Student Travels Globe Through Field Studies

News at College of DuPage

By Jordyn HollidayCollege of DuPage student Young Hak Ahn has dedicated much of his life to exploring
the world and people around him.Ahn earned his master’s degree in mathematics from the University of Kentucky in 1971,
entered the Ph.D. program at Cornell University and carved out a successful career
as a statistician. That impressive background of professional and academic accomplishments
did not prevent the now 81-year-old from continuing to pursue his passion for education
and immersing himself in a variety of cultures.Since first arriving on COD’s campus in 1978, Ahn (Naperville) has completed more
than 400 credit hours of courses in a variety of topics, such as art history, physical
education, music, horticulture and foreign language. He is also well-traveled, as
he has participated in 21 of the College’s Field and Experiential Learning/Study Abroad
programs.With educational trips to Italy, France, Germany and other countries under his belt,
he said his interest in studying abroad is inspired by his belief that people should
always look to enhance their global and cultural awareness.“Through learning foreign languages and experiencing other environments, you can expand
your vision of the world,” he said. “People in different countries express ideas and
emotions in different ways, so understanding how they communicate makes it easier
to not offend them.”Ahn’s experiences in the classroom and abroad have done more than enrich his global
competence and language skills. His commitment to learning has sparked the interest
of many within the COD community.Maren McKellin, Field Studies/Study Abroad/Global Education program manager, described
Ahn as a fixture in the program and said that his dedication as a student at the College
is intriguing.“When someone comes back 21 times to study with professors and go all around the world,
you want to know more about what is motivating that person,” McKellin said. “He’s

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