Sangyoub Park helps students change the world

Helping students: Sangyoub Park is an associate professor of sociology at Washburn University. He helped students succeed in class, and holds many international events in the community.

Mingzhu Zhu

Sangyoub Park is an associate professor of sociology at Washburn University. He’s more than a professor that teaches in the classroom. He’s a native of South Korea, and he holds a broad view of society. As a member of the International Center of Topeka, Park has organized many international events in the community.

“I’m not brave enough to change the world, but I’m hoping my students will go out and make some changes. I think that’s why I like to teach sociology here,” said Park.

He teaches a wide range of classes, including Introduction to Sociology, The Family, Social Class in the U.S., Sociology of East Asia and Food and Culture.

Keely Jermark, a senior anthropology and sociology major, takes the Food and Culture class with Park this semester.

“Dr. Park is one of my favorite professors, just for his teaching style during class, his hilarious side comments, and how he makes the entire class participate in engaging discussions,” said Jermark.

In the Food and Culture class, Park and students discuss different cultures, foods, and the influence globally.

This is highly entertaining and engaging, according to Jermark.

Macy Howell is a senior psychology major with minors in communications studies and sociology. She’s taken Introduction to Sociology and Food and Culture with Park. This semester, she’s in Social Class in the U.S. with Park.

“Dr. Park has helped me develop some professional skills I will need when I graduate and go to graduate school, such as presentation skills or develop my ideas in my writing,” said Howell.

Every spring, Park recruits the students in his Social Class in the U.S. course to hold the Diaper Drive. This year is his third year helping with the Diaper Drive. It aims to help young children in the Topeka community.

“I know some of my students are trying to help make the community a better place by studying sociology,” said Park.

For many families, one of the biggest problems when welcoming and raising a baby is to provide the diapers that the baby needs. Diapers are expensive, and many students aren’t aware of how expensive it is.

In the Diaper Drive, students can use what they learn from the textbook, and beyond the textbook.

“I’m very excited about this year, because I can see students are excited. Hopefully, we get more diapers,” said Park.

Monica Beltran, a senior sociology and Spanish major, ran the social media part of the Diaper Drive in Park’s class last year.

“It’s something we need to raise more awareness for,” said Beltran. “One of the articles that we were reading, it was saying that they washed the reusable diapers and they use other methods to try to use plastic bags as diapers. That was extremely impactful for me, because I didn’t think about that before.”

Besides the Diaper Drive, Park also helps to organize international events at Washburn. He’s experienced to hold such events, like Celebration of Cultures, Celebration of Brazil, and Celebration of South Korea.

Haru Matsuri is the most famous spring festival in Japan. It will be from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Washburn Tech, and it’s open to the public. People can experience Japanese culture through performances and food.

In the summer this year, Park will lead students in the Tokyo 2020 class trip to Japan. They will learn about Japanese culture and experience the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics. In the fall semester, he will teach The Family, and Sociology of East Asia classes.

Park is dedicated to helping students succeed in sociology classes and their life. He also brings other cultures from many countries to the community.

“I feel as if Dr. Park has really helped me develop my own awareness of self and how this affects the larger society, and has helped me develop a greater appreciation for studying other cultures,” said Howell.

Edited by Adam White, Jason Morrison, Diana Martinez-Ponce