassed an impressive record of teaching, scholarship and service. He has taught courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels and across the university in the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business Administration and the School of Engineering. He has served as chair for the Department of Computer Science for the past eight years.

Outside of the classroom, Yoon is a world-renowned researcher, mainly in the areas of web technologies, data mining and bioinformatics. In 2008 he was awarded a $400,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to revitalize undergraduate education in enterprise computing. He has since brought together representatives from academia and industry to develop and implement a new area of study at Widener focused on the skills needed to develop and maintain enterprise systems.

His latest contribution to the Widener curriculum is informatics, which is defined as the appreciation and understanding of the ways that humans are shaped by and help shape the computer environment. Yoon helped in the development of Widener’s media and business informatics majors and the yet-to-be launched health informatics major.

Yoon has twice received the IBM Faculty Award and was a recipient of the 2008 Lindback Foundation Award for Distinguished Teaching, an honor bestowed annually to a member of Widener’s faculty.

Yoon earned a bachelor’s degree from Yonsei University in Korea and a master’s degree and doctorate from Northwestern University.

Widener University is a private, metropolitan university that connects curricula to social issues through civic engagement. Dynamic teaching, active scholarship, personal attention, and experiential learning are key components of the Widener experience. A comprehensive doctorate-granting university, Widener is comprised of eight schools and colleges that offer liberal arts and sciences, professional and pre-professional curricula leading to associate, baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral degrees. The university’s campuses in Chester, Exton, and Harrisburg, Pa., and Wilmington, Del., serve some 6,700 students. Visit the university website,