New faces

Joon Yea Lee is UNA’s newest communication department instructor.

UNA’s newest communication department instructor, Joon Yea Lee, has already showed a level of commitment to her students by spending her last Saturday before school opens sitting at Panera Bread in order to check her emails via their free WiFi.

She made the long move from Texas to Alabama Aug. 17 and took time out of unpacking to introduce herself to her future students.

For her first semester at UNA, she will be teaching audio/visual production and broadcast news writing and producing. She is excited about introducing her ideas to the department.

“I got the feeling the professors are really open to new ideas,” she said.

After finishing her bachelor degree in Mass Communications in Korea, Lee moved to the States to attend the University of Missouri to pursue her master’s. She spent some years working in Korea before she pursued her Ph.D. at the University of Texas. She is expected to finish her dissertation and earn her degree at the end of this semester.

“My dissertation is on how small non-profit businesses use the Internet to reach out to each other,” Lee said. While Lee focused more on broadcast news and journalism during her undergraduate and master’s programs, she was able to explore more of her theories while working on her Ph.D.

She has worked with NBC as a reporter, anchor, and photographer via an affiliate channel at the University of Missouri. She spent a whole semester interviewing senators. She was even a morning news anchor at one point.

“I was always more of a talker,” she said.

While working in Korea, Lee reported on a radio program that was broadcasted worldwide by the Korean government.

She hopes to teach students the importance of knowing how to use all types of media.

“Everyone needs to know how to do multimedia news,” she said.

She said that in today’s market, everyone expects reporters to be able to shoot their own video.

“No one is going to take the time to explain to you how to work a camera,” she said.

Lee hopes to get the communication department’s newsroom set up and running again to provide a place for broadcast journalism majors to build their skills and portfolios.

Full of energy, ideas and the practical skills needed to educate students on how to be successful in the field of multimedia journalism, Lee also wants to be more than a professor at UNA; she wants to be a mentor to her students.

“I want to be like a mentor, because that is what I had in my master’s program,” she said. “I want students to feel the way I did when I finished my master’s. I was ready to go out and get a job in broadcast news. I felt confident and I feel like that’s what I should have felt like after my bachelor’s.”

She hopes to provide her students with new perspectives they can’t get from their families and friends.  

“If they don’t know what they want to do [after they graduate], I still want them to come talk to me,” she said.