AAG Profiles of Geographers: Douglas Gress, Professor of Economic Geography, Seoul National University

Douglas Gress, Professor of Economic Geography, Seoul National University

Education: Ph.D. in Geography (State University of New York at Buffalo), M.B.A. in International Business (Yonsei University, Seoul, South Korea), B.A. in International Studies (State University of New York at Buffalo), Diploma in Korean Language and Culture (The Defense Language Institute, CA)

What attracted you to a career in education? I grew up in a home where there was a lot of emphasis on the benefits of higher education. As a way to get me interested in university, my parents had my older brother take me to an economics class at his university. I remember the professor of the lecture was engaging, organized, and incredibly knowledgeable, and I thought to myself that was something I might like to do one day. Even while serving in the army, I noticed how some of my peers were better teachers than others, and in university I constantly took note of who my best professors were and their qualities. I was an active student, so I appreciated a great class and involved guidance, and I tried to learn from them. Years later, working first on my M.B.A. thesis and then my Ph.D. dissertation, I became hooked on the research process, and took advantage of opportunities to actually teach over the course of my studies.  So in the end, a career in higher education meant being able to do research that interests me and being able to teach, too.

November 2018

American Association of Geographers  Jobs & Careers

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