“At this point, an achievement of which I am most proud is definitely being selected as one of the recipients of the JKCF Dissertation Fellowship, which helps me focus on my dissertation without financial concerns.”
Graduate Scholarship Recipient
Dissertation Proposal Title: Nonstandard Work Schedules, Parent Involvement, and Academic Achievement of Low-Income Children
Dissertation Description: With the rise of a “24/7 economy”, it is not uncommon to find people working “nonstandard schedules” (sometimes called shift works), defined as work schedules outside the typical daytime hours of 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., according to Minseop Kim. Working outside of daytime hours is especially prevalent among entry-level service occupations, in which a high proportion of low-income parents and former welfare recipients are employed. As a result, a significant portion of children, especially those with low-income parents, now live in families where either one or both parents work nonstandard schedules. Minseop’s dissertation aims to “empirically investigate how and under what conditions parental nonstandard work schedules affect children’s academic achievement.”
Profile: Minseop was born and raised in Seoul, South Korea, “where most parents place the highest priority on children’s education.” His parents were no different, and Minseop firmly believes that his parents’ dedication led him to enter Seoul National University (SNU), where he earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in social welfare. Another “unconditional supporter” of his academic journey is Minseop’s wife “who always inspires me with confidence. Without her encouragement and support I could not have joined a Ph.D. program at University of Pennsylvania and could not have successfully completed the demanding coursework at Penn.” During his time in the US, Minseop has presented several papers and posters at academic conferences around the country. In 2010 and 2011 he was teaching assistant and stat instructor at Penn.
Inspiration: Minseop said there were so many teachers or mentors who positively influenced him “that it is impossible to mention only one.” But, he said, he’d be remiss if he did not thank all of his professors in the Department of Social Welfare at Seoul National University who encouraged him to pursue an academic career. “In addition, I would like to acknowledge Dr. Roberta Iversen, my academic advisor at Penn, Dr. Paul Allison who taught me everything I know about statistical methodology, and Dr. Jerry Jacobs who helped me conduct theoretically rigorous research.”
Aspiration: Minseop hopes once he has his Ph.D. to be a university professor or researcher.
Making a Difference: Prior to his arrival in the United States, Minseop served a stint with the South Korean army.
Accolades: In 2011 Minseop was awarded “GAPSA (Graduate and Professional Student Assembly)-Provost Award for Interdisciplinary Innovation Award” at the University of Pennsylvania for his research on the effects of parental nonstandard work schedules on parent-child communication. He also won the Chai Doctoral Fellowship at Penn as well as the School of Social Policy & Practice Fellowship award.
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