Designing academic dreams
Up, close and personal with newest entrant to the AMPD faculty family—SU YUN BAE
Interview by Sriya Chattopadhyay
Your undergraduate degree is in Business Administration—what made you select Apparel and Merchandising for your Master’s degree?
I took various classes including marketing and advertising while I was studying Business Administration. I was interested in marketing and advertising processes of fashion products, which led me to pursue a Master’s degree in Apparel and Merchandising. I wanted to be a fashion designer, which is the reason why I chose to learn about the business of fashion to combine my education in Business Administration. My dream in designing fashion goods.
What are your thesis and dissertation topics?
My thesis was about exploring the antecedents of ethical consumer behavioral intention. I studied whether ethical traits such as altruism, ethical concerns, and ethical obligation and positive attitudes towards social responsibility in the fashion industry would predict purchase intention of ethical products among consumers. I found that consumers with ethical traits and socially responsible attitudes are more likely to purchase organic, fair-trade, recycled, and second-hand apparel products.
Through my dissertation, I am studying how consumers influence other consumers. Attitudes guide many aspects of consumer behavior. Having a positive attitude toward a brand or product leads consumers to use the company or recommend it to other consumers. However, simply establishing positive attitudes toward a company is not enough, because attitudes are more influential when they are strong than weak. While consumers are skeptical about advertisements in the current stage of media clutter, they frequently evaluate companies, based on communication with their trusted and loved ones, other consumers, or peers on social media. Through my dissertation, I am aiming to understand social influences on subjective ambivalence by focusing on the emotional intelligence of consumers. Because emotionally intelligent individuals better comprehend how they or others feel, they should be especially reliant on the emotional implications of (dis)agreement with others for their subjective experiences of attitude ambivalence.
How do you hope to translate your experience at BAE as a teaching tool in the AMPD department?
I was able to learn about global sourcing through my experience at BAE. Most of the fashion companies source materials or production overseas for various reasons such as reducing costs and improving quality of materials. I believe that the professional experience will help students understand how fashion companies manage their strategic sourcing and inter-organizational collaboration.
What is your first impression of Bowling Green?
Bowing Green is just the area where I wanted to live. It is clean, quiet, and very soothing. Bowling Green State University has aesthetic details and I was impressed by its artistic architecture. It has a very desirable environment for students and employees.
Tell us a little about your personal journey till here (Seoul to Colorado to Ohio)?
I love to live in different locations. Seoul, Colorado, and Ohio are very different. I have enjoyed experiencing cultural and environmental diversity and uniqueness. While Seoul is very busy and fast, Colorado has a world-famous mountain and is a great area to experience various outdoor activities—from skiing to hiking. Ohio has been great. It is a busy city, but we can find locations where we can enjoy outdoor activities and soothe ourselves in our busy lives. By living in various locations, I have learned how to adapt to new environment and effectively communicate with people from other cities or countries. I am very fortunate to have had these experiences and hope that they will assist with my work at Bowling Green State University.
Tell us something about yourself—what are your hobbies, how do you spend your free time?
I love to read books and hang out with my dog, Blue. I like books in psychology, economics, and international matters. The most recent books that I have read are Focus by Daniel Goleman and Mis-Measuring Our Lives: Why GDP Doesn’t Add Up by Joseph Stiglitz. When I have free time, I enjoy taking Blue to the dog park in Columbus where he can play with other dogs and their owners.