Haley Ye’s resume is head-spinning.
She has been an educator for more than 25 years; served at California State University, Los Angeles as chair of the Department of Geosciences and Environment and as associate dean for the College of Natural and Social Sciences; was the founding director of the NASA funded interdisciplinary Data Intensive Research and Education Center for STEM; worked as a climatologist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and published more papers than can be easily counted.
But Ye, the newly named dean of graduate studies and research, hasn’t waltzed onto the Stanislaus State campus with an ego that would dwarf the frame of the one-time college gymnast.
She’s putting aside her own research — her latest, using precipitation data from across Northern Eurasia to assess the impacts of warming air temperatures on precipitation total, intensity and frequency was just published on medium.com Research Features — to create the new Stan State office.
“I’m so glad to have the opportunity to build something from scratch,” Ye said. “I really like that this is graduate studies and research, both of which I really, really like. It’s brand new, the graduate studies office, so I can build a really good foundation.”
She’ll approach the position with the same trained eye and care she used in conducting research and voluntarily supervising graduate candidates. She’ll observe, assess and then take action with both graduate studies and research.
“This is collaborative work with faculty, with department chairs, with deans,” Ye said. “I’m not coming in to say you need a program, you do this, you do that. It takes time for people to observe, assess and reflect on what is the best way to grow their department. A lot of departments just don’t have enough faculty to develop a graduate program, yet. So, we will be more creative and resourceful in building up our graduate programs.”
Increased graduate studies will attract more diverse faculty, who have strong interests in building their research and securing funding to support graduate students, she said.
“This will help attract more grad students, especially students from underrepresented groups, to prepare them for professional jobs or Ph.D. and other professional programs.
“Not all undergraduate students go to graduate schools,” Ye said. “They go to the workforce and get higher paying jobs. But the graduate program is very important for a CSU campus with very diverse students in helping them succeed in upward mobility in getting a high-paying job. It’s a steppingstone.”
Ye has started planning informational programs to guide students. The first California Pre-Doctoral Program Zoom session is 1 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 10, which will cover pre-doctoral application qualification, application requirements and how to be successful in getting high scores to be selected to doctoral programs.
“I really like the mission and the goals and strategic planning of Stanislaus. My long-term goal is to follow closely where the University is going, to increase the graduate programs, increase the research and extend funding, and increase the diversity and inclusion. Being Asian American and a woman in science, it’s important to me.”
Haley Ye, dean of graduate studies and research
As for the research component of the newly formed department, Ye lauds the team of Joyce Bell and Ashley Reeves already in place in the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs. Ye hopes to expand research opportunities for faculty and students by helping to procure grants and funding and plans to establish a grant-writing cohort for faculty to help them polish each other’s proposals.
Ye laughs about having her husband, who majored literature and is self-employed, her daughter, who now works in finance, and friends who came to her home read her grant proposals. She sought their critique and wanted to know whether non-scientists understood her writing. If they did, those judging the proposal would.
She may not have time to read every proposal, but she will if she’s asked, and said she will offer assistance in whatever ways that will help faculty’s success.
Leaving behind her career as a researcher may seem like a monumental sacrifice. It’s been a part of her life since she left her native China in 1989 after earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees in meteorology and atmospheric dynamics from Zhejiang University — where she not only captained the gymnastics team but played a two-string instrument called the erhu in the orchestra — to attend the University of Delaware and work with her mentor, Larry Kalkstein.
Ye said she is ready to put that work aside for now because of this opportunity.
“I really like the mission and the goals and strategic planning of Stanislaus,” Ye said. “My long-term goal is to follow closely where the University is going, to increase the graduate programs, increase the research and extend funding, and increase the diversity and inclusion. Being Asian American and a woman in science, it’s important to me.”
“You have very good leadership here. President Ellen Junn has done good work. The new provost, Richard Ogle, I like him, too. He’s humble. He works with everybody. He listens. I’m kind of like that. I listen and design my work with the best intention to support everyone’s success. What I want to do is not as important as what you want to do. If everybody gets to do what they want to do to contribute to Stan State’s mission, we’d have a great campus.”