A passion for sociology: Qwisun Yoon-Plotkins

By Anne MacLaurin.

Qwisun Yoon-Plotkins

“I came to UVic prepared to study psychology, but my introductory sociology course completely changed all that,” said Yoon-Potkins. “Dr. Ravelli’s teaching style was so intriguing and relatable that I never wanted to miss a class, and the content was so interesting that I actually enjoyed studying and doing my assignments!” 

Yoon-Potkins graduates this month with an honours BA in sociology and a diploma in social justice studies. She loved how the sociology program is highly applicable to real life circumstances and she found using one’s own personal experiences really helped in understanding the class teachings. For Yoon-Potkins this meant looking at her Korean heritage and the immigration experience of her grandparents.

"I never had a clear idea of what life was like for my grandparents as immigrants. I wanted to gain a better understanding of an immigrants’ experiences especially in an aging context." —Qwisun Yoon-Potkins, sociology BA graduate

During her years at UVic, Yoon-Potkins always felt extremely comfortable and welcomed by the campus community and she enjoyed the many opportunities available, both recreationally and academically.

“Everyone I met in my first year made me feel right at home,” she says.

“Karen Kobayashi has been a crucial part of my academic journey and research….Her guidance has not only helped me to flourish academically, but has taught me empathy and compassion as well,” said Yoon-Potkins.

At UVic, she continued to play high-level soccer both for a co-ed intramural and women’s team.

“It’s a great outlet for stress and it keeps me healthy and active even during the busiest times of the school year,” she says. “It also taught me a lot about drive, dedication, teamwork and time management.”

Yoon-Potkins is grateful for the scholarships she received—a UVic Excellence Scholarship, Jamie Cassels Undergraduate Research Award, and Roy E.L. Watson Scholarship—as they allowed her to pursue her passion for sociology and social justice.

In the future, she wants to educate people—especially young people—about social issues and social injustices. But right now, she is looking forward to travelling to South East Asia for two months at the end of the summer.

“My future is pretty open and I am looking forward to the endless opportunities and experiences as it comes.”