Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Student Profile: Ted Chung

We couldn't be happier to have Ted Chung as a member of the Johns Hopkins SAIS community. A current MIPP student hailing from Chicago, Ted has done a phenomenal job in serving as co-MIPP representative for SGA and student interviewer for the Office of Admissions. Prior to joining the SAIS community, Ted served as a special education teacher through the Teach for America Program. Outside of SAIS, Ted practices Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and is a craft beer enthusiast. If ever you're looking for great breweries around the city, or for self-defense tips, Ted is the one to ask.

Ted in Providence Canyon State Park when stationed at Fort Benning

Program/Graduation Year: MIPP/2016
Affiliation: Korea Studies
Language Fluencies: Korean and Dari

What has been your favorite class so far, and why?
Hands down, my favorite class so far has been North Korea: A Policymaking Primer with Dr. Mansourov. He not only had a unique perspective on North Korea and its systems, but showed a much larger historical context for Korea as a whole and how it effects both Koreas to this day. In addition, the guest speakers he brought in were current, lively and memorable. Even if you aren’t interested in Korea, take it as an elective it will not disappoint.

What are some other activities you're involved in at SAIS?
I’m on the SAIS SGA as co-MIPP representative, I’m a student interviewer through the admissions office and I’m a language exchange partner with the USKI here at SAIS. I’m also the unofficial social co-chair for the MIPP program. I’ve enjoyed all the other activities here at SAIS, and to me, it makes it a much deeper, enjoyable experience. SAIS is so much more than just classes and lectures, there are many great social and professional opportunities that really serve as broadening experiences.

What advice you would give someone considering applying to SAIS?
Research, research, research. Forewarned is forearmed, in a manner of speaking. Knowing more about SAIS, attending an information session either in person or virtually, contacting current students or alum, attending a taster lecture or dropping in on a class will help you get a better understanding of SAIS and its intangibles. Put it another way, researching programs will be like a scrimmage for research papers, policy memos or other projects.

What has surprised you the most being at SAIS? 
For me, the biggest surprise is how friendly and collegial everyone is. I imagined that grad school would be a Darwinian world with people fighting over course reserves or running each other over for an available seat in a class. In a similar vein, the staff here is friendly, I’m used to being a number when it comes to school administrators and everyone here from the security staff to those at the admissions office and advisors have been great and approachable.

What would be people be surprised to know about you?
I’m fairly introverted. I usually keep to myself, which says something about SAIS; because of the small close-knit community here it allows me to be able to be more open and outgoing than when I’m usually in a group. Despite having hundreds of students it really does feel very small.

Ted with a student when he went to Taiwan as a volunteer teacher

More in this series:
Student Profile: Aaron Pluto, MIPP
Student Profile: Joshua Ahyong, MA