Social Work Spotlight: Meet Associate Professor Jun Sung Hong

Jun Sung HongJun Sung Hong brings a unique global perspective to his work in the heart of Detroit. An Associate Professor who joined the WSU School of Social Work in 2013, Jun was born in South Korea and also spent time growing up in California before landing in Michigan to earn his master in social work from the University of Michigan. Jun went on to earn a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign before accepting a position at Wayne State. He has also been an adjunct assistant professor at Sungkyunkwan University in Seoul, South Korea and  is currently the co-director of the Laboratory for the Study of Youth Inequality and Justice at Virginia Tech. Jun’s exploration on the researched factors associated with bias-based bullying and peer victimization of racial/ethnic minority, immigrant, LGBTQ, juvenile justice-involved, and economically disenfranchised adolescents and young adults has resulted in collaborations with scholars from around the globe, including South Korea, Taiwan, Sweden, Scotland, Switzerland, Spain, Brazil, Germany, China, Hong Kong, and Ukraine.

Why did you choose to come to WSU?

Wayne State is a premier research institution and there was a serious need for additional research on bullying in the state of Michigan, so it was an ideal match.

What is your area of expertise?

I study youth/school violence, with a particular focus on bullying and juvenile delinquency. Although anti-bullying laws and school violence prevention programs have been implemented across the nation, the crisis persists. I hope that my research findings can encourage Michigan’s school officials to implement interventions and policies based on best practices.

What is your favorite class to teach?

SW 3110 - Diversity, Oppression and Social Justice. We discuss diverse cultures, family structures, roles, immigration and assimilation experiences of marginalized groups. I enjoy the conversations that arise out of topics related to discrimination, oppression, and social justice. Students explore how dominate culture influences marginalized groups, which can overlooked when you are not a marginalized individual.  

Do you have any advice for current students?

Get the most out of the classes you are taking and the filed placement you are at. The field placement will be very important as you hone your skills and get your “feet wet” in the community.

Do you have any advice for graduates?

Always have a global mindset, even if you are living and working in Detroit. What happens in the world will affect what will happen in the small corners of your world.


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