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Faculty Spotlight

Sung Gwak

Slackers beware: if you’re looking for a teacher who will grade you easily, look the other way when you cut corners, or let you coast through your coursework, Professor Sung Gwak is not for you.  An Associate Professor at BMCC for over 24 years, Professor Gwak will be the first person to tell you that she is a tough teacher who demands a lot from her students.  Like any great teacher though, Professor Gwak is not tough merely for toughness’ sake.  She holds her students to high standards in order to prepare them for the high stakes of the medical profession, where errors can be costly and failure is never an option: “When you are dealing with the health and welfare of a human being, there is no room for mistakes.” 

Professor Gwak began her career as a surgical intensive care nurse in her native South Korea, but that would prove to be only the beginning of her rich tenure in the medical field; her resume also includes work as a medical-surgical and clinical care nurse at the University of Missouri Medical Center (Columbia, Missouri) and as a quality assurance consultant at Harlem Hospital (New York, NY).  For Professor Gwak, making the transition to teaching was a natural next step in her career: “Teaching is a highly respected occupation in South Korea, and I always saw myself as a teacher.” 

At BMCC, Professor Gwak sees highly motivated students looking to acquire the certifications they need to thrive in the healthcare sector.  Her greatest joy as a teacher comes when she is able to see the fruits of her labors, “when former students return years later to express their gratitude and fill me in on what they are doing in the medical world.”  Above all, Professor Gwak understands that her students’ learning is directly connected to the safety and well-being of their future patients: “I have a dual role as a teacher—to serve the students, and to serve the public.”           


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