Teaching

At Harvard, I have served as an instructor for the Sophomore Tutorial in Sociological Theory for four consecutive semesters. As part of the teaching staff, I not only gave my own lectures, but was also involved in the course restructuring intended to incorporate more diverse theories to be considered as the intellectual foundations of sociology. I was awarded the Bok Center’s Certificate of Distinction and Excellence in Teaching in my very first semester of teaching the course and received a perfect evaluation score in my last semester. 

 

I have also advised undergraduate senior theses and mentored students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. In addition, I was able to hire and supervise undergraduate research assistants via the Harvard Special Fund for Ph.D. projects to assist with my research.

 

As illustrated in the students' evaluations below, my teaching, advising, and mentoring revolves around three core objectives:

1) promoting critical thinking via a sociological understanding of the world (in line with Weber’s idea of verstehen),

2) pointing at real-life applications of scholarly research in a way that hones life problem solving skills (as Marx had once tried), and

3) helping students become better citizens—who can question the obvious, embrace the unexpected, and have a deeper understanding of the different communities that surround us (in light of Durkheim’s conceptualization of the collective). 

 

Critical Thinking

  • “Really enjoyed having Bo Yun as a teacher: she definitely pushes you to think critically about the subject matter yet also makes it easy to understand especially when examining the lens of more difficult authors. Really enjoyed her teaching style and she definitely made class effective and useful by facilitating deep discussions as well as being accessible outside of class to discuss the material and social phenomenon that I wasn't able to clearly grasp. She was very passionate about what she taught, and you could see it every time we had class!”

 

  • “Bo Yun was always willing to wait for us to give an answer, which forced us to take risks and not be afraid of getting something wrong in front of the class. This made a big difference in our ability to freely ask questions and learn from each other in section. She did a great job I felt like I developed my sociological mindset a lot and gained confidence in my ability to think theoretically.”

 

  • “Bo Yun could not have been a better teacher for this class. She kept everyone engaged with the material, which at times could have been dry, but she always framed in a way that was easy to digest by all and also allowed us to think critically about the concepts. She made sure that we had a frame of reference for each concept that we analyzed and kept everyone involved in our discussions!”

 

Real-Life Applications

  • “I thought Bo Yun did an AMAZING job with this course. She knew the material so well, but more than that, made the course all about our understanding and application of the theories we learned about. She had very organized lectures and presented them in a thorough, thoughtful manner. She paused often to ask if we had clarifying questions and encouraged discussion on ways to apply the theories after having learned the content.

 

  • “I really appreciated Bo Yun's thorough understanding of theory and patience in answering our questions and clarifying difficult concepts. She provided a good balance of intensity and focus on the texts with allowing us to apply the theories to our own lives. I also really appreciated that she shared her PowerPoint slides with us, as that decreased the stress about taking notes during class and allowed me to focus better.”

 

  • “Thank you to Bo Yun for the extremely helpful presentations and engaging and memorable examples of applying classical theory to contemporary issues. Section was always enjoyable and necessary to dissecting ye olde white man language.”

 

Engaging Dialogue

  • “Bo Yun did a phenomenal job, she pushed us to think farther than the scope of the readings, and really helped us create good discussion. The power points that she created were so helpful and only took up half of the class. For the remainder of the course we would have very good discussion, I also enjoyed how there were guiding questions and sometimes worksheets within the entirety of the section, so the first half was not always just lecture style. Furthermore, she always changed it up ensuring that we moved around the classroom or talked to different people.”

 

  • “Bo Yun was a top tier TF - throughout the course she always sparked engaging conversation about the course material, encouraged participation, and broke down the sometimes dense theory in ways that were very understandable”

 

  • “Bo Yun is great. She really got me interested in sociology's broader themes.”

 

Diversity of Perspectives

  • “Bo Yun creates impeccable slides that highlight the most salient points of the weekly reading. She does a great job of breaking down difficult concepts and is very open to alternative interpretations.”
     

  • “She was incredibly open to our ideas and genuinely took interest in the critiques or original pieces of theory we had to add. All in all, I could not have imagined having another instructor for this course, nor would I want to imagine that. Bo Yun was an incredible teacher.”

 

Community Building 

  • “Reading about the class before enrolling, I knew that I'd be getting myself into a difficult, reading-and-writing dense course, but Bo Yun made is enjoyable. I learned a lot about myself and the material over the course of the semester, and really do believe that a lot of that was in part due to Bo Yun's teaching style. She's great, and any student that gets her as their teacher in the future should consider themselves to be very lucky.”

 

  • “…she offered her help outside of the classroom via video calls and meetings, something that made me feel more confident as a student. She was very encouraging and kind when we gave our own presentations at the end of the semester, too. She cared about hearing us speak just as much as she did about making sure we understood the material.”

 

Additional Teaching Evaluations and Comments

 

  • “Bo Yun is an amazing teacher! She did a great job of explaining the readings and the theories! She is also so nice and understanding! It is clear that she is really passionate about sociology. I always looked forward going to class! She was very accessible for questions about assignments as well.”

 

  • “Clear, understandable, encourages instruction, will make an awesome professor.”

 

  • “Like I said before Bo Yun was phenomenal!”