JMU PRSSA Students Explore Public Relations in South Korea

Chang Wan “Isaac” Woo, Ph. D, associate professor of public relations and PRSSA adviser at James Madison University recently wrote about his students’ trip to South Korea to study public relations. JMU is one of the area universities that is supported by PRSA Richmond.

Three students of the JMU Chapter of PRSSA and their faculty advisers went to South Korea for a study abroad program, “Sport and International Public Relations in Korea.” Rising juniors Julia Smith, Jenna Scull, and Danielle Cote went to Seoul, Gwangju, and Pyeong Chang, Korea with Dr. Isaac Woo and Dr. Yeonsoo Kim, faculty advisers of the JMU Chapter.

Julia, Jenna, and Danielle arrived in Seoul with four other JMU students on June 20 and visited numerous places, including venues for the 2018 Pyeong Chang Winter Olympics and Paralympics and the 2019 FINA World Championships as well as public relations firms and corporations in Seoul such as Weber-Shandwick Seoul, KPR, Naver, Inc., and Aesop.

In addition to visiting professionals and business sites, students also had a chance to look around Seoul and see the beautiful mountains and oceans around South Korea for 25 days.

“We weren’t just visiting South Korea to be tourists. We were visiting as students who viewed everything through a public relations lens, which made the entire trip even more meaningful,” Julia described her experiences, “By considering bidding, preparation and legacy, the Winter Olympics went from a two-week event to a decade-long crusade to bring global attention to Pyeongchang. I can’t imagine a better way to learn about sports and international public relations.”

Danielle added, “Studying public relations in Seoul was such an eye opening experience. Experiencing the Korean culture was so valuable. South Korea has changed the way I view the world and pushed my desire to work in communication even more.”

“I was happy to show professionals in my country to my students,” said Dr. Woo, faculty adviser to the PRSSA and member of the PRSA Richmond chapter. “I am particularly happy because students opened their minds and tried to accept a culture that they have never experienced before.”

It has been two months since the three students came back from Korea. This academic year, Julia and Jenna are serving as executive board members of the JMU Chapter of PRSSA. Julia is a director of finance and Jenna is a chapter delegate, whose duty includes building relationships with Richmond Chapter professionals.

Jenna expresses her excitement to be a chapter delegate, “Our members are eager to learn more about public relations, professionalism, agency life, and internship opportunities from Richmond Chapter professionals.”

The JMU Chapter of the PRSSA is the newest addition to the PRSSA chapters that are supported by the Richmond Chapter.

For more information, contact Woo at