President Joan T.A. Gabel led a University of Minnesota delegation to Seoul, South Korea, from March 20-22, 2023. During the short and successful trip, President Gabel was able to honor and renew historic ties between Minnesota and South Korea, engage with philanthropic partners and alumni, and sign agreements that will lead to important research collaborations.
The delegation visited several of the University’s academic partners, including Seoul National University. UMN and SNU have long-standing historic ties. Through the USAID-funded “Minnesota Project,” UMN faculty and staff assisted in rebuilding and modernizing SNU after the Korean War. SNU is now one of the premier universities in South Korea, and a valued academic partner for the University of Minnesota.
The delegation also visited Hanyang University and the Korea Institute for Science and Technology (KIST), where President Gabel and Vice President for Research Shashank Priya signed agreements to build research collaborations with these partners. Hanyang University is a leader in battery research and development, and KIST specializes in materials science and device fabrication. Planning for further visits by researchers and the development of research proposals are already underway.
Building on the many Minnesota-Korea connections, the delegation visited the 3M Korea offices to discuss areas of collaboration and acknowledge 3M’s valued support across the University system. President Gabel and Kathy Schmidlkofer, President and CEO of the UMN Foundation, participated in a webcast with the 3M Asia's Women's Leadership Forum, sharing thoughts on leadership and resilience, and offering advice to young women beginning their careers.
An energetic crowd of 250 came together for an alumni and friends reception, with a keynote given by President Gabel. Attendees enjoyed the opportunity to hear about the University's position as a leading global research institution, campus support of international students, and the meaningful outcomes related to the MPact 2025 Strategic Plan.
Other members of the UMN delegation included Diane Treat-Jacobson, Professor and Associate Dean for Research, School of Nursing; Sang-Hyun Oh, Distinguished McKnight University Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering; Patrick Roche, Associate VP, Central Development Programs, UMF; Tim Wolf, Director, International Development, UMF, and Amber Mahnken, Senior Manager, Events, UMF.