Skip To Main Content
Penn State College of Arts and Architecture
Penn State College of Arts and Architecture
Select where to search:

Mihyun Kang

Director for Sustainability, Stuckeman School Research Professor
Headshot of Penn State Assistant Director for Sustainability in the College of Arts and Architecture and Research Professor Mihyun Kang
430 Stuckeman

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.

  • Education
    • BS from Yonsei University, Korea
    • MA from Iowa State University
    • PhD from University of Minnesota
  • Honors + Awards


    • Campus Sustainability Champion, Pennsylvania Environmental Resource Consortium


    • Faculty Innovator in Residence, Center for Pedagogy in Arts and Design, The Pennsylvania State University


    • Service Award, Interior Design Educators Council


    • Faculty Teaching Fellow, Institute for Teaching and Learning Excellence, Oklahoma State University


    • Riata Entrepreneurship Faculty Fellow, School of Entrepreneurship at the Spears School of Business, Oklahoma State University


    • Regents Distinguished Teaching Award, College of Human Sciences, Oklahoma State University
    • Undergraduate Research Mentor Award, College of Human Sciences, Oklahoma State University
    • Service Award, Interior Design Educators Council


    • Outstanding Student Organization Advisor, President’s Leadership and Service Recognition, Oklahoma State University


    • International Interior Design Association Texas Oklahoma Chapter Excellence in Design Award in the Educator Category


    • Excellence Award, University, and College Designers Association
  • Publications + Presentations



    • Hebert, P. R., Kang, M., and Singh, C. Considering the illumination of a university library browsing room: A case study of existing conditions and retrofit recommendations, Journal of Building Energy and Environment, 5, 12–30.


    • *Pereira, G. F., **Lies, M., & Kang, M. A case study of place attachment in rural and urban senior cohousing communities, Housing and Society 46(1), 3–22.
    • *Pereira, G. F., Kang, M., & **Sample, R.  Older adults’ perceptions on accessibility in a senior cohousing community. The International Journal of the Constructed Environment 10(2), 9–25.


    • *Pereira, G. F., Kang, M., Amaral, F. G., & Batista, V. J. Safety and comfort of bed design for Brazilian older adults. The International Journal of Design Objects 12(2), 35–50.


    • **Lies, M., Kang, M., & **Sample, R. Place attachment and design features in a rural senior cohousing community. Housing and Society 44(1–2), 41–64.
    • Chandrasekera, T., Kang, M., Hebert, P. R., & Choo, P. Augmenting Space: Enhancing health, safety, and well-being of older adults through hybrid spaces. Technology and Disability 29, 141–151.
    • **Lies, M., & Kang, M. A case study of a rural senior cohousing community with attention restoration and nature. Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities 3(2), 9–18.
    • Roberts, E., Bishop, A., Ruppert-Stroescu, M., Clare, G., Hermann, J., *Singh, C., *Balasubramanian, M., *Struckmeyer, K., Kang, M., & Slevitch, L. Active aging for L.I.F.E.: An intergenerational public health initiative addressing perceptions and behaviors around longevity, independence, fitness, and engagement. Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation 3(33), 211–222.
    • Hebert, P. R., Peek, G., Kang, M., & *Zhang, X. Illuminance levels in social spaces of an older adults facility. Industrials and Systems Engineering 2(2), 21–27.
    • Kang, M., Hebert, P. R., *Thompson, R., & *VanDusen A. An analysis of energy and cost-saving opportunities: Lighting system considerations for institutional food service facility. Journal of Facility Management 15(2), 207–226.


    • Kang, M., Ahn, K., & **Kennedy, K. Furniture influenced by ethnicity and historical period in the Oklahoma’s Native American Territory. The International Journal of Designed Objects 10(4), 1–6.
    • Lee, S., & Kang, M. Consumers’ awareness, perceptions, attitudes, and purchase intentions for environment-friendly interior materials and products. Design Principles and Practice: An International Journal—Annual Review 9, 25–37.
    • Hebert, P. R., & Kang, M. Considering gender effects: STEM internship at a U.S. National Laboratory. Asian Journal of Engineering Technology 4(3), 44–53.


    • *Thompson, R., & Kang, M. Housing as a cultural subsystem: A unifying metatheory of production. Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities, 1(5), 465–469.
    • Kang, M., Lyon, M., & *Kramp, J. Senior cohousing residential design features for perceived autonomy. Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities, 1(3), 258–265.
    • Hebert, P. R., Sammons, T., Kang, M., & Lee, H.-J. An examination of an illuminated pedestrian and bike path in a southern U.S. town. Asian Journal of Engineering Technology, 3(3), 141–150.
    • Kang, M., Choo, P., & Watters, C. Design for experiencing: Participatory design approach with multidisciplinary perspectives. Procedia –Social and Behavioral Sciences, 174, 830–833.
    • Hebert, P. R., & Kang, M. Facilitating move management: Examining existing equipment at a National Laboratory. Management, 2(5), 34–39.


    • Clare, G., Hebert, P. R, Lee, H.-J., Kang, M., Chung, Y., Leong, J., & Slevitch, L. Seeing the light: Consumer perceptions of ground beef packaging. Management, 4(4), 77–89.
    • Kang, M., & Hebert, P. R. Case study of a custom colored carpet tile prototype utilizing sustainable sampling. Facilities, 32(3), 104–119.
    • Hebert, P. R., Kang, M., & *Thompson, R. Energy saving via lighting study at U.S. National Laboratories. Facilities, 32(7), 396–410.


    • Lyon, M., Kang, M., & *Kramp, J. Case study of senior cohousing development in a rural community. Journal of Extension, 51(6). 6RIB3.
    • Lee, S.Y., & Kang, M. Innovation characteristics and intention to adopt sustainable facilities management practice. Ergonomics, 56(3), 480–491.
    • Hebert, P. R., Kang, M., & *Kramp, J. Safety lighting: Exterior illumination at an existing U.S. government facility. Journal of Facility Management, 11(3), 210–225.


    • Kang, M., Lyon, M., & *Kramp, J. Older adult’s motivations and expectations toward senior cohousing in a rural community. Housing and Society, 39(2), 187–202.


    • Ahn, K., & Kang, M. Enhancement of critical and analytical thinking in the context of interior design history. Interior Design / Interior Architecture Educators Association Journal 10(1), 116–127.
    • *Gam, H., Cao, H., Farr, C., & Kang, M. Quest for the eco-apparel market: A study of mothers’ willingness to purchase organic cotton clothing for their children. International Journal of Consumer Studies, 34(6), 648–656.


    • Kang, M., & Russ, R. R. Activities that promote wellness for older adults in rural communities. Journal of Extension, 47(5). 5RIB2.
    • Kang, M., & Guerin, D. The state of environmentally sustainable interior design practice. American Journal of Environmental Science, 5(2), 161–168.
    • Kang, M., & Guerin, D. The characteristics of interior designers who practice environmentally sustainable interior design. Environment and Behavior, 41(2), 170–184.
    • Lyon, M., Ownbey, S.F., & Kang, M. Interior designer’s perception of the influence of technology on workplace performance. International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning, 6(1), 67–75.


    • Kang, M., *Kang, J., & *Barnes, B. Interior designer characteristics influencing sustainable energy awareness and application. International Journal of Spatial Design and Research, 8, 17–28.


    • Kang, M., & Lee, S.Y. Sustainable interior design factors and their application in the U.S. Korean Institute of Interior Design Journal, 16(5), 107–114.
    • Kang, M. A computer database of design methodological tool patterns for interior designers. International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning, 4(3), 45–61.


    • *Barnes, B., Kang, M., & Cao, H. Sustainable characteristics of earthbag housing. Housing and Society, 33(2), 21–32.

    * Graduate Student advised.
    ** Undergraduate Student advised.