Interior design scholar joins College of Arts and Architecture faculty

January 25, 2019

Mihyun Kang has been appointed as a research professor in the Stuckeman School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture and the College of Arts and Architecture liaison to the Sustainability Institute.

Kang, who holds a Ph.D. in interior design from the University of Minnesota, comes to Penn State from Oklahoma State University, where she was a professor and the holder of the Chris Salmon Endowed Professorship in the Department of Design, Housing and Merchandising. Her research focuses on sustainable interior design and design for special populations. 

“We are thrilled to welcome Mihyun Kang to our college, along with her husband, Phil Choo, who is heading our Graphic Design program,” said Barbara Korner, dean of the College of Arts and Architecture. “She brings a diverse background that will allow her to enhance College of Arts and Architecture collaborations with the Sustainability Institute, as well as other academic colleges. Her research in the area of interior design for special populations, especially older adults, makes her uniquely suited to pursue research projects with partners across the University.”

According to Paul Shrivastava — Penn State's chief sustainability officer, director of the Sustainability Institute, and professor of management and organization in the Smeal College of Business — Kang will be a great asset to the University.

“We are delighted to welcome Mihyun Kang to Penn State to help build bridges between the College of Arts and Architecture and the Sustainability Institute,” said Shrivastava. “Her transdisciplinary research and her pragmatic solutions orientation will be great assets in our efforts to implement sustainable development goals across the University.”

Kang joined the Oklahoma State faculty in 2005 and was named to the Chris Salmon Endowed Professorship in 2014. In addition to her teaching duties at Oklahoma State, she served as graduate program coordinator in her department, adviser to student groups related to sustainability and facilities, assessment coordinator, and accreditation coordinator and internship coordinator. Previously, she taught at the University of California at Davis and worked as an interior designer at Ellerbe Becket in Minneapolis and the Hyundai Wood Industries Co. Ltd. in Korea.

Her research has been funded by organizations such as the Environmental Protection Agency, National Science Foundation, Interior Design Educators Council, American Society of Interior Designers and International Facility Management Association. She has been widely published, including in publications such as "Environment and Behavior," "Facilities," "Ergonomics," "Housing and Society" and "Journal of Facility Management," as well as having co-written book chapters and presented at national and international conferences. 

Kang said she is excited to foster collaboration between the College of Arts and Architecture and Penn State’s Sustainability Institute. “I look forward to enhancing the college’s sustainability efforts with the diverse and dedicated faculty, staff and students I will have the opportunity to interact with and continue to learn from.” 

In addition to holding an endowed professorship, Kang’s many honors at Oklahoma State include serving as a Faculty Teaching Fellow in the Institute for Teaching and Learning Excellence, Riata Entrepreneurship Fellow, recipient of the Regents Distinguished Teaching Award and recipient of the Undergraduate Research Mentor Award from the College of Human Sciences. Other awards include the Service Award from the Interior Design Educators Council, Outstanding Student Organization Advisor at Oklahoma State, Excellence Award from the University and College Designers Association and many others. 

Last Updated September 20, 2019