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Three CAS faculty members named Research Faculty Fellows for Strategic Transdisciplinary Initiatives 

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Media Contact: Elizabeth Gosney | CAS Marketing and Communications Manager | 405-744-7497 |

Oklahoma State University professors Drs. Skye Cooley, Katherine Hallemeier and Yolanda Vasquez were recently named College of Arts and Sciences Research Faculty Fellows for Strategic Transdisciplinary Initiatives by Dr. Camelia Knapp, CAS associate dean for research.    

In their roles, Cooley, Hallemeier and Vasquez will lead innovative, interdisciplinary research in each of the college’s three pillars: arts and humanities, social sciences, and math and sciences. As fellows, the trio will work with the associate dean and the research team to support CAS research and promote creative activity within the college.   

“Drs. Cooley, Hallemeier and Vasquez will play an integral role in positioning the College of Arts and Sciences as a leader in OSU’s overall research landscape,” Knapp said.  “I look forward to what they will accomplish with our 24 departments and six interdisciplinary programs and centers and am eager to work alongside them to support our diverse research opportunities.”  


Dr. Skye Cooley
Dr. Skye Cooley

Skye Cooley  

An associate professor in the School of Media and Strategic Communications, Cooley will serve as the research fellow for the social sciences pillar. With experience leading research groups, Cooley hopes to leverage his experiences and passion for transdisciplinary research in this role.   

“My experience leading theMESAgroup has shown me how powerful it can be to have a place to onboard new faculty and orient them around making broader community impacts with their research,” Cooley said. “Academics are often so reputationally concerned or line-of-inquiry-specific that we forget that our work is supposed to be reaching others and making a difference.”  

Cooley said his background as a social scientist in communications will serve him well in establishing interdisciplinary relationships.  

“I would like us to build a space where researchers here at OSU know how to get involved in impact-focused research,” Cooley said. “Most academics come to the profession because they want to make a difference. I hope my impact in this role is making it a little easier for them to know how to get started and be successful.”  


Dr. Katherine Hallemeier
Dr. Katherine Hallemeier

Katherine Hallemeier  

Hallemeier’s interest in transdisciplinary research sparked in graduate school, where she worked alongside a diverse team doing HIV/AIDS research. Hallemeier, an associate professor in the Department of English, will serve as the research fellow for the arts and humanities.   

My research and teaching in the field of anglophone global literature has been consistently transdisciplinary,” Hallemeier said. “The study of English often leads you in multiple — sometimes surprising — directions, from history and politics to data analysis and bioethics.”  

Hallemeier said she anticipates taking a collaborative approach to her role as a research fellow.  

“I look forward to working with faculty, students and staff across the humanities and CAS, including my fellow Faculty Fellows and the CAS Research leadership team,” Hallemeier said. “I'm hoping to contribute to the development of workshops and symposia that foster transdisciplinary connections across the university.  

“I also aim to prioritize the development and promotion of resource guides that address funding opportunities and opportunities for research that includes community engagement within the humanities.” 


Dr. Yolanda Vasquez
Dr. Yolanda Vasquez

Yolanda Vasquez  

Vasquez has been a faculty member in the Department of Chemistry for 12 years and will be serving as the research fellow for the math and sciences pillar. Vasquez said she has participated in interdisciplinary opportunities over the years that have helped her forge relationships with faculty across the CAS disciplines.  

 “As a materials scientist, I often interact with chemists, biologists, engineers, and physicists to either evaluate materials' properties or to help develop the applications of these materials,” Vasquez said. “Having experience communicating science with a diverse group of investigators and an understanding of how they think about certain problems will position me to help bring teams together to tackle problems that need a transdisciplinary solution.” 

In this role, Vasquez said she hopes to enhance communications and reduce barriers to math and sciences statewide.  

“One of my goals is to better connect Oklahomans with our scientists and mathematicians at OSU,” Vasquez said. “The expertise housed within mathematics and the sciences can collectively help solve largerresearchproblemsin our communities, but sometimes we can be siloed due to field-specific expectations about which scientific questions are considered worthy of our time. By connecting with our communities, we can get a better understanding of how we can make a difference and have an impact here in Oklahoma.”

Learn more about CAS research.  

Story By: Erin Weaver, CAS Communications Coordinator |

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