Kind, devoted, responsible and friendly! These words are suitable for describing Professor Kim Chang-Seok of the Department of Urban Planning and Design. He obtained a master’s degree in Architecture at Seoul National University and received a Ph.D. in Geography at University of Hawaii. He has been teaching urban planning, urban geography and urban spatial structure at University of Seoul (UOS) since 1976. Now, looking foward to his retirement this July, Professor Kim shared his stories and experiences with The UOS Times!
Beloved Professor at UOS Professor Kim Chang-Seok has been involved in many diverse activities related to his major. He was the dean of Academic Affairs at UOS and the head of his department. Moreover, he is a member of the Korean Planner Association (KPA) and served as president of the KPA from 2006 to 2008. Though he has lived a busy life in and outside of the campus, his first priority is his students. He has always been passionate about delivering new and important information to his students. He said, “…whenever I go abroad to attend a conference, I try to take a lot of pictures of eco-friendly designed cities or places, so that I can use them as class materials for case studies. In addition, in order to intrigue students’ attention, I use various audio-visual materials such as documentary films, pictures and articles that are related to the courses.” He also encourages his students to explore diverse field and gives useful advice related to students’ futures and job prospects. His caring and loving attitude is indeed the biggest reason why so many students admire and respect him.
His Plans after Retirement One thing very interesting about professor Kim is that his hometown is Jeongju, South Pyeongan, North Korea. Carrying him on their backs, his parents crossed the border. Remembering his original roots, he established a scholarship committee called ‘Jeongju scholarship committee.’ This scholarship committee is composed of successful people from Jeongju and provides scholarship funding for 15 university students who are from Jeongju and currently live in South Korea. After his retirement, he is going to focus on supporting these students financially and emotionally. In addition, he is going to write a research paper about specific geological factors that contribute to the large number of talented people from Jeongju in the modern area. It seems like he will remain busy even after his retirement.
Advice to UOS Students! The UOS Times requested some advice for UOS students. Professor Kim suggested, “Set an ambitious goal, and concentrate on achieving your goal.” He gave an example of Dr. Lee Jong-wook, the former secretary of the World Health Organization (WHO) In his twenties, Dr. Lee went to Africa for volunteer work and met two important people in his life. One is his wife and the other is his mentor who led him to set his goal to save lives by finding a cure for leprosy. By doing good things, he not only was able to find his life companion but also his calling, which eventually led him to be a secretary of WHO. Professor Kim said students need to take Dr. Lee as a role model to pursue their dreams and live their lives to the fullest!