chanjoo lee award

After Chanjoo Lee left California State University, Fullerton to complete military service back home in South Korea, he discovered his life had changed. With work and family, returning to school had become much more complicated.

“I started to look at programs and my options, and distance education seemed the best way for me to complete my degree,” Lee says. “It is interesting that I can study online at the same university with the same faculty as my on-campus counterparts.” 

While it is challenging for him to manage his study schedule with family and work, Lee says earning a degree from the United States means a lot to him, and he finds learning online not all that different from learning on campus. 

“I enjoy my international business major and anything I can study related to trade economics or international business law,” he says. “Distance learning offers me an opportunity for closer monitoring of my progress.”

Lee chose the University of Minnesota Crookston because of the reputation of the University of Minnesota and he knew when he found the international business program, it was just what he wanted and the perfect way for him to earn his degree.

His curiosity about the Crookston campus led Lee to visit in October for fall convocation ceremonies. Lee, who earned a 4.0 grade point average last spring, decided he wanted to see the campus and to receive his 4.0 plaque in person. “It was an honor to be here and I liked the spirit I felt on the campus,” he says. 

Someday he hopes to work in the United States and use his degree in international business to help bridge work across countries and around the world. 

For now, he would like to be even more connected to his classmates and his instructors at the University of Minnesota Crookston and to learn from all of them. 

He says he will be back on campus for graduation in the spring to receive his diploma and visit for the second time—only this time, he won’t be a student; he will be an official University of Minnesota Crookston alumnus.

About UMN Crookston

One of five campuses in the University of Minnesota System, the University of Minnesota Crookston cultivates curiosity by engaging students in hands-on learning connecting theory to practice. As the experienced leader in delivering education online, the Crookston campus offers a distinctive learning environment providing personal attention and mentorship to develop leaders, lifelong learners, and engaged citizens. Visit Crookston at 

About UMN

The University of Minnesota System, with campuses in Crookston, Duluth, Morris, Rochester, and the Twin Cities, is driven by a singular vision of excellence. We are proud of our land-grant mission of world-class education, groundbreaking research, and community-engaged outreach, and we are unified in our drive to serve Minnesota. Learn more at   

PHOTO: Chanjoo Lee receives his 4.0 plaque from Chancellor Holz-Clause. 

Story Contact: Shawn Smith