Sunday, April 30, 2017

Asian/American researcher, teacher named dean of Yale College

Marvin Chun, Yale College's new dean

MARVIN CHUN, a professor of neuroscience, has been appointed as the next dean of Yale College. 
Chun will assume his new post on July 1, according to the Yale News. He succeeds Jonathan Holloway, who is leaving Yale at the end of the semester to become provost at Northwestern University.

“While I feel humbled by the weight and legacy of this appointment, I am also confident in how vigorously I can pursue President Salovey’s number one goal ‘to be the research university most committed to teaching and learning,’” said Chun.

His appointment was welcomed by AAPI students.

Observers believe Chun’s deanship marks a historical and cultural significance for many people of color in academia. Asian-American students at the University have commended the appointment, seeing it as a positive move towards greater representation of Asians and other minorities in the school administration, reports the Yale Daily News.

“I’m really excited about seeing Asian-American representation in leadership,” said 20-year old student Liana Wang. “[Chun] has such a warm, open personality. I think he’ll be great for representing student interests, and I personally love that he dispels so many of the stereotypes often applied to Asian/Americans.”
Mimi Pham, the head peer liaison at the Asian American Cultural Center, stated that she often has conversations with peers and mentors at the center about the lack of Asian and Asian/American representation in the administrative arm of higher education. Although Chun’s qualifications earned him the job, the fact that he is Asian/American is “uplifting and inspiring” for the Asian and Asian/American communities at Yale, Pham said.

Chun is known for his innovative use of brain-imaging and behavioral methods to study attention, perception, memory, and learning. He has published more than 100 articles, and his research has been highly cited, frequently featured in the popular media.

“Through his service as Berkeley’s head of college from 2007 to 2016, Professor Chun developed a deep understanding of Yale undergraduate life. His enthusiasm for supporting students and talent for creating a positive and stimulating environment made him one of the most beloved heads of college,”  said President Peter Salovey on April 27.

Chun earned his Ph.D. from the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 

His wife, Woo-Kyoung Ahn, is also professor of psychology at Yale; they have two children, Allison and Nathan.