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Get to Know a Retriever

An ambitious student finds her calling by seeking fairness and protection for minorities. Yoo-Jin Kang discusses life and pursuing a passion in ending violence.

What is your name, major, and year?

My name is Yoo-Jin Kang. I am a double major in language and cultural studies, while focusing on Spanish and Interdisciplinary Studies, in which I study violence.

Where are you from?

I have lived in Maryland most of my life, but I would say Seattle, Washington is my true hometown. I am still sulking about the Seahawks in the Super Bowl, so let’s not even talk about it.

Who do you admire and why?

I love my mom, and I admire her a lot. She is smart, strong and infinitely wise. She is also incredibly funny.

What is your career goal?

I would like to pursue a career where I can work with communities of color, immigrants and survivors of violence. I have applied to public health graduate schools, so we will see what happens.

If you could change one thing around the world, what would it be?

I would probably make classes focusing on cultural studies mandatory for everyone to take, starting at a young age. There are so many different facets of our history in regards to social issues that so many people are not informed about. Everyone could benefit from learning about media, race issues and the contributions of the many different people (of all colors and genders).

Describe something about you that uniquely stands you out.

Wow, this is kind of a hard question, but I would say that many people know that I am passionate about violence prevention. That might make me stand out a bit. I also like SpongeBob a whole lot.

What do you like most about UMBC?

I like that I have met some of the most interesting and caring people at UMBC. The community feels really genuine and welcoming; it really is different from so many other college campuses.

What activities do you participate in on campus?

I am a staff member at the Women’s Center; I am an advocate for violence prevention in relationships; and I am a recent alumna of Phi Mu Fraternity for Women and the Peer Health Educators.

Who is the celebrity you would like to meet and what would you do with him/her?

I think I would like to meet actor Samuel L. Jackson. He just seems like a cool dude. I would probably take him to coffee, because I feel like he might like that.

What are your favorite things to do outside of UMBC?

Outside of UMBC, I love to do yoga, read and hang out with all the lovely people in my life. When the weather is warmer, I would like to get outside more.

Where do you want to spend your next vacation?

Seattle is my favorite city. In the summer, it is close to perfect, so I think that I would go back there.

What is your favorite genre of television (comedy, competition, reality, etc.) and why?

I am not much of a TV watcher, but when I do watch it, it is either SpongeBob or Chopped on Food Network. Criminal Minds is cool as well.

What kind of music do you like?

It depends, but I am into EDM, Trap and Indie Rock. I like classical music as well.

If you met Dr. Hrabowski, what would you say to him?

I actually have met him before. He is pretty awesome! I would probably just check in with him to see how he is doing, and if he is practicing self-care. I bet being the president of a university can be stressful.