Dr. Jerry Park, associate professor of sociology, is driven to engage. He engages fellow sociologists both at Baylor and beyond through collaboration on projects and papers; he engages students in the classroom when he asks them reflect on social inequalities; he engages graduate students as he mentors them on publishing and academia; and he engages the general public with his fellow bloggers at “Black, White, and Gray" on the Patheos.com website. Dr. Park is passionate about issues dealing with racial stratification and the role of religion in America especially in diverse populations including Asian Americans.
Dr. Park received his undergraduate degree in psychology with a minor in sociology at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA and pursued graduate education (both his master’s and PhD) at the University of Notre Dame in the department of sociology. He came to Baylor University in 2004 where he has been pursuing his scholarly interest of the intersection of race and religion. He has published 26 peer-reviewed academic research papers in journals including Social Psychology Quarterly, Social Forces, and The Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. One of his recent papers “Exceptional Outgroup Stereotypes and White Racial Inequality Attitudes Toward Asian Americans” (Social Psychology Quarterly, 2015) was featured on Education Writers Association which was reposted on The Atlantic.
Since 2010, Dr. Park’s research interests have focused on the Asian American experience within the larger context of the sociology of religion. His research questions focus on social attitudes toward Asian Americans and Asian American social outcomes. He is currently working on a book manuscript on second-generation Asian American ethnic and religious identities, analyzing data and conducting interviews for the National Study of Asian and Pacific Islander Catholics, and submitting several papers on Asian American and Korean American religions. He is also pursuing funding for a large survey of Asian Americans and their social outcomes. In addition, Dr. Park continues to work on an interdisciplinary collaboration on work, entrepreneurship and religion funded by the National Science Foundation. He remains active in academic societies presenting papers at conferences and continues to serve as journal reviewer for numerous academic journals and formerly served as an associate editor for the journal Sociology of Religion. In 2017 he will serve as associate editor for The Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion and join the editorial board of Social Psychology Quarterly.
While research remains his primary passion, it is fueled to a great extent by the opportunity to teach and write for a broader public. He regularly teaches the Sociology of Race and Ethnicity to upper-division undergraduates, as well as graduate seminars on Culture, Identity and Religion; Race, Gender and Religion; and most recently how to write for publication in sociology. This latter class has been an important opportunity to formalize his ideas about mentorship in graduate study. Preparing the next generation of PhDs to be the best scholars remains a constant theme in his interactions with the students in the program.
In his spare time, Dr. Park might be found reading comic books, catching up on science fiction media (from Dr. Who to Star Trek to Star Wars) and enjoying time with his wife Christina and their son.