It is a great privilege and honor to serve as the president of the Korean American Educational Research Association (KAERA) for the year 2017-18. At the same time, I feel a great responsibility to successfully organize the 2018 Annual Meeting of KAERA in New York, as we will celebrate our ninth anniversary. I am amazed and proud with what we have accomplished together and excited to celebrate how far we have all come. As many of you might recall, no more than a decade ago, we were “disconnected and separated from each other” and “isolated and virtually invisible without a voice as a group” (Yoon, 2010, p.1, KAERA Newsletter 1). However, the founding president, Dr. Kwang-Suk Yoon, took the lead and with a small group of Korean and Korean American educational scholars created KAERA in 2009. Since then, KAERA not only has grown into an organization that serves more than 700 members, but it also stands as the only association in the United States dedicated to supporting and improving social status and conditions of Korean and Korean American educational researchers. KAERA is now the central hub for Korean and Korean American educational scholars inside and outside the United States.
As such, past presidents have set high standards in leading KAERA and I aspire to live up to their excellence by following their footsteps. During my presidency, I plan to make substantial efforts in having KAERA serve as an ethnic resource by promoting networking and collaboration among KAERA members and by strengthening partnerships with other major educational research institutions and agencies in South Korea and elsewhere. As part of this effort, we are collaborating with the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education to jointly organize a symposium at the 2018 Annual Meeting of American Educational Research Association. In addition, continuous efforts will be devoted to making KAERA a more sustainable organization by identifying potential sources of funding and by providing KAERA members with unique scholarly opportunities and experiences. In the hopes to support our mission, I am pleased to report that Mr. Moonkyoo Shin, Minister Counselor at the Embassy of the Republic of Korea, has promised partial financial support to our organization.
In this coming year, I hope that we all can work together to make KAERA more visible by accomplishing its mission. Thank you for your continued support and dedication to KAERA. See you next year in New York!
Soo-yong Byun, KAERA President
The Pennsylvania State University