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ATEK Press Release – 2010 April 27: New Communications Officer Plans to Get the Word Out

April 29, 2010

Seoul, South Korea – April 27, 2010 — As of a meeting last Saturday, The Association for Teachers of English in Korea (ATEK) National Council has appointed Rob Ouwehand, also known as the blogger “Roboseyo,” as their new National Communications Officer.

Ouwehand, 30, now plans to use his experience with blogging, new media, collaboration and communication to help ATEK “better communicate its goals and accomplishments with the expat community.” His duties will include communicating with the press and other media, developing and maintaining communication channels with the expat community, and responding to interview requests and inquiries from other media. Ouwehand’s goals for his term include working with ATEK’s webmaster on maximizing the website’s usefulness, finding new ways to more regularly update the public on ATEK’s actions, and plotting and producing materials useful for teachers at different stages in their life in Korea, from deciding to come, arriving, and adjusting, to maximizing their experience here and contributing meaningfully in their communities.

Since its founding in 2009, with the aim “To improve the lives of teachers in Korea,” Association for Teachers of English in Korea (ATEK) has grown to about a thousand members, recruited members in every region of Korea, teaching at every level of education, and formed regional chapters to serve members in those regions. “Appointing Rob Ouwehand as Communications Officer fills a much-needed role in ATEK’s organization,” said Greg Dolezal, President of ATEK. “We think Rob is great choice, we’re glad he applied for the position, and we’re looking forward to seeing what he can do.”

“ATEK is a great support for English teachers in Korea,” Ouwehand said. However, Ouwehand has his work cut out for him: there are estimated to be over 20 000 foreign English teachers in Korea, and it is difficult to reach them all. On the other hand, Ouwehand believes ATEK is an easy sell: “It’s hard to refuse a group that is doing everything it can to make your life easier.”

Rob Ouwehand, graduate of Trinity Western University in BC, Canada, has lived in Korea since 2003, and teaches at a university in Seoul. Since 2006, he has been writing a blog about Korea named “Roboseyo” – a pun on “Yoboseyo,” the common Korean phone greeting. He has been published in The Korea Herald, Newsweek Korea, and been featured in the Canadian Embassy newsletter. On his blog he talks a lot about community, and the need for expats to become more connected; “Writing about it is easy; now it’s time to take action.”

Russell Bernstein, ATEK’s National Membership Director, is hopeful about the change as well. “Building a great support system for teachers in Korea is nice, but it only helps them if they know about it,” he explained. “We think Rob is the man to spread the word, and help ATEK connect with the people who need our services and support.”

(Source: ATEK Press Release)

Editors Note: This is great news and congratulations to Rob for his new role with ATEK.  I look forward to helping both Rob and ATEK grow to become an important resource for the English teaching community in Korea.

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