David Tae Yong Cho Memorial Scholarship
A message from the late Rev. Cho’s family
Rev. David Tae Yong Cho was born on Dec 24, 1931 in Ichon in present-day North Korea. As a high school student, he volunteered as a student soldier (학도병) during the Korean War. Rev. Cho and the student soldiers were tasked with anti-tank defense in Pohang to aid the South Korean army’s retreat to Busan. Although Rev. Cho himself destroyed multiple North Korean tanks with hand grenades, none of the student soldiers had combat weapons, and thus the student soldier army was wiped out completely. Rev. Cho sustained severe gunshot wounds and was in fact counted among the casualties of war.
Rev. Cho received two major awards for his heroism in tank-defense (대한민국 금성화랑 무공훈장; 호국영웅기장증 수상). It was not until many years later that he – in shock – saw his name memorialized among other student soldier casualties at the Korean War Veteran’s Memorial in Seoul.
His miraculous survival, however, came with significant loss. Rev. Cho’s parents, 2 brothers, and 1 sister all were killed by the North Korean army during the Korean War. He would never see his last surviving sister after the drawing of the 38th parallel.
Rev. Cho had his name crossed off from the granite list of casualties (which can still be seen today) and proceeded to start his college education at Yonsei University. At Yonsei University, he would become student body president and worked closely with activist/politician Kim Du-Han to distribute tuition aid to students in financial need.
Rev. Cho pursued a career in journalism, serving as Editor-in-Chief of both Samsung Publishing Company and Dokseo Newspaper, which at the time was an intellectual-leaning newspaper that was critical of the South Korean dictatorship.
In 1975, Rev. Cho immigrated to the United States and settled in Honolulu, Hawaii, where he would serve 2 terms as President of the United Korean Associates of Hawaii (한인회장) and found the Korean Christian TV Broadcasting Network. His experiences in war and journalism had sustaining impacts on his life of advocating for press freedom and education.
Rev. David Tae Yong Cho, age 90, passed away on January 13, 2022 in Los Angeles, surrounded by his loving wife, Elizabeth, children, and grandchildren.
I am proud to introduce my grandfather, Rev. David Tae-Yong Cho to you, the KACA community. My grandfather lived a life of honor and principle, and the only thing he valued more than education and journalism was his love for his family. My family and I are exceedingly grateful for the opportunity to establish this memorial fund in his name. I would like to recognize colleagues in our field of Communication for their monetary contributions to this scholarship fund, including Dr. Kelly Song (UIUC), Dr. Hye Min Kim (UMass-Boston), Dr. Joomi Lee (Georgia), Dr. YoungEun Moon (Arizona State), Dr. Kun Xu (Florida), and Dr. Lynn Miller (USC). I also owe sincere gratitude to the Officers of KACA who have so generously coordinated this process of honoring Rev. Cho’s legacy, including Dr. Kyung Jung Han (CSU Bakersfield), Dr. Jiyoun Kim (Maryland), Dr. Soo Young Bae (UMass-Amherst) and of course, KACA President Dr. Jin-Ae Kang (East Carolina). I extend my most sincere gratitude to Dr. Kyu Ho Youm (Oregon) who not only served as a reviewer (along with Dr. Bae) for the scholarship candidates this past year, but provided significant financial contributions to the scholarship fund. Thank you all.
Dr. David C. Jeong
A message from a recipient of this year’s “KACA David Tae Yong Cho Memorial Scholarship”
I am greatly honored to receive this year’s KACA David Tae Yong Cho Memorial Scholarship. I was encouraged to apply due to my work experiences in the media industry in Korea and the US. My research interests reside in an intersection among media, gender, and health of minority people. Some research projects are related to journalism and Korean news media studies as follows: 1) a collaborative work on a computational analysis of Korean news coverage of the first openly transgender soldier, 2) a critical analysis of Western journalists’ news reports on the Russian-Ukraine war through the view of a female media person of color, and 3) qualitative research on the roles of media during the Korean presidential impeachment, finding a revered agenda-setting effect and its political empowerments on participants.
My positionality as a media person and as an international communication student in the US continuously gives me an outsider’s view in media studies. I notice where my voices are needed, for minority people, in scholarly and in real life. With my training at the University of New Mexico, I became more interested in whether and how media cover minority people and deliver diverse experiences that result from their particular social locations. I pursue studying the roles of media and communication, potentially lessening societal discrimination and enhancing a sense of belongingness that would relate to mental and physical health of racial and gendered minorities. As a part of a large project, I plan to conduct interviews with North Korean female refugees/immigrants in the US about their perceptions of mass and ethnic media and their interacting experiences with media, local organizations, and US society while getting settled and living their lives in a new system and country. I tentatively plan to use this scholarship as compensation for these interviews. Thank you much again for the support for my future research.
Department of Communication & Journalism
University of New Mexico