Beth Haynes, professor of economics in the Business Management Department, chose to retire early after what she described as a quick decision. “I think it’s good because I’m a weepy person and I know I’m going to cry,” she said while laughing.
Having worked at BYU-Hawaii for 23 years, Haynes said she “needed to be near my family and that I’m supposed to do it now.” Haynes said she is excited to be a lot closer to her extended family. “I can finally reconnect with the ones whom I haven’t spent much time with.”
Another reason Haynes mentioned is the rebuilding of the faculty town houses she lives in right now. She said, “I realized I'd have to move my household three times and then it really is my time to retire. I don’t want my last months in Laie to be spent packing and unpacking. I want to enjoy the people and the place. Since BYUH has an early retirement program, I decided to go ahead and retire so I can move once.”
Describing herself as happy and sad, Haynes said she will miss the students, school, and Laie. She added, “I loved what I’ve done and being able to teach for my career.”
One of the most meaningful things for her was working with students on research projects in their home countries. “I saw them get so excited about the opportunities and potential they saw in their home countries, and they gained the sense they could make a difference.” She taught a Vietnamese student who didn’t think there were any opportunities for her back home until Haynes went with the student to do research. “The trip made her realize opportunities are available everywhere,” he said.
In 2005, Haynes took a group of students to Cambodia. They visited several orphanages and met one student who is now attending BYUH: Pattica San.
“I’ve met with him several times since he got here, but it took us a few meetings before we made a connection. I pulled up photos I took when I was in Cambodia, and he told me that he’s in one,” Haynes said.
She said it amazed her to have the kid she met years ago standing in her office. “He received school supplies and toys from BYUH students when he was a kid. Now he’s already a student here.”
Self-described as a reserved person, Haynes said she doesn’t know if students were able to see how much she cared about them. She said, “I want my students to make as much progress as they can. Sometimes they think I’m really pushing them, but I want them to accomplish as much as they can.” Haynes continued, “They only have one chance to study economics here, and they need to learn as much as possible.”
Richie Norton, former managing coordinator of the Willes Center, said Haynes inspired him by “walking the talk. She always looks for ways to help people, and she has a knack for collaborating with others to create a deep and wide impact for good in countries worldwide.”
Norton said Haynes taught him about the importance of entrepreneurship. He said, “BYUH students shouldn’t just be employees, they should be employers. There is a way we can help each other by being creators and not only consumers. She emphasized in class the importance of creating jobs and not just taking jobs.” He said Haynes even helped him develop to get published in the Journal of Microfinance in 2005.
Haynes is really good at seeing the interests of students, paying attention to what they want, and helping them with their goals, said Norton. “I’m sad that she’s retiring because she's a great teacher, but I’m happy for her," he added.
Thiery Quimsing, an alumnus from the Philippines, said he likes how knowledgeable Haynes is in economics. “I believe all the things discussed in her class were very helpful for business students… She always does her best so the students will understand the importance of principles in economics and learn as much as they want.”
Quimsing said he believes Haynes will be remembered by students. “It’s sad to hear that an expert in economics is going to retire,” he said. “She contributed a lot to the success of many.”
Pushing her students to fulfill their potential throughout her career, Haynes said, “I can see potential in them, and sometimes they don’t even realize how much potential they have.”
Haynes shared how she tried to “soak up” the BYUH experience. “When I’m not at work I hike and stand up paddleboard, my two favorite outdoor activities.” She said she’s looking forward to new adventures during retirement. “I have more time for hiking, reading, and travelling,” she added.
Her favorite part of being employed at BYUH was “the diversity of people. I felt that I was in a place with a sense of mission.”
Haynes shared the most rewarding part throughout her stay was the research projects she conducted with students. “It’s been a privilege to be here and I hope my influence was good. I love it when my former students stay in contact with me,” Haynes continued.