This is Seon Chun-Burbank. She is an Assistant Professor and the Chair of Early Childhood. She and her husband, Marty, are both first-generation Christians. When Seon is not working, she enjoys going sailing and flying with her husband up and down the California coast. Her husband has a pilot license and they own a small plane. Her favorite restaurants include Korean, Thai and Mexican.
"I was born and grew up in Seoul, South Korea. For those who don't know, the city is rapidly changing in development all the time and very dense. I think walking around feels may be similar to a city like New York."
Seon would spend much of her early education abroad. She describes the Korean school days as long with hours starting from 7am and not ending until 10pm. After graduating from high school, Seon completed her undergraduate in Early Childhood at Ewha Woman’s University, which is an all-girls school in Seoul. She believes mentoring and teaching children Christian values at a young age have a lasting impact on their adulthood.
"After graduating from college, it was never my plan to stay in the U.S. It just kind of happened. I always wanted to become a professor ever since I was little. I taught in Singapore for a year as a pre-k teacher and would make my way to the states."
Seon would go to the University of Northern Iowa for her masters and doctorate. She also completed her Master’s in Public Administration with a Public Finance Concentration from California State Fullerton. When she was younger, she remembers attending a social function with her mom where they were talking to a professional with a master's degree. Seon recalls her mom being impressed by their level of education which eventually encouraged her to go further in school.
"People from Iowa are very nice and I really enjoyed my time there. I hope to go back there soon."
After her time in Iowa, Seon was offered a full-time teaching position at the University of Alaska located in the capital, Juneau. There, she taught and chaired the Masters of Arts in Teaching and Masters of Education in Early Childhood programs.
Aside from her very full life as an educator, she and her husband enjoy giving back to their communities through fundraising. She has met celebrities like Matt Bomer, Gordon Ramsay, Yo-Yo Ma and more.
Vanguard is so thankful for Seon's leadership in the classroom and her heart for the community.