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Academics

  • Academic Program
  • Faculty
  • Departments
  • Directed Research Program
  • Exchange Programs
  • Academic Honesty Policy
  • Academic Calendar
  • Weekly Schedule

GLP Faculty

English Department

Steven Feldman (Dean of Academic Affairs, English Department Chair)

B.A. in Journalism and Political Science, University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, Michigan)
M.F.A. in English, George Mason University (Fairfax, Virginia)

Originally from Amherst, Massachusetts, Mr. Feldman has lived in South Korea since 2003, including an earlier stint at Bugil Academy (2008-2013) where he was the first English teacher at the newly established Global Leader Program. He has also taught at the Korea Science Academy of KAIST, and Dong-eui University, both in Busan. Before coming to Korea, he taught AP English at independent schools in Pennsylvania and Indiana, and he also worked in the admissions offices at Smith College (Northampton, MA) and the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, Michigan). In addition to his academic teaching, Mr. Feldman has also worked advised such student-directed extra-curricular activities drama, newspapers, and literary magazines, and he also served as a varsity soccer coach.

“Today, we find ourselves living in an ultra-connected, hyperlinked world. It drives us toward ever faster and briefer bursts of communication, and brings vast seas of data a mouse-click or screen-tap away. The need for the high school English class to teach students critical reading, writing, and thinking skills looms larger than ever. To sift, evaluate, debate, wonder, wander, challenge, be challenged, empathize, struggle, build, imagine, create - all through though the tools of language and literature - this is our daily task. I don't want to turn every student into a future English major. But I do want to fully arm every student with the language skills to thrive as a global citizen in this age of information. And it would be nice if students come out of the GLP as people who occasionally put down the devices and read a darn book."

Jeff Koch

B.A. in English, Colby College (Waterville, Maine)
M.Ed., University of Massachusetts Amherst (Amherst, Massachusetts)
Honors Degree in Shakespeare Studies, Shakespeare Institute, Stratford-upon-Avon, United Kingdom

Mr. Koch began his high school teaching career soon after graduating from college. He has taught at Norin Agricultural High School (Kofu, Japan) and Kizan Technical School, also in Kofu. Jeff also taught at Lawrence Academy (Groton, Massachusetts) and The Williston Northampton School (Easthampton, Massachusetts). He earned an M.Ed. from the University of Massachusetts Amherst while teaching and coaching part time at Williston.

Subsequently, after two years at the American Community School in Surrey, England, he returned home to hike 2,100 miles of the Appalachian Trail Georgia to Maine, after which he moved to Portland, Maine to become a member of the English department at Thornton Academy in Saco, Maine. From 2001 to 2012, he was the boys’ varsity lacrosse associate and head coach. He also was the director of the ski club director. During the 2009-2010 academic year, he was granted a sabbatical to attend the Shakespeare Institute in Stratford where he graduated with an honors degree in Shakespeare Studies. Jeff teaches English 10 at GLP and assists with the lacrosse team. He is an avid traveler, skier, and musician.

“One of life’s great educational ironies is that we have it backwards. We present our students with lessons, and then we give them a test. But life doesn’t work that way. Life tests us first and only then do we learn its lessons. Nothing is more important to me than for my students to recognize that I am not only a teacher but a student. This is not a profoundly philosophical notion, but one to which I sincerely adhere from not only years in classrooms and on athletic fields, books and theaters, but long months and miles in the mountains and meadows of the Appalachian Trail.”

Gid Clark

B.A. in English, Connecticut College (New London, Connecticut)
M.S. in Communications, Boston University, MS, Communications (Boston, Massachusetts)

Born in India, Gid moved to the U.S. at five and attended public schools in Amherst and Williamstown, Massachusetts. Gid transferred to Choate Rosemary Hall, an independent day and boarding school in Wallingford, Connecticut and then matriculated at Connecticut College in New London, Connecticut. He received scholarships to attend both schools. After college, Gid was fortunate to be asked to follow his love for studying various "texts" by being asked to teach such independent schools as Blair Academy (Blairstown, New Jersey), Noble and Greenough School (Dedham, Massachusetts), and Cranbrook Schools (Bloomfield Hills, Michigan). He also taught at Choate Summer School for several years in their enrichment program that had six full class days a week for 10 weeks.

Gid moved back from Michigan to Boston University (B.U.) to earn his M.S. and to return to his position as B.U.'s Assistant Women's Tennis Coach. Concurrently, Gid began editing proposals at The Bank of New York Mellon in Boston, Massachusetts. By helping simultaneously his colleagues and B.U.’s student-athletes with their business, freelance, graduate school application essays, and resume writing, respectively, Gid realized he would rather be teaching English in a secondary school again and not editing financial 50-200-page financial proposals.

Gid has been fortunate to have crisscrossed the U.S. several times. He has also visited numerous colleges and universities. Gid has traveled to Canada and South America. In addition, Gid has been to Europe and India several times. He is ready to absorb all aspects of the Bugil GLP Community and Korea, an area of the globe to which he has never been.

When deciding to come to Bugil, Gid tried to live by Janie's advice to her friend Pheoby in Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God: "Pheoby, yuh got tuh go there tuh know there. Yo' papa and yo' mama and nobody else can't tell yuh and show yuh." In addition to trying to instill this advice into his students, Gid also asks students to follow Atticus Finch’s advice to his kids from To Kill a Mockingbird: “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view . . . until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”

Science Department

Joseph Heymann (Science Department Chair)

B.S. in Human Biology, Brown University (Providence, Rhode Island)
B.A. in Education Studies, Brown University (Providence, Rhode Island)
M.A. in Teaching Secondary Biology and Science, Brown University (Providence, Rhode Island)

Mr. Joseph Heymann was born and raised in New York City, New York. He attended Brown University for six years, earning a Bachelor of Science in Human Biology, a Bachelor of Arts in Education Studies, and a Master of Arts in Teaching Secondary Biology and Science. Joseph spent three years teaching at an international boarding school in Boston, Massachusetts at which he became inspired to teach in other parts of the world. Joseph has taught Anatomy & Physiology, AP Biology, and Integrated Science.

"In the biology classroom, students are able to learn about life in a hands-on, minds-on environment. We learn about what makes living things tick--from the smallest molecules to entire ecosystems--with a special focus on the human body. Students have the opportunity to find out how their own bodies function and get to formulate their own experiments in an inquiry-based approach. In this way, students get the opportunity to focus on learning about themselves and understand more deeply who they are."

Mark Zottola

B.S. in Chemistry and Mathematics, Marietta College (Marietta Ohio) an
M.S. in Synthetic Organic Chemistry, University of Notre Dame (Notre Dame, Indiana)
Ph.D. degree in Synthetic Chemistry and Physical Chemistry, Duke University (Durham, North Carolina)

After earning his M.S., Dr. Zottola played goalkeeper on the local, semi-professional soccer team in Wilmington, Delaware. Dr. Zottola then became a research assistant professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham at which he was concurrently a mentor to high school students. Dr. Zottola went on to work as a U.S. Army researcher, ultimately working his way up to being a group leader. I have had a happy, variegated career. Although I spent a wonderful four years as a teacher in Thailand, I am especially excited to be teaching in Korea now.

“My beliefs are quite simple. Facts are practical. Learning should be fun. Teaching should reflect the joy of learning. Therefore, teaching should try to establish a connection between what students learn and the real world. Unless one sees a correspondence between facts learned and reality, those facts remain theoretical and of secondary importance. Teaching should be done with an element of humor. Learning can be hard work; a teacher should not add to that burden. In short, the Mary Poppins’ song, “A Spoonful of Sugar” captures my approach to teaching.”

Andrew Cha

BA in Mechanical Engineering, University of Toronto

Born in Seoul, Korea, Andrew immigrated to Toronto, Canada at the age of 13 and after graduating the discipline of Mechanical engineering at University of Toronto, started working in building science and energy management firm for 10 years. During this time, he also managed to set aside time to tutor high school students on advanced math and physics for 5 years. It is during this time when Andrew realized that he has an ingrained knack for dealing with and teaching high school students. Since he moved to Seoul, Korea in 2010, he went on building up his career in building energy & HVAC engineering field but he did not forget to continue to engage with students in Korea through teaching English, Math & Science at various institutions for the past 8 years. He feels very blessed to be able to work with students of such a great caliber at Bugil GLP and looks forward to transforming depth of understanding in Physics for all the students involved.

'My interest in Physics grew out of curiosity of why things happen the way they do in everyday lives. It has then led to finding out ways in which these discoveries are applied in our daily lives. However, the most fascinating part of delving deeply into Physics was that it could provide a window to some answers and insights to some of the most fundamental and profound questions of all time and for all mankind such as how did everything get started? what exactly is time and space? how big is the universe? what really happens at micro sub-particle level? Can we travel through time and space? Is there another dimension? etc. I hope I can incite the interest glands of the students at Bugil and expand their horizon of intellectual curiosity into this wonderful yet, fascinating world of Physics."

Mathematics Department

Paul Kang (Math Department Chair)

Grace Lee
Hannah Montana's "The Best of Both Worlds" is probably the perfect song to describe Ms. Lee. Ms. Lee enjoys the advantages of two very different identities at the same time: Korean and American. Ms. Lee spent her childhood in South Korea and soon moved to California to start her high school career.

Inspired by her AP Calculus teacher in high school, Ms. Lee quickly developed her passion for mathematics education. At USC, she participated in various volunteering clubs including Moneythink, Joint Education Program, and Inner City Tutoring Program to extend her passion for education. Ms. Lee also worked in various SAT/AP prep schools in Korea, and dedicated her time to develop her own tutoring program, "Tutolee." Her interests outside of the mathematics are gender studies, lacrosse, theatre, tennis, feminism, and LGBTQ rights in Korea. Currently, she is teaching AP BC Calculus/Statistics and Advanced Mathematics (Linear Algebra & Multivariable Calculus).

"Many students are afraid of mathematics because of the complex formulas and cumbersome explanations. In fact, mathematics really is another form of the language. The goal of mathematics is not about solving a lengthy problem accurately; it is about understanding the language and interpreting them. In class, I use many visual aids to help students become comfortable with the essential ideas in each chapter, as well as step-by-step examples to help students follow the materials. Just as my high school mathematics teacher did, I want each GLP students to experience the beauty of mathematics."

Sarah Mepham

BS in Mathematics, University of Massachusetts

Sarah Mepham was born and raised in Massachusetts and received her Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2017. After graduating, she served with an AmeriCorps program called City Year where she worked at a middle school in Boston. Teaching mathematics and working with students brings her great joy and she is beyond happy to be teaching Precalculus at the GLP .

"In mathematics, it is imperative for students to have an in depth understanding of concepts rather than simply memorizing formulas. Additionally, I think it is important for student to be able to implement the skills they learn throughout the course to solve real world problems. Exploring topics algebraically and graphically with fluency will ensure students are well equipped for more advanced mathematics."

Social Science Department

Gil Busby (Social Studies Department Chair)

B.A. in Chemistry, University of Kentucky (Lexington, Kentucky)
J.D., University of Kentucky (Lexington, Kentucky)

Mr. Gil Busby practiced law for eight years before moving to Korea. Prior to coming to Bugil, he taught at Daewon Foreign Language High School in Seoul. He enjoys cats, chess, and taking long walks.

"My law and government classes are designed to encourage my students to think. I am not really interested in whether they can memorize legal rules or historical facts--I'm interested in whether they can use those rules and facts to analyze how law and government actually work. Too often, Korean education emphasizes rote learning over application; those who created GLP designed it to give our students exposure to different approaches to learning."

Christian Jennings

B.A. in Humanities, University of Texas at Austin (Austin, TX)
M.A. in History, University of Texas at Austin (Austin, TX)
Ph.D. in History, University of Texas at Austin (Austin, TX)

Dr. Christian Jennings calls Austin, Texas, home, but he has lived in five countries on four different continents. After a decade as a professor of African and World History, he is now happy to be taking up the new challenge of teaching high school students. In his spare time, he enjoys making music, playing a variety of sports, and wandering around town in search of delicious food.

"As the DRP coordinator, I enjoy the opportunity to help students develop research and writing skills that will be essential for success in college and beyond. Students at Bugil GLP have the unique experience of pursuing long-term research projects in the academic discipline that they choose. I've learned that this experience has a special benefit for Korean students: it teaches them about scholarly practices and standards that will be taken for granted in American universities, but which are not part of the usual Korean high school education. Fortunately, this valuable learning experience is also a fun adventure for students - and for the coordinator."

Tae Kim

B.F.A. in Painting and Printmaking, Minors in Art History and Western World Literature, Virginia Commonwealth University (Richmond, Virginia)
M.B.A. with concentration in Accounting and Organizational Management, Morehead State University
Post-MBA Undergraduate Studies in Accounting, Morehead State University

Mr. Kim grew up inside the Beltway in Falls Church, Virginia before attending university in Richmond, Virginia. There, he studied fine arts and literature. He later earned his M.B.A. at Morehead State University in Morehead, Kentucky at which he also completed, post-MBA studies, all undergraduate coursework in accounting to sit for the CPA exam. Once in Korea, Mr. Kim taught at Kyungsung and Dong-A Universities, both in Busan, before going on to a career in the seafood industry. After ten years in the seafood industry, he taught at the Korea Science Academy of KAIST for seven years until he joined Bugil's GLP.

"The goal is to be able to incorporate lessons from the classroom and integrate them into students' daily thinking processes. Whether the course is art history, economics, or psychology, students should see how schoolwork can enhance their daily lives. Students are expected to have a strong grasp of concepts, but more important, they should be able to apply those concepts to varying situations."

Foreign Language Department

Esteban Vazquez

B.A. in French Language and Literature, California State University, Northridge (Northridge, California)
M. Ed. in Education with Emphasis on Pedagogy, Pepperdine University (Malibu, California)

Mr. Esteban Vazquez is from the famous watchmaking town of Le Locle, located on the French-speaking border of Switzerland. In addition, he is also a native Spanish speaker, thanks to his father's origin in Madrid, Spain. After receiving his B.A., he started his career as a language educator teaching both French and Spanish at the high school level. In addition, his passion for traveling has allowed him to visit many countries in Europe, North, Central and South America. During those trips, a soccer ball was never too far away. Those experiences allowed him to teach, coach soccer abroad, and organize free clinics in various schools in order to provide safe havens for children. The goal was to use the sport of soccer as the vehicle to provide the world's at-risk youth with positive life experiences and respectable role models.

"It is my goal to continue my academic career by being in a supportive educational environment as I am constantly reflecting on past experiences as a teacher and coach for my students. I truly enjoy promoting the learning and preservation of languages. It provides great memories and educational moments, culminating in exploring, learning, and experiencing the culture and customs of languages at their sources."

Fuyang Peng

Ms. Fuyang Peng received her Bachelor's degree from Northwest University in China, then taught different levels of Chinese classes at the University of Massachusetts Amherst while studying for her Master's Degree there. Before joining in GLP, she also taught Chinese classes at Marlboro College, Princeton in Beijing Summer Program and Yale University. She is very interested in studying cultural differences, especially pop culture among China, Korea, and America, and believes that the study of culture needs to be included as an integral part of language teaching and learning to keep students motivated to study a language for a long time.

"I really enjoy working at the GLP with all the extraordinary students and faculty. The students are highly talented and motivated. To maintain their interest, I use vivid pictures, authentic music, videos as well as fun games to engage the students in the authentic learning environment. I respect each of the students and try to create a friendly and nurturing environment in which they can express their thoughts. I hope through this language learning experience, students not only could broaden their visions, but also could have a better understanding of the China in this global world."

College Counselor

Michael Rhee

B.A. in Art History, Cornell University (Ithaca, New York)
M.B.A. in Management, University of Hawai’i (Honolulu, Hawai’i)
Ed.M. in Education, Harvard University (Cambridge, Massachusetts)

Mr. Michael Rhee was born in Seoul, Korea. When he was nine, Michael and his family emigrated to Honolulu, Hawaii, where he went on to study at Punahou School an independent day school in Honolulu, Hawai’i from which President Obama also graduated. After completing his undergraduate and graduate school education, Mr. Rhee has been working in college counseling and admissions consulting since 2003.

“One of the highlights of my college and postgraduate career was taking poetry classes with the great poet A. R. Ammons at Cornell and the equally great Jorie Graham at Harvard. Although those seminars fell far afield from my main academic focus, they helped me to become the person who I am now. I see college as a place that allows people to explore various facets of themselves, aspects of which they might never have known existed. For example, before I entered A. R. Ammons’s class, I had no idea I was capable of writing a poem. From my personal experience in college and helping numerous students find their optimal choices of colleges, I have learned that college should be a place where students can explore and grow as a result of their explorations. This is also why I can confidently say that college counseling should be one of the most critical components in every high school student’s educational experience.”

Jason Lee

B.A. in English, Cornell University (Ithaca, New York)

Mr. Lee was born in Seoul, Korea, and he was raised in Honolulu, Hawaii. Mr. Lee has been helping students in independent schools find the best fit for their university careers for more than a decade.

“I’m what Martin Amis once described as a “disgusting anglophile.” I love all things English except Harry Potter. Someday, I’ll make amends. I also love to read a lot. Some of my favorite writers include: Martin Amis, Vladimir Nabokov, John Updike, Philip Roth, Cynthia Ozick, Thomas Pynchon, Dorothy L. Sayers, and Evelyn Waugh.

Drop in anytime if you’d like to geek out over Doctor Who or the Bennet sisters or even (Gasp!) the Mitford sisters. Actually, feel free to drop in for any reason at all, especially if you are having difficulties writing your college essay. Believe me; I know how a great deal about how you feel about the blank page. The massive bildungsroman, a novel that describes the formative years of the protagonist, that I’ve been planning since college is, after 20 years, exactly one sentence long. The only saving grace about my writer’s block is that it’s made me a good editor and “sounding board” for other writers, younger and older. I hope to read your words very soon!”

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