Goodbye, Professor Hwang Hyun-young
A beloved professor of Hanyang leaves the university
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As of June 2020, Professor Hwang Hyun-young (Graduate School of Law) who conducted the popular liberal arts class Common Law is leaving the school. Upon the departure of a true professor who was an inspirational figure for all the Hanyangians that learned under her guidance, students are paying respects to the genuine love she showed towards the law and her students.
Hwang calls herself “a Hanyangian down to [her] bones”. She graduated from Hanyang University’s Department of Law in the class of '98. After working as an adjunct professor and a legislative investigator in the Republic of Korea National Assembly for six years, she is now moving on to become a research judge.
When asked about how she started the Common Law lecture, she replied that getting to teach at her alma mater was so special to her that it did not even matter which subject she was asked to teach. “When I was offered the chance to give a lecture at Hanyang, I did not ask for the subject title. I just said yes.”
Common Law teaches students how not to lose out to law in our everyday lives. It advises on how to take advantage of our existing rights regarding the constitutional law, civil law, criminal law, consumer law and copyright law, helping students apply the knowledge of law to situations they might encounter in their lives.
The class also dealt with ways to write a lease agreement, work contracts, certification of contents and legal complaints, and also moved on to deal with social issues such as defamation and the recent petitions for Goo Ha-ra, regarding the deprivation of the rights of parents who do not provide parental support. Using special examples in her lectures, about some of the most practical lessons students can learn, Hwang said she “tried to have students be as involved in the class as possible by utilizing dramas, news, and various images, as laws can easily become boring.”
On top of interesting lecture materials, the class also conducted special activities to help make the class one of the most popular liberal arts classes in the school. Hwang and her students held mock trials during which students devised a trial topic, collected evidence, and wrote a script to act in front of the class. She said, “Due to the students’ passion, I believe everyone was able to indirectly experience what a trial is.” Moreover, she invited official law members such as Chae Yi-bae, a member of Congress; Kang Byung-hun, a judge; and Go Eun-seok, a prosecutor to her class to deliver a vivid description of how legal activities are carried out in reality.
Students say that Hwang’s class did not only teach about law, but love and wisdom as well. Kim Dong-hee (Department of Nuclear Engineering, 2nd year) said he once missed the last train and had no way of going home, and Hwang agreed to drop him off midway with her car. He said he remembers “how she was able to give him life advice even in that short drive.” Kim thanked the professor, saying he was “grateful that Common Law was one of the first classes he had taken at Hanyang.”
On her last day, her students filled the last slide of the live online class chatroom with hand-written words of love, gratitude and encouragement. “The students were also truly encouraging with their words in the semester-end surveys. They were the moments that I will never forget for the rest of my life. It made me tear up, reading what my students had written me,” said Hwang.
Former students have also paid their respects to the departing professor. “Professor Hwang instilled the law in my head and love for others and the school in my heart,” said Lee Hyang-seok (Department of Philosophy, 2nd year). He added, “You were a true professor and a true person, and so many Hanyangians will remember you on your path.” Park Hyun-soo (Department of Food and Nutrition, 1st year) also thanked Hwang and said he will always remember her words, some of which were that “one plus one is not always two, and the act of helping someone else can have a huge influence over others”.
Hwang said she wants to tell all Hanyangians to “always love Hanyang and be proud of it.” She reminded them that it is not the number of students that pass the law qualification tests or get good jobs that decide the reputation of the school. “Hanyang will shine just by the students in it,” said Hwang. “I hope our students will also equally love Hanyang University as their alma mater.”
Lee Yoon-seo firstname.lastname@example.org
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