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UWL Professor of Communication Studies Tony Docan-Morgan volunteers with of Teach North Korean Refugees. In this role, he has watched refugee learners transform into stronger, more confident and skilled public speakers and conversationalists.

Professor’s volunteer efforts with North Korean refugees make U.S. Today

A UW-La Crosse Professor’s effort to help North Korean refugees learn English and improve their public speaking skills was recently featured in U.S. Today.

Tony Docan-Morgan has become an integral member of Teach North Korean Refugees (TNKR), based in Seoul, South Korea, while on sabbatical during the 2017-18 academic year. The organization empowers and supports North Korean refugees to develop their English writing, public speaking and leadership skills. The work of the organization was featured under world news headlines.

Docan-Morgan’s role includes providing public speaking coaching for refugee learners. He has also co-developed TNKR’s Global Leadership Program, which provides refugee learners with the opportunity develop and improve their public speaking and leadership skills. Along with TNKR co-directors, Eunkoo Lee and Casey Lartigue Jr., Docan-Morgan helps match and orient new refugee learners with volunteer coaches, track and support learners’ progress, and find opportunities for refugees to use and practice their skills.

He has drawn from his UWL experience, teaching public speaking and developing UWL’s Public Speaking Center.

To date, tens of thousands of North Koreans have attempted to escape from the suppression and severe human rights violations in their country. The U.S. Today story focuses on the story of North Korean refugee Sharon Jang who is acclimating to life in South Korea with help from TNKR, including public speaking coaching from Docan-Morgan.

Docan-Morgan has also moderated multiple TNKR events focusing on the lives of North Koreans, imprisonment in North Korea, and North Korean refugee issues. He will moderate a Jan. 6 event that aims to provide first-hand accounts of human rights abuses in North Korea, recently featured in the Korea Times.

Read more about Docan-Morgan’s work in a previous campus news story.