Indiana Daily Student

Recipient thoughts

The Won-Joon Yoon Scholarship was created in 1999 to honor the memory of Won-Joon Yoon, an IU graduate student from South Korea who was shot and killed by a former IU student. The scholarship provides financial support for IU students who exemplify tolerance and understanding across racial and religious lines through service, personal commitment, academic achievement and potential.

There are five recipients for the 2009-10 year (two scholarships for $2,500 and three for $500):
Natsuki Atagi
Julie Frye
Jessie Gutgsell
Matthew Levitt

Thoughts from scholarship recipients
“I feel honored to have been awarded the Won-Joon Yoon Scholarship. Growing up in an interfaith, multicultural family, the importance of diversity and understanding was always stressed. Indiana University has given me a wonderful opportunity to experience the many cultures, faiths and races of the world. Diversity and tolerance will continue to be important to me as I continue into my professional life, and the skills I learned at Indiana University will only enhance my ability to bring about understanding. I am extremely grateful for being recognized for my work on diversity education.”
Matthew Levitt

“Just like Won-Joon Yoon, I have seen the effects of religious intolerance and extremist violence during my volunteer work in Kaduna, Nigeria. I went to Africa after I saw photographs of a library that once housed thousands of books that was then burned to the ground with nothing remaining, except a few concrete blocks that were covered in ashes and soot. Traveling alone, partnering with people from different tribes to re-establish the library that was destroyed by angry men and being enveloped in the hospitality of Muslims and Christians alike confirmed my personal commitment to embrace diversity. After that, I was just like Mahalia Jackson’s rendition of an old spiritual. I just ‘Couldn’t Keep it to Myself.’ You see, when I returned to the United States, I began funneling my energy into talking with my colleagues and students about important concepts of diversity and respect. My knowledge about the interconnectedness of humans and our real desire for unity and peace has been so life-altering that I am confident I’ll never be able to ‘keep it to myself.’ And I think that’s exactly how Won-Joon Yoon would have wanted it.”
Julie Frye

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