International Scholarship Helps Students
Realize Their Career Aspirations
Metaphorically speaking, a reputation for excellence in academia is a bit like playing the slots—hard to win, easy to lose. But, there’s nothing subject to chance at the UNLV William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration. The college has an international reputation for high quality practical education that rewards hard work with great
Two Korean students are examples not only of the reach of the college’s reputation, but of the type of student it attracts. Both were referred to the college—one by a professor at her previous university and the other by a top culinary professional. And, both students have, by dint of hard work, talent and potential for success, earned inaugural grants by the Hae Un Lee International Scholarship program.
Established by the Sun and Hae Lee Foundation, the international scholarship program recognizes up to five Korean students a year and awards funding to assist with the students’ tuition and educational expenses. It honors their work and determination and provides validation that their achievements are recognized.
Majoring in hotel management, student Heesun Kim first learned of the UNLV William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration through a professor at Korea’s prestigious Soonchunhyang University in the new city of Asan.
“My professor in Korea strongly recommended that I go to UNLV because it has a very good program in hotel management,” Kim says. She transferred to UNLV after two years at Soonchunhyang.
After graduation, she plans to begin a career in hospitality marketing and she will benefit not only from the knowledge and skills learned at UNLV, but a life-long appreciation for the support of her Las Vegas benefactor.
“I am honored to have been among the first students to receive this scholarship,” she says.
Jae Hyo Park is another inaugural scholarship recipient, and he is living the American Dream—the one about hard work and talent leading to success.
A graduate of culinary schools in Korea and the United States, Park is now a full-time student at the UNLV William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration. He works two jobs as well to make ends meet and pay tuition. He envisions a career at senior levels of the food and beverage industry.
The Lee Foundation will help Park make the dream a reality. “For me, since I have to pay (out-of-state) tuition myself, this scholarship is very important. It makes me have the motivation to study hard and to keep up on my education,” Park says.
A senior, Park brings a wealth of practical experience to the table. He was schooled in culinary arts in South Korea and began work as an apprentice at the Ritz Carlton in Seoul. There he worked at a number of fine restaurants and rose to the position of sous chef.
Coming to America eight years ago, he began working at the Mohegan Sun Casino Hotel in Uncasville, Connecticut, and later moved to the Hyatt Regency in La Jolla, California. Then it was off to the culinary program at Southwestern Oregon Community College. The strong reputation of the UNLV program drew him to Las Vegas. He transferred two years ago. “The head chef of the company I was working for recommended that I go to UNLV. He really encouraged me,” Park says.
Park works as a line cook at Todd English’s P.U.B. in Crystals at City Center and as an intern at the Cosmopolitan, where he is learning the business of setting up a food and beverage department in a new property.
Of his study at UNLV, he observes, “To me, it is a challenge. I didn’t expect to further my education once I graduated from culinary school in Oregon. The UNLV hotel courses offered me the opportunity to have a vision and look at the business of hospitality not just as individual fields, but as a whole business.”
Upon graduation, Park hopes to apply his new-found knowledge, talent and skill, as well as extraordinary work ethic at a Las Vegas property, aiming to become a professional food and beverage director.
And to his benefactor, the Sun and Hae Lee Foundation, Park is most appreciative.
“Thank you for giving me this opportunity to study hard with this scholarship. I will do my best.”