Dr. Soo-yong Byun is an associate professor (with tenure) of Educational Theory and Policy program in the Department of Education Policy Studies (EPS) in the College of Education with a joint appointment with the Social Science Research Institute (SSRI) as a co-funded faculty at the Pennsylvania State University. He also serves as a faculty member of Penn State's Comparative and International Education Program and Demography Program. In addition, he has other Penn State affiliations as follows.
Prior to joining the EPS faculty in 2012, he worked as a postdoctoral scholar at the National Research Center on Rural Education Support housed within the Center for Developmental Science in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2008-2011), and as a research associate and survey/psychometric specialist for the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA)'s Teacher Education Study in Mathematics (TEDS-M) in the College of Education at Michigan State University (2007-2008). He received his Ph.D. in Educational Policy and Administration (Comparative and International Development Education track) from the University of Minnesota at Twin Cities in 2007. He was named as one of 17 rising alumni by the University of Minnesota's College of Education and Human Development in 2017. He was the president of the Korean American Educational Researchers Association (KAERA) for 2017-18. He served as a visiting scholar at Seoul National University for 2018-19 .
His scholarly interests include sociology of education, international comparative education, rural education, and educational policy analysis and program evaluation. The articles of his have been published in leading peer-reviewed journals, including American Educational Research Journal, Comparative Education Review, and Sociology of Education. He has served on multiple editorial and advisory boards, including American Educational Research Journal, American Journal of Education, and Sociology of Education.