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UMD Professor Awarded "Order Of Cultural Merit"

November 20, 2013
Contacts: 

Nicky Everette 301-405-6714

Robert Ramsey, professor and chair of the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures in the University of Maryland's College of Arts and Humanities, has been awarded "The Precious Crown Medal of the Order of Cultural Merit" from Korean Prime Minister Jung Hong-won, who presented on behalf of President Park Geun-hye.COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Robert Ramsey, professor and chair of the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures in the University of Maryland's College of Arts and Humanities, has been awarded "The Precious Crown Medal of the Order of Cultural Merit" from Korean Prime Minister Jung Hong-won, who presented on behalf of President Park Geun-hye.

Ramsey, the only westerner honored in the ceremony, was awarded the medal "according to the Constitution of the Republic of Korea for great achievements and contributions to the advancement of Hangul research and promulgation." Hangul is the Korean language alphabet.

In 1998, Ramsey received the Presidential Award and Medal for Contributions to Korean Language also from the Republic of Korea. He has also received teaching awards from the Korean Student Association, the Asian Student Union and the Center for Teaching Excellence at the University of Maryland.

Ramsey, the only westerner honored in the ceremony, was awarded the medal "according to the Constitution of the Republic of Korea for great achievements and contributions to the advancement of Hangul research and promulgation." Hangul is the Korean language alphabet. Ramsey, who has also taught at Columbia University and the University of Pennsylvania, does primary research on the historical development of Japanese and Korean languages, and the historical relationships between the two. He is known for his work on Korean dialects and the reconstruction of prehistoric stages of Korean.

Along with his many achievements, Ramsey is credited for the first book written in English on the subject, entitled "A History of the Korean Language." He has also authored three other books and several dozen articles, written extensively on sociolinguistic topics, and lectured widely on various linguistic topics in Japan, Korea, Europe and the United States.

Ramsey has a doctorate in linguistics from Yale University, and a Master of Art and Master of Philosophy from the same university.

The awards ceremony, held in Seoul, South Korea on Oct. 9 in the Sejong Center for Performing Arts, celebrated the return of Hangul Day to the full status of a national holiday. The Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Washington, D.C., also honored Ramsey on Oct. 25 as part of their own celebration of Hangul Day.