UI alum Jake Chung recognized for service on campus

Jake Chung won the 2019 University of Iowa Distinguished Alumni Award for Service. He continues to contribute to campus, providing students various opportunities by supporting them financially in their student teaching semester.


Raquele Decker

The Alumni Awards programs at the Voxman on October 18, 2019.

Kexin Cheng, News Reporter

Jhoon (Jake) Chung won a University of Iowa Distinguished Alumni Award for Service on Oct. 18 in recognition of his long-term contribution to campus during and since his time as a student.

The UI hosted a ceremony in the Voxman Music Building on the afternoon of Oct.18 to honor six Distinguished Alumni Awards recipients, for the categories of Achievement, Service, Hickerson Recognition, Recent Graduate, Faculty and Friend of the University.

Chung received the Distinguished Alumni Service Award due to an initial nomination by the dean of the College of Education and then a review by the Alumni Leadership Council.

“When I first heard that I won the award, I was pretty humbled and honored,” Chung said. “Because at the same time, I knew that there are thousands of other proud alumni [that] could have been easily selected, and that we all share the same passion.”

Executive Director of Alumni Engagement at the UI Center for Advancement Heather Wilensky said that committee reviews approximately 50 nominations each year to locate winners for the seven award categories.

A group of volunteers serve on the Alumni Leadership Council, she said, as well as four different individuals must speak up about why each alum is the most deserving in their field of their respective award.

“In reviewing Dr. Chung’s nomination, it was very clear that not only is he embodying services to the university, but he also has dedicated his life to service,” Wilensky said.

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Chung said he began teaching in Houston after he graduated from the UI and has  since taught and worked as an administrator in the northwest suburbs of Illinois. He has served as both an assistant principal and assistant superintendent, Chung added.

UI Associate Dean for Teacher Education and Student Services Nancy Langguth said Chung did his student teaching in the Aldine Independent School District in the Houston area.

“And that is still a student teaching partnership that we have as a student teaching community,” Langguth said.

Chung and his wife have established a scholarship at the UI to help student teaching by supporting the extra costs of a student, Langguth said, because students in the program may need to pay for transportation and place to live.

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“My wife and I wanted to find a way to give back to the University of Iowa,” Chung said. “I am simply paying forward the levels of support that I received as a student to others, so setting up a scholarship was a natural way for us to give back to the school that my wife and I love so much.”

Chung said he hopes that UI graduates leave with an opportunity to give back to the community and recognize that Hawkeyes are always positive.

Chung’s contributions will be felt in profound ways for years to come and are impacting generations of students and their families, UI College of Education Dean Daniel Clay said in regards to the reason he nominated Chung.

“I am proud of the high level of service that [Chung] has given to our college, our university, and to the community,” Clay said.