Washburn sociology professor receives Washburn excellence award

Human interactions John Paul, associate professor of sociology, teaches subjects such as criminology and makes a strong connection with students. He recently won the Student Life Achieving Excellence award.

Jalisa Loving

The Student Life Achieving Excellence award recognizes the faculty, staff member or community leader who demonstrates excellence in working with individual students, student groups and organization.

This year it was awarded to associate professor of sociology, John Paul.

“I love teaching and interacting with students, especially those who are intellectually curious and who care about the world around them,” said Paul. “I love the creative freedom and the open forum for discussion that the classroom provides, and I love witnessing the ‘ah ha’ moment in students when they experience or perceive something new about their world for the first time.”

Born in Oklahoma, Paul earned his doctorate in sociology from Oklahoma State University and a master of fine arts from Goddard College.

Paul has been with Washburn for the last seven years and typically teaches classes in criminology/deviance, sociology of religion, sociology of sport and this spring he started teaching a drawing class for the art department.

“I am proud of the mentorship that Washburn provides in the crafting of creative inquiry and in working with students to find their academic passions – and I am proud that I have contributed to that in a small way,” said Paul.

According to Paul, there are frustrations with any job but elements of his job that bother him the most are the external cultural and policy frameworks of anti-intellectualism; the hostility and mistrust of research, scholarship, and critical thinking.

Ideally, Paul would like to see his department grow by adding several scholarship tracks or programs for students, adding additional faculty members, and growing the department into a graduate degree-granting program.

“I love being in the classroom. So, as far as the future goes, I hope to still be teaching and working with dedicated students. Beyond that, who knows,” said Paul.