Chosen as the pre-med institute's namesake for her lifelong dedication to medical education and service, Betty McDonald is an icon throughout southern Utah and Nevada as well as northern Arizona. Born only an hour north of Cedar City, in Milford. She began her career modestly as a medical assistant, but after receiving her RN, she was promoted to various management positions in health care. Through the course of her career, Betty served as Director of Nursing, Administrator, Vice President and Chief Operations Officer of Home Health Services, a regional home care and hospice company that she co-founded.
Due to her volunteerism and philanthropy, Betty has received various awards and recognitions, including women of achievement for Washington County, and recently had a nursing lab named for her at the new SUU Nursing School. She is a member of SUU's Old Main Society, Iron County Care and Share, The National Association of Home Care, the Guild of the Utah Shakespeare Festival, and board member of the Utah National Association of Home Care. She has served on numerous other committees for Cedar City festivals.
The Betty McDonald Pre-med Institute (MPI) chose to honor and acknowledge the role Betty has played in her community by using her name for the institute and it's complementary communications program. As an MPI namesake, she is a mentor for the directory and faculty, generously sharing her knowledge and experience of everything from project development to business management. She also visits with the students of CCP to share the inspiration of her success and provide encouragement as they progress in their studies.
"Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore,” said the French writer Andre Gide. This was the motivation that took Johnny from his home island of Jeju, Korea to the United States at the age of nineteen. Though life on the island was satisfying, Johnny thirsted for the opportunity to grow and experience new challenges. He was drawn to the trailblazing culture of the western U.S. and soon found himself surrounded by the beautiful Rocky Mountains and sandy deserts of Utah.
Johnny began studying at Brigham Young University. Looking for a chance to share Asian culture and find deeper interaction with American culture, Johnny involved himself in teaching P.E. classes at BYU. Over his time there, Johnny taught classes in swimming, martial arts, weightlifting, self-defense, badminton, soccer and running. He also served as a volunteer coach for the school’s football team.
After graduating BYU, Johnny relocated to southern Utah. He found himself fascinated by the question of why people behave the way they do. With the idea of combining this interest with his intercultural experiences, Johnny began studying professional communication at SUU. He earned his Bachelor of Science and Master’s degrees and began teaching an Intercultural Communication class for SUU. At this time he also began what would be one of his most fulfilling experiences at SUU; working as a mentor of Korean students.
Johnny had the desire to extend his global perspective to his community. He wanted to promote cultural education among his friends and neighbors while also providing a service to the international students coming to the SUU campus. He learned that international students wishing to study medicine in the United States faced almost impossible obstacles. For far too many of these students, the dream of being accepted into medical school would have to remain only a dream, unless something was done to change the odds. The Betty McDonald Pre-Med Institute (MPI) was Johnny’s answer to that problem. With the help and support of SUU’s administration, MPI was shaped into a fully developed entity, receiving approval from the Dean’s Council, the President’s Council and the Board of Trustees of SUU and finally the Utah state Board of Regents to become the first program of its kind in the United States.
When not involved in his duties with MPI, Johnny enjoys dedicating his time to serve his community in any way possible. Every Wednesday night he makes good use of his fourth degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do by teaching public martial arts classes. The money he raises from these classes gets donated to a local charity called the Canyon Creek Women’s Crisis Center. Johnny is also advisor for the SUU Korean club, coordinating group service projects at local elementary schools. As a coordinator for the city’s Korean Culture Days, Johnny helps organize a yearly community event featuring professional artistic performances by groups from Korea. Johnny’s other interests include horseback riding, reading, running marathons, cooking, cross-fitting and ballroom dancing.