The Extra Mile

The Extra Mile: Six profs' journeys from Asia to Syracuse

How these professors from China, South Korea and Sri Lanka found a home at SU and SUNY-ESF and what they’ve learned.
Published: June 8, 2021 | Updated: June 11th, 2021 at 11:40 am


From Asia to Syracuse - Professor series

Syracuse University‘s motto “knowledge crowns those who seek her” is best reflected in its population of professors who’ve immigrated from Asia. These professors, eager for more knowledge about their fields of study, moved all the way across the globe to find it, and have flourished with their numerous accolades in their respective industries from computer animation to chemistry to sociology.

Here are the stories of immigrants from Asia who teach at SU and SUNY-ESF. Why they journeyed to the United States, their reflection on the rise of hate incidents on SU’s campus and across the country and what universities can do to better support international professors and students.

Rebecca Xu
From Asia to Syracuse

Rebecca Xu

Published: June 11, 2021

As one of China's first 3D animators, the associate professor attended SU for graduate school to advance her design skills.

Eunkyu Lee
From Asia to Syracuse

Eunkyu Lee

Published: June 11, 2021

After studying at Seoul National University, Lee moved to the United States to push himself out of his comfort zone and expose himself to different cultures.

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From Asia to Syracuse

Gyu Leem

Published: June 11, 2021

The assistant SUNY-ESF chemistry professor wanted to study somewhere he could meet a diverse array of people, so he moved to one of the largest cities in the U.S.

Alex Thevaranjan school
From Asia to Syracuse

Alex Thevaranjan

Published: June 8, 2021

The Syracuse University accounting professor goes “the extra mile” in helping others in Syracuse and his home country of Sri Lanka.

Jian Qin
From Asia to Syracuse

Jian Qin

Published: June 8, 2021

Before becoming an iSchool professor at Syracuse University, Qin received a degree in library science at Wuhan University.

Chang Yoo
From Asia to Syracuse

Chang Geun Yoo

Published: June 11, 2021

SUNY-ESF professor, Chang Geun Yoo, grew up near a trade port in South Korea, which sparked his desire to travel and later study biofuels in the U.S.

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is a digital producer for The NewsHouse.