A.C.E. International Advisory Council member Paull Shin retired from public office last Tuesday. Senator Paull Shin, the first Korean American ever elected to Washington State Legislature, announced Tuesday his resignation after 15 years of service upon being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, according to the Herald. In his written letter of resignation, Sen. Shin declared with dignity that his “recent health problems and a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease make it impossible for me to represent my constituents in the manner they deserve.”
According to his website, Sen. Paull Shin’s unusual path to Olympia coupled with his proactive approach towards community building has gained him high renown throughout Korean and Asian American communities. Shin, 78, was born in Korea and lived as an orphan until he was adopted by an American GI at 16 during the Korean War. After arriving in the United States, Sen. Shin learned English and passed the GED, went on to earn a Masters of Arts in Public and International Affairs, and then received his Ph.D. from the University of Washington. After 31 years of teaching at the university level, he retired, only to be elected to the Washington State Senate in 1999. Sen. Shin became widely known as a strong advocate for higher education, the developmentally disabled, immigrant rights, and mutual economic development, all of which earned him deep respect from his colleagues and community.
Sen. Shin, described as a stalwart supporter and true friend of higher education, has been a long standing member of A.C.E.’s International Advisory Council. The International Advisory Council serves as a voluntary global network to collaborate with A.C.E. periodically on resources and trends in the field of international education. In this capacity, Sen. Shin has welcomed Korean groups to A.C.E., such as the 2011 Korean Educational Delegation from the Gangwon Provincial Office of Education and the Gangwon International Language Institute. A.C.E. expresses gratitude for Sen. Shin’s commitment to international education within our organization and Washington state.
On January 11th, Sen. Marko Liias and the Washington State Senate honored former Sen. Paull Shinn with a resolution commemorating his service in office and his personal embodiment of the American dream. Follow the link below to read the complete resolution and watch coverage from the ceremony.