Barry Sang is late.
It's not that he doesn't value punctuality. It's just that his students were wrestling with the subject of God and evil, and he couldn't leave them just because the clock said class was over.
"They're still talking about it in the hallway," he says. "That means the topic is real for them."
The topic is real because Sang, professor of religion, has a way of making ethereal subjects seem central to his students' lives.
"Dr. Sang is so dynamic and enthusiastic," says Melinda Coble, a recent graduate. "He gets so excited about the knowledge he has and is so eager to share that with the students. And he's an excellent facilitator of discussion. He really cares that students learn and get something out of his classes."
Sang wants his students to make a connection between education and life. That may mean encouraging them to step into the shoes of David as he looks into the courtyard at Bathsheba. "It's not unlike looking out your back window at your neighbor who is out there in a bikini," he says. "There are connections between their stories and ours. There is drama in knowledge -- trying to find out `who done it' and why and what it means."
Sang feels it is his responsibility to help his students see life from different perspectives -- from the viewpoint of Aristotle, for example, or the Buddha. "I want them to pick up what they are learning and hold it at arm's length and turn it around," he says. "I want them to see that education is about life."