Kao-Ly Yang and Vadim Keyser to receive Provost’s Award

Dr. Kao-Ly Yang and Dr. Vadim Keyser

Provost Saúl Jiménez-Sandoval announced the recipients of the Provost’s Awards for the 2019-2020 academic year, which included two names in the College of Arts and Humanities. Dr. Kao-Ly Yang was named Outstanding Lecturer, and Dr. Vadim Keyser was named among the Promising New Faculty.

Yang, Hmong studies program founder and coordinator, said she was stunned and honored upon learning she would receive the award.

“This award is not only about me, but will greatly benefit my students and the Hmong American community,” said Yang. “They deserve to be praised for their beautiful, enchanted, and resilient culture and language.”

Dr. Kao-Ly Yang in a Hmong outfit and in Western style. "I decided to associate the award with my ethnic origin which is also with my teaching field. I also want to make my mother happy to see me in Hmong clothing!"
Dr. Kao-Ly Yang in a Hmong outfit and in Western style. “I decided to associate the award with my ethnic origin which is also with my teaching field. I also want to make my mother happy to see me in Hmong clothing!”

Yang founded the Hmong studies program in 2016 along with the director for undergraduate student recruitment Phong Yang. Over the years, Yang has written 11 textbooks for the Hmong Studies Program and works to keep the books and study materials for her classes as affordable as possible. She also founded the Hmong Language Association and the Hmong Voices Series

Dr. Vadim Keyser engages his students in the classroom.
Dr. Vadim Keyser engages his students in the classroom.

Keyser, assistant professor of philosophy, scientific researcher, artist, and liaison between STEM and Arts and Humanities, expressed his gratitude for being chosen for the award.

“I feel deeply honored and supported,” said Keyser. “My interdisciplinary work is catalyzed at every intersection within this community of thinkers and creators; and in every interaction, there is the dimension of humanism. This community echoes Provost Jiménez-Sandoval’s focus on the symbiotic relationship between the arts, humanities, and sciences. Thank you to everyone, for the responsiveness and collaboration at every level.”

Keyser’s research is in the philosophy of science with a focus on scientific methodology. He often utilizes his skills as a visual artist to illustrate complex concepts with precision for his students. This cross-disciplinary merging of humanities, art, and STEM allows him to serve as a liaison between the College of Arts and Humanities and the College of Science and Mathematics.

In February, Keyser published “Robust Biomarkers: Methodologically Tracking Causal Process in Alzheimer’s Measurement,” which aims to reliably track the causes of Alzheimer’s by resolving conflicting biomarker measurement data. 

With a grant from the CSU Chancellor’s Office, Keyser has been exploring different methods of engagement to see what works to increase test scores. This line of research has proved to be extremely valuable as classes have moved online due to COVID-19. He has been helping other faculty, across the CSU and the UC systems, to move their courses online while keeping students engaged. 

Keyser is currently working on a SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) paper which focuses on resolving measurement problems.

A virtual ceremony for faculty and staff will be held on Wednesday, May 6, to recognize all of the Provost Award recipients.

Provost’s Awards recipients 2019-2020 (Full List)

Excellence in Teaching
Dave Goorahoo, professor of plant science

Faculty Service
Helda Pinzón-Pérez, professor of public health

Research, Scholarship and Creative Accomplishment (awarded jointly)
Blain Roberts, professor of history
Ethan Kytle, professor of history

Beth Weinman, associate professor of earth and environmental sciences

Outstanding Lecturer
Kao-Ly Yang, department of linguistics

Promising New Faculty
Katherine Fobear, assistant professor of women’s studies
Vadim Keyser, assistant professor of philosophy
Zhi Liang, assistant professor of mechanical engineering
Matin Pirouz, assistant professor of computer science
Tricia Van Laar, assistant professor of biology
Mariya Yukhymenko, assistant professor of curriculum and instruction

Special Award for Exemplary Service
Center for Faculty Excellence

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The College of Arts and Humanities provides a diverse student population with the communication skills, humanistic values and cultural awareness that form the foundation of scholarship. The college offers intellectual and artistic programs that engage students and faculty and the community in collaboration, dialog and discovery. These programs help preserve, illuminate and nourish the arts and humanities for the campus and for the wider community.

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