South Korea native honored by LBW

Published 2:23 pm Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Dedication to a community and involvement can sometimes be difficult attributes to find in citizens. This is certainly not the case with one shining star student on the campus of LBW Community College’s Luverne Center.

At the recent Multicultural Ceremony held at the LBWCC Luverne Center, a certificate of appreciation was given to Kison Ryu who was recognized for his dedication to the college as well as the community. Ryu, a native of South Korea, has served as the deputy general manager of Douglas Pharmaceuticals in Luverne for more than 10 years, and has played an active role in the community with his involvement in the Crenshaw County Arts Council.

“I was so honored when I got the certificate of appreciation at the multicultural lunch program,” said Ryu. “I first came to Luverne in October 2004, so I have been here 11 years.”

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During his time in Luverne, Ryu has had the opportunity to be involved with any and all programs possible on the college campus, as well as in activities around town. He has taken time from his busy work schedule to not only further his college degrees, but also to teach citizens art, children’s after-school Taekwondo classes and has had the privilege of speaking to the Luverne Kiwanis Club about Korean culture.

“He was in my first English as a Second Language (ESL) class when I started teaching here in 2008. He was always interested in everything we did, and was always wanting to learn more,” said Jackie Sport, ESL and Adult Education instructor at LBWCC Luverne Center. “He became our unofficial class photographer and graciously documented the field trips we took for the next two years.”

After completing the ESL coursework, he continued in Mary Mitchell’s Adult Education class, which he attended while on his lunch break, and later, he joined Sport’s Adult Education night classes. Ryu has not only excelled in his language classes, but has also showed skill in fields such as Continuing Education classes for welding and air conditioning on the Opp campus and cake decorating at the Luverne Center.

Along with his studies, Ryu has also served in other capacities on the campus. He is a member of the Community Leaders Diversity Committee that was started by Dr. Herbert Reidel in 2009.

Two of Ryu’s fondest memories come from his collegiate involvement on the campuses of LBWCC. He distinctly remembers being able to demonstrate Korean painting to some of the art students on the Andalusia campus; he has always had a passion for art and enjoys being able to express himself this way. His second memory comes from his time in the welding classes on the Andalusia campus three years ago.

“I went there in the afternoons two times a week for a month. I met a lot of good people helping me out when dealing with my conundrums,” said Ryu. “I am very glad that I have learned it because I became a welder, which I wasn’t before coming here.”

Ryu will be returning to South Korea this month, when his son finishes this semester at Luverne High School. He will be returning to his original work position as a product manager. He is a pharmaceutical specialist and is responsible for producing antibiotics and medications for cancer.

“I am sure that it’s going to take time for me to adjust to Korean life, but I won’t ever forget the time I had in Luverne with my family,” said Ryu. “Thanks for people who tried to help me out, especially Ms. Jackie Sport at LBWCC and Dr. Theresa Johnson at Troy University.”