Mihyun Kang is the director for sustainability in the College of Arts and Architecture and a research professor in the Stuckeman School. As the first administrator to lead sustainability efforts within the College of Arts and Architecture, Kang organized a group of faculty, staff, and students from around the college to establish the Sustainability Council, which develops action steps that advance the college’s priorities and the University’s sustainability vision and mission. Her efforts to foster sustainability from ground zero to fully functioning inaugural initiatives have been recognized by the Pennsylvania Environmental Resource Consortium (PERC), which named her a 2021 Campus Sustainability Champion in recognition of her work to advance sustainability at Penn State.
Kang, who holds a Ph.D. in Interior Design from the University of Minnesota, came to Penn State in 2019 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. In addition to her teaching duties at Oklahoma State, over the years she served as graduate program coordinator in her department, advisor to student groups related to sustainability and facilities, assessment coordinator, accreditation coordinator, and internship coordinator. Previously, she taught at the University of California at Davis and worked as an interior designer at Ellerbe Becket, Minneapolis, Minnesota, and the Hyundai Wood Industries Co. Ltd., Seoul, Korea.
Kang’s research focuses on sustainable interior design and design for special populations. It 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 published widely in publications including Environment and Behavior, Facilities, Ergonomics, Housing and Society, and Journal of Facility Management, co-written book chapters, and presented at national and international conferences.
In addition to holding an endowed professorship, Kang’s many honors include, at Oklahoma State, 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.