55 F
Oxford

Vassallo Interviews: The Story of Ji Hoon Heo

247196_10150624667465527_7102730_n
Ole Miss continues to attract a good number of international students which is quite a testimony to its appeal not only domestically, but worldwide. Ji Hoon Heo who grew up in Saipan (Northern Mariana Islands) is now pursuing a master’s degree in the Meek School of Journalism and New Media at Ole Miss. His story is an interesting one in many respects.
HottyToddy.com: Ji, first tell us a little about yourself.
554170_10152722666055527_275076613_nJi Hoon Heo: I was born in Seoul, South Korea, and moved to Saipan at age 4. My parents were missionaries. Both my parents are from Korea and my mother was a kindergarten teacher while in Korea. I remained in Saipan until age 18 when I received a tennis scholarship with a private school in Hawaii. Hawaii Pacific which has a Top 10 tennis program among Division II schools.
HottyToddy.com: This sounds like both an interesting and exotic educational experience.
Ji Hoon Heo: After 2 years in Hawaii I transferred to Morehead State in Kentucky where I was the No. 1 singles and doubles player as well as team captain. I also maintained a 4.0 GPA while pursuing my tennis career.
HottyToddy.com: Did not your tennis competition take you to many places?
Ji Hoon Heo: I traveled to approximately two dozen countries because of tennis. Outside of Saipan and the U.S., I would rate Denmark as my favorite country to have visited.
HottyToddy.com: When did you arrive here at Ole Miss?
10380545_10154312802840527_7872133101171714992_oJi Hoon Heo: After completing my degree requirements in convergent media at Morehead State, I arrived here in August where I’m pursuing a graduate degree in journalism. I anticipate graduating in May 2016. I am also assisting professors and students and interning with Ole Miss Sports Productions.
HottyToddy.com: What was your initial reaction to Oxford?
Ji Hoon Heo: A small, rather neat town. The intensity about football and sports in general is unique. I like the passion here.
HottyToddy.com: Are there any similarities between Saipan and Oxford?
Ji Hoon Heo: Several. Saipan has about 30,000 citizens. There are strong family connections and both communities are extremely friendly places.
HottyToddy.com: With your vast background in the Pacific, was surfing ever of interest to you?
Ji Hoon Heo: Absolutely. While in Hawaii there were days when I surfed from 6 to 6. The south shore at Oahu was great for surfing from May until September. Then the north shore (November through February) was the better locale. My most exciting surfing experience occurred just last year when I battled a 20 foot swell. I was actually scared and did not have the right board for the challenge.
HottyToddy.com: Since Ole Miss is associated with sharks, ever see any fins?
382626_10152862980615527_1949086500_nJi Hoon Heo: On one occasion, a shark was only 4 feet from where I was surfing.
HottyToddy.com: With your sports and academic concentrations, any time for girls?
Ji Hoon Heo: Another similarity between Saipan and Oxford is all of the very attractive young ladies. I’m still trying to figure out the sorority emphasis as this is most confusing to me. Women in Saipan do not use as much makeup as here. I’ve noticed here that sometimes a person will look entirely different between morning and evening.
HottyToddy.com: What does your future hold?
Ji Hoon Heo: I want to eventually become a multi media editor. Also, I plan to become a U.S. citizen (actually Saipan is a U.S. territory following WW II). Because my parents are Christians, they do not have any problem with this. My father has told me that I am a child of God and the country affiliation is secondary.
HottyToddy.com: Why is your passion to pursue journalism?
Ji Hoon Heo: I enjoy telling stories through multimedia. Multimedia requires a large variety of skills and the curriculum so far has been challenging.
HottyToddy.com: As you covered the Egg Bowl in relation to your academic pursuits, any observations?
Ji Hoon Heo: This is not a normal rivalry. The Ole Miss fans are very passionate and competitive as is the other side. Because Ole Miss wants to remain the flagship institution of Mississippi, everyone wants to “be the best.”
The last time I checked, I believe Ole Miss is now represented by students from 93 foreign countries. This still continues to amaze me! Ji is a perfect example why we are on the right track here with our academics. Our journalism school apparently is just as passionate about its focus as we are here also with football and looking good!


Steve-Vassallo-Photo-Oct-20131-150x150Steve Vassallo is a HottyToddy.com contributor. Steve writes on Ole Miss athletics, Oxford business, politics and other subjects. He is an Ole Miss grad and former radio announcer for the basketball team. In addition, he is a certified economic and community developer and currently, a highly successful leader in the real estate business with Premier Properties of Oxford.You can contact Steve at sovassallo@gmail.com or call him at 985-852-7745.

Most Popular

Recent Comments

scamasdscamith on News Watch Ole Miss
Frances Phillips on A Bigger, Better Student Union
Grace Hudditon on A Bigger, Better Student Union
Millie Johnston on A Bigger, Better Student Union
Binary options + Bitcoin = $ 1643 per week: https://8000-usd-per-day.blogspot.com.tr?b=46 on Beta Upsilon Chi: A Christian Brotherhood
Jay Mitchell on Reflections: The Square
Terry Wilcox SFCV USA RET on Oxford's Five Guys Announces Opening Date
Stephanie on Throwback Summer
organized religion is mans downfall on VP of Palmer Home Devotes Life to Finding Homes for Children
Paige Williams on Boyer: Best 10 Books of 2018
Keith mansel on Cleveland On Medgar Evans
Chanyeol on SASI Demands UM Adm