Professor passes during Rwanda trip
August 31, 2010 6:14 PM
Dr. Kim Hyun Deok Foreman met her husband after enrolling in a teacher-training program he taught during his volunteer work with the Peace Corps.
"She was 23 and my student," said Dr. Chris A. Foreman, "I was 24 and her English teacher."
Now a Southern Baptist Pastor, Foreman is proud to say his wife's mission in life was "to glorify God, both through her university work and through her church work."
Dr. Kim Hyun Deok Foreman, an ITEC (Instructional Technologies) professor at SF State, passed away August 3 from injuries sustained in a car accident while working as a missionary near Gitarama, Rwanda at the age of 59.
"Kim's fatal accident has stunned the ITEC community and has left me with an overwhelming sense of tragedy," said Eugene Michaels, Foreman's colleague and fellow ITEC professor, "I grieve with all of you, her students and colleagues."
Foreman was a dedicated scholar and missionary who had been teaching at SF State since 1989 as a graduate professor in the ITEC department, even serving as the department chair from June 2003 to August 2005.
Her work at the University did not stop her from maintaining her role as a missionary overseas.
"She has touched so many lives here and abroad," said Mary Lowery, friend and former student of Foreman. "May her spirit live on in all of those who have been touched by this angel."
The start of Foreman's extensive teaching career came in 1973 after she graduated from Kyunghee University in Seoul, Korea with a degree in English/Secondary education.
Shortly after she met her soul mate, Dr. Chris A. Foreman, and the two married in Seoul in 1974 before relocating to Longview, Washington.
Foreman maintained a lifelong dedication to continuous learning, constantly seeking out grants and scholarships to further educate herself and the students she imparted her knowledge upon.
She authored over 20 scholarly articles throughout her career and presented her research at more than 40 conferences and seminars, she also coauthored a bi-weekly column with her husband in the Korea Times from 1999 to 2007.
Between 1994 and 2006 she received over $56,000 in grants for her and her department, including a Fulbright Senior Specialist grant in July 2006.
"I believe the most important work Kim completed was her mentoring of students," said Brian Beatty, Chair of the ITEC department and a former student of Foreman.
"Besides teaching them about learning theory or technology integration, she took on the role of integrating them into the ITEC community, using innovative methods such as digital storytelling to help students open up to each other."
Outside of school she was very active in her church and community. She served on over 30 committees, councils and boards throughout her life, including the Board of Directors of the Korean Center, Inc., and the Intercultural Institute of California.
Foremost, she was a missionary who first visited Africa in 1998 with a Korean missionary group. Her husband joined her on her second trip in 2001, and in 2005 they formed the non-profit organization, "Come and See Africa International."
The organization's purpose, according to its website (comeandseeafrica.org), is to "support students at the National University of Rwanda." Foreman's death came during her 11th trip to Africa, and she died doing what her husband believed she loved.
"I would say to my wife if she were next to me," said Foreman. "Well done, you good and faithful servant. You have glorified God on the earth. You have finished the work that He has given you to do."
In honor of the late professor, a memorial was held in Kigali, Rwanda on August 7 with hundreds in attendance, including the American Ambassador to Rwanda. American funeral services were held at Palma Ceia Baptist Church in San Lorenzo on August 14.
For the past two years, Come and See Africa International has been constructing a campus house for Christian students near the National University of Rwanda. As a tribute to and a legacy for Foreman, the building will now be named, "the Kim Foreman Bible Institute."
Foreman is survived by her husband, Chris; her sons, Zachary and Simon; daughter-in-law, Dilia Marquez Foreman and grandson Hugo Lorenzo Oron Foreman.
"She was most proud of her family," said Foreman, "her two sons, one grandson and me. She was proud of her academic work and she loved being a professor and helping students to achieve."
Donations can be sent to the First Southern Baptist Church of San Lorenzo, 15503 Usher St., San Lorenzo, CA 94580. They will support the construction of the institute in Rwanda. Please designate "The Kim Foreman Bible Institute" on your contribution.
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