Yoon Pak is Associate Professor and Interim Head in the Department of Education Policy, Organization, and Leadership (EPOL). She is also a core faculty member in the Department of Asian American Studies. She is a past recipient of the National Academy of Education/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship and served as Co-Editor for the History of Education Quarterly from 2006-2015. Her research and teaching interests focus on the history of American education in the 20th century as it relates to racial minorities and immigrant groups. She also has interests in contemporary higher education issues as it affects Asian Pacific American student populations. In addition to numerous journal articles and book chapters, her book publications include, Wherever I Go I’ll Always Be A Loyal American: Schooling Seattle’s Japanese Americans During World War II, Asian Americans in Higher Education: Charting New Realities, and Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives: Oral Histories of (Mis)Educational Opportunities in Challenging Notions of Academic Achievement (ed.). She has served in numerous capacities at the campus level in relation to diversity and equity concerns since her time at Illinois.

Key Professional Appointments

Associate Professor Educational Policy Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2005 - present

Associate Professor and Core Faculty Asian American Studies Program, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2005 - present

Assistant Professor Educational Policy Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1999 - present


Ph.D., Educational Leadership & Policy Studies, University of Washington, 1999

M.Ed., Educational Leadership & Policy Studies, University of Washington, 1994

B.A., History, University of Washington, 1992


Ng, J., Pak, Y., & Hernandez, X. (2016). Beyond the Perpetual Foreigner and Model Minority Stereotypes: A Critical Examination of How Asian Americans are Framed. Contemporary Asian America: A Reader New York, New York, United States: New York University Press.

Pak, Y., Maramba, D., & Hernandez, X. (2014). Asian Americans in Higher Education: Charting New Realities. ( 1 ed vol. 40,). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, USA: ASHE Higher Education Report.  link >

Ng, J., Lee, S., & Pak, Y. (2007). Contesting the model minority and perpetual foreigner stereotypes: A critical review of literature on Asian Americans in education. Review of Research in Education, 31 (1), 95-130.

Pak, Y. (2007). We are already multicultural: Why policy and leadership matter. Multicultural education policy in Canada and the United States: Symbol and substance ( pp. 42-48). Vancouver, BC: University of British Columbia Press.

Pak, Y. (2006). Multiculturalism matters: Learning from our past. Race and ethnicity in education: Principles and practices of multicultural education ( vol. Vol. 1, pp. 3-22). New York: Praeger.

Pak, Y. (2004). Teaching for intercultural understanding: A teacher's perspective in the 1940s. Social education in the twentieth century: Curriculum and context for citizenship ( pp. 57-75). New York: Peter Lang.

Pang, V., Kiang, P., & Pak, Y. (2003). "Asian Pacific American Students: Fighting Overgeneralizations,". Handbook of Research on Multicultural Education, Second Edition San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Pak, Y. (2002). "If there is a better intercultural plan in any school system in America, I do not know where it is": The San Diego City Schools' intercultural education program, 1946-1949. Urban Education, 37 (5), 588-609.

Pak, Y. (2002). The irony of exclusion: Education in Seattle during the Japanese American incarceration. Education for democracy: Contexts, curricula, and assessments ( pp. 43-59). Greenwich, CT: Information Age Press.

Pak, Y. (2002). Wherever I go I will always be a loyal American: Schooling Seattle's Japanese American schoolchildren during World War II New York: Routledge/Falmer.

Pak, Y. (2001). "'Dear Teacher': Letters on the Eve of the Japanese American Imprisonment,". Middle Level Learning: National Council for the Social Studies, 12 10-15.

Pak, Y. (2001). "Progressive Education and the Limits of Racial Recognition, Revisited,". Educational Theory, 51 (no. 4, 2001), pp. 487-497.

Pak, Y. (2001). "Review of Stacey Lee's Unraveling the Model Minority Stereotype,". ( no. 1, 2001 ed vol. 36, pp. pp. 152-158). Urban Education.

Pak, Y. (2000). Citizenship education in the Seattle schools on the eve of the Japanese American incarceration. Theory and Research in Social Education, 28 (3), 339-358.

Pak, Y., & Depouw, C. De-Centering the Model Minority: Historical and Contemporary Trends.

Pak, Y., & Johnson, L. The history of intercultural education in the public schools, 1930s-1950s.


Invited speaker on the model minority stereotype (2012).: Vancouver, BC.

Troubling "achievement:" historicizing the achievement gap through oral history narratives (2012).: Seattle, WA.


Thesis Seminar (EPOL 591) Designed to take students through the entire process of proposal development, this course is intended for masters or doctoral students who are ready to prepare a thesis or dissertation proposal. Students will learn to use a systematic and comprehensive approach to develop the research proposal and how each step in the research process is related. 4 graduate hours. No professional credit. Approved for Letter and S/U grading.

Independent Study (EPOL 595) Offers opportunity and challenge of self-directive, independent study; develops the individual's ability as an independent student and enables the student to pursue needed study in a field in which appropriate courses are not being offered during a given term. 1 to 4 graduate hours. No professional credit. Approved for Letter and S/U grading. May be repeated with approval.

Thesis Research (EPOL 599) Individual direction of research and thesis writing. 0 to 16 graduate hours. No professional credit. Approved for S/U grading only. May be repeated with approval.

Asian American Education (EPS 402) Examination and analysis of Asian American education from the late 1800's to the present. Same as AAS 402. 4 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours.This course satisfies the General Education Criteria for: Advanced CompositionCultural Studies - US Minority.

Historical & Social Barriers (EPS 405) Examines the relationship between ability, race, class, and gender to citizenship and schooling. Particular emphasis is placed on how the construction of "citizenship" has been used as a tool to further deny equal participation in the public sphere such as schools. To that end, an application of historical understanding of social barriers to educational access is analyzed from the Colonial period to the present. 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. May be repeated for 4 graduate hours.

Topics Ed Pol/Hist-Soc Barrier (EPS 500) Seminar on topics not treated by regularly scheduled courses; requests for initiation may be made by students or faculty members. May be repeated to a maximum of 8 hours.

Race, Gender & Sexuality Issu (EPS 536) Examines contemporary theories of race, gender, class, and sexuality, as well as analyzing how their dynamics play out in U.S. public schooling and history. In an attempt to discuss a range of disciplinary and theoretical approaches to diversity, we will shift among historical, sociological, political, theoretical and pedagogical issues. Traces the place of diversity in forming notions of citizenship, community, identity, and political affiliation/alliance. While two extended examples will focus on the interplay of race, class, and gender in the school-based issues of drop out rates and gendered interactions in the classroom and playground, we will also consider contemporary theories of diversity in local and global contexts.

Diversity in the Workplace (HRD 415) Assists educators, as well as trainers and managers in business and industry, to effectively recognize and understand diversity in school and work settings. Activities focus on understanding the nature of diverse populations, their unique learning needs, and potential collaborative efforts between educators and work place personnel. 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours.

Pak, Yoon

Professor, Education Policy, Organization and Leadership



330 Education Building
1310 S. Sixth St.
Champaign, IL 61820

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