CHS Welcomes New Rehabilitation Sciences Professor
This fall, Dr. Heekyung Lee joins the UTEP College of Health Sciences as a clinical assistant professor in the Bachelor of Science in Rehabilitation Sciences program.
Lee comes to UTEP from Michigan State University, where she received her PhD and served as an instructor and research assistant working with the State of Michigan’s vocational rehabilitation agency on program evaluation. Lee felt called to work at UTEP due to the opportunity to teach and advise diverse students interested in the field of rehabilitation as well as the university’s status as an R1 institution, where she will be able to continue her research.
One of the first things that struck Lee upon arriving in El Paso was the hot weather, along with a commute that required her to take the freeway. “When I first came to El Paso, I was surprised that every day, it was 100 degrees, which I have never experienced. Also, I was shocked my Google navigation guided me to be on the highway to get to the campus,” she said. “Everything really is bigger in Texas, and it’s hotter than where I have lived. However, I am glad I do not have to worry about my car battery dying in the winter.”
Within her first few days at UTEP, Lee had the opportunity to attend a virtual orientation where she learned in-depth about the University’s commitment to social mobility for its students, something she says she values greatly as an educator. She says she was impressed not only by UTEP’s commitment to access, but by the students’ commitments to their own education.
“I received an email from my students in July, saying that they want to know more about the courses that I will be teaching in the fall,” she said. “UTEP students are really enthusiastic about their education!”
Lee had a message for her incoming students, saying she hoped they would to come to know that she is a nice person who also needs to help them learn and appreciate professional boundaries, while at the same time being empathetic to their experiences as students.
“Since my students will be future rehabilitation practitioners, I will emphasize professionalism and boundaries in relationships, so they can understand and practice what these are in the field,” she said. “But, I want them to also know that they are still students and their mistakes are just a part of the learning process. We all learn from mistakes!”
In addition to meeting her students in person this fall, Lee is also looking forward to opportunities to meet her CHS faculty colleagues, establish collaborations, and grow her research portfolio, which currently focuses on emotion regulation for young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder and their caretakers.
For more information about the Bachelor of Science in Rehabilitation Sciences, please visit: www.utep.edu/chs/bsrhsc.