Teaching Tuesday with Yusun Kim

Welcome to the Department of Public Policy’s (DPP) first edition of Teaching Tuesday! Throughout this semester we will be featuring faculty on Tuesdays and teaching you a bit about their lives outside of the classroom. Each faculty featured will be asked a few questions and we will post their responses without a filter. We look forward to sharing our faculty with you and hope you enjoy learning some fun facts that you may not have previously known. Our first feature is Professor Yusun Kim!

Yusun Kim and son Thomas Kil at Isabella Steward Gardner Museum
Professor Yusun Kim exploring with her son

Question 1: Why did you become a professor?

When I was younger, I actually wanted to become a human rights lawyer. Then I went on a field trip to Cambodia during my final year of college and realized that public policies could affect the wellbeing of more people. So I went to a public administration school instead of law school. During graduate school, I gradually learned that I enjoyed teaching when I was working as a teaching assistant. I thought there could be no other job that could be as rewarding (to me) as this if I can teach and do research at the same time. It’s funny how things can change. Growing up watching my father, who was a professor, spending most of his weekend on research, I thought I should never become one. Guess how I am spending my weekends now.

Question 2: What are your teaching interests?

I teach Economic Analysis for Public Policy and Management and Policy Analysis. I am also planning to teach an elective course on Health Policy.

Question 3: Why did you decide to come to UConn?

I instantly fell in love with the city of Hartford and DPP when I came for a campus visit. Plus, UConn made me an offer I could not refuse.

Question 4: If you weren’t a professor, what would you be instead and why?

Had I not realized that I am terrible at fighting, I might have become a human rights lawyer, which was my childhood dream. I also once seriously thought about working for an NGO (non-governmental organization) that helps asylum seekers and refugees. However, if I still decided to pursue a doctoral degree, I may have become a researcher at a think-tank.

Question 5: What is your favorite thing about Hartford?

Hartford is a very family friendly place. There are so many amazing parks here!

Question 6: If you could travel to any location right now, where would you like to go and why?

Hawaii! My husband and I went on a honeymoon to Hawaii. I would love to take my son and show him the palm trees and sea turtles.