Graduate Student Spotlight: Jeongmin Oh from the Department of Public Administration

What department are you a graduate student in?  

I’m a Ph.D. candidate in Public Administration and Policy.

Why did you decide to go to graduate school? 

During my military service in the Republic of Korea Army as a first lieutenant, I conducted Security Operation in the military’s border in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) between South and North Korea.

Experiencing great uncertainties as a platoon leader and overcoming overcame two sudden national security crises when North Korea attacked in 2010, the most critical question I faced everyday was “how can I make the right decision and motivate my team to keep this country safe from the North Korean army?”

After being discharged upon completion, I decided to continue my studies in public administration for a Master’s degree (Master of Public Administration) in Korea to learn about leadership and effective public organization management. 

Did your interests change throughout your program? 

I slightly narrowed down my academic puzzles when I earned a Master of Public Policy in the U.S. During the program, I was able to cultivate my analytic skills to come up with innovative solutions for evidence-based public policy.

However, as I learned more about theories in public policy implementation, I found that public services are not successfully delivered to under-resourced communities even if policymakers introduce a sophisticated public policy. With my lifelong fascination in technology innovation, I am investigating cognitive and administrative barriers that prevent them from accessing the services even though they are eligible.

What do you want to do with your advanced degree?

I would like to work in academia as a policy expert to translate the lessens I have learned into evidence-based policy and to support tangible improvements to people’s lives into the real world. I look forward to a future where I can use my analytic skills to help policymakers design evidence-based public policy.

Jeongmin Oh is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Public Administration. He studies how policy and technology innovation can shape resilient urban communities for economically disadvantaged populations by producing behavioral changes. You can learn more about Jeongmin here.

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