Reubin O'D Askew Young Alumni Award

Pictured at the 2014 Young Alumni Awards Dinner (left to right): Shayne Mifsud, Kevin Garvey, Wonkak Kim, Donna Lou Askew, Layla Dowdy, Carisa Champion-Lippmann and FSU Interim President Garnett Stokes.

I feel both incredibly honored and humbled to be one of the six recipients of the Florida State University's Reubin O'D Askew Young Alumni Award:

"The Florida State University Alumni Association’s Thirty Under 30 Award was created to recognize the outstanding accomplishments of FSU’s young alumni. Each recipient must show exceptional achievement and significant contributions to his or her profession, community/society or university. The recipient must exemplify outstanding professional and personal development either through traditional channels or innovative approaches.

"Up to six honorees may be chosen to also receive the Reubin O'D. Askew Young Alumni Award by members of the FSU Alumni Association National Board of Directors' Awards Committee. The Askew Award, presented for the first time in the spring of 2012, is the highest honor bestowed upon young alumni by the Alumni Association. "

The most exciting part was to meet with and get to know the fellow awardees and other Thirty under 30 inductees. They all had amazing stories to share, and the reception dinner was one inspiring evening! I look forward to continue making the best out of my career for many decades to come. I also feel immensely proud to be a Nole!

FSU Grads Made Good at FSU Alumni Center

Since I was in Tallahassee, I drove by the old apartment I used to live while in grad school. Nostalgia...

Alumni Dinner Reception. Nice food, isn't it?

Some goodies I get to keep!

[Press Clipping] Wonkak Kim puts wow power into enhake

Wonkak Kim puts wow power into enhake

FSU quartet takes its name from the Seminole word for sound

Written by Andrea Personett 

He was 15 years old when he began playing the clarinet. Today, at 25, Wonkak Kim has two Carnegie Hall appearances under his belt and has worked with the likes of Yo-Yo Ma.

The award-winning Tallahassee-based musician has dazzled audiences all over the world, garnering high praise. “Sultry, stylized melodies ... impressive range,” The New York Concert Review enthused. “Vibrant enthusiasm; thoughtful artistic ideas,” said FSU alum and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Ellen Taaffe Zwilich. “Virtuosic and stirring,” the Swiss publication Journal de Morges opined. 

A native of Korea, Won admits he took up clarinet a bit late, “because my mom wanted me to. But, I’ve worked very hard and caught up fast.” That’s an understatement. He has quickly established himself at the forefront of his generation by playing with astounding precision and power. A featured soloist with more than a dozen orchestras, Won has appeared at the Kennedy Center, Constitution Hall and the German Embassy in Washington D.C. He appeared in PBS’s Classical Music and Paintings in South Korea and each year assists the Tallahassee Ballet Company with An Evening of Music and Dance. Won holds dual degrees in mathematics and music from the University of North Carolina/Chapel Hill and is completing his doctoral degree at FSU. When he’s away from the concert stage, Won collects antiquarian books. 

Exuberant contemporary sound

Won is also a founding member of enhake. There’s nothing ordinary about this classical chamber ensemble. The name (pronounced in-HA-kee) is the Seminole (Creek) word for “sound” — and it pays subtle homage to the group’s collective alma mater, FSU. Won, M. Brent Williams (violin), Eun-Hee Park (piano) and Jayoung Kim (cello) share a unique approach to music — sensitive, politically conscious and emotionally broad. That approach allows them to per- form pieces from bygone classical eras — although not a lot was written for their distinctive instrumentation — as well as captivating contemporary works.

“We focus on modern compositions and work exclusively with composers who write for our unusual instrumentation,” explains Won. With grants and prize money from competitions, the group has commissioned several of America’s on-the-rise composers to create new works for them.

“There is so little literature available” for this wonderfully balanced ensemble, Won says. Within a year of forming in 2007, enhake played Carnegie Hall for the first time (the four musicians went back for a second Carnegie Hall appearance May 3). “They were absolutely stunning,” said one reviewer. “enhake exhibited confidence, artistry and poise from the moment they walked on stage to the last note of the performance. Their sense of exuberance ... was felt by every member of the audience.”

While the ensemble has performed in many countries and collected many impressive international awards, the four members also give back to its home community as artists-in- residence for the Tallahassee Youth Orchestra.

Recordings by enhake are set to be released through Emeritus and Centaur Records in the coming year, with a Naxos classical label CD due out in 2012. Won will perform a solo recital Sept. 17 at FSU before embarking on a tour of England, Belgium and France in December.

Between those solo concert dates, Won will join the rest of enhake at the Pan Music Festival on Oct. 28 at the Seoul Arts Center (Korea’s Carnegie Hall). The quartet will perform the works of living Korean and American composers.“It’s what we like to do best,” Won says.

Find out more about enhake at, and learn more about the Tallahassee Youth Orchestra at

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