Senator Spotlight January 2024

YOUR NAME:   Laverne Dacosta

What unit do you represent?

I represent the Polytechnic Social Science unit, College of Integrative Sciences and Arts (CISA).

How many years have you served in the Senate?

This is my first year serving on a University Senate Committee. I am in my third year as a Senator representing my unit and the current Parliamentarian on the College Assembly Council (CAC).

How many years have you been employed at ASU?

I have been at ASU for more than 30 years. My employment experience includes serving in various roles as staff support, student, and faculty.

What other institutions have you taught at before coming to ASU?

I taught at Chandler-Gilbert and Mesa Community Colleges as an adjunct faculty before joining Polytechnic Social Science as an instructor in 2013. Prior to these roles, I was a graduate teaching assistant and graduate research assistant, Interdisciplinary Curriculum and Instruction, Mary Lou Fulton College of Education, Tempe.

What is your research and/or creative activities focus?

My primary activities are teaching and student mentoring. I serve in various student engagement and success roles in the Polytechnic Social Science unit and in CISA. Additionally, I take part in course revisions and curriculum creation and planning activities. My research presentations focus on Curriculum Studies, Cultural Studies, Youth Sociology, and Mobile Technology and Pedagogy of the Internet.

Why did you decide to get involved with the Senate?

I believe strongly in the value of public service and participation. I became involved in the Senate because I wanted to learn more about how ASU functions and to contribute to the processes of shared governance. It was important that my unit was represented in the Senate where major university decisions are discussed and decided.

Describe what you have learned (or hope to learn) during your time in the Senate?

During my time in the Senate, I came to appreciate the importance of shared governance. I became more aware of ASU’s aspirations, development of ideas, and plans that lead to policies, standards, and 21st century innovations that make ASU a leading education institution.

What committees have you participated in, or would like to participate in and what were you able to (or hope to) accomplish?

In August 2023, I join the University Senate and University Services and Facilities Committee (USFC). This committee does important work which contributes to the effective functioning of the university’s facilities on all campuses. I am grateful to be able to work with such dedicated colleagues and contribute to this important work. In the future, I would welcome the opportunity to serve on the University Senate’s Curriculum Committee.

What would you say to your peers who might be considering accepting a nomination or nominating himself or herself for a position in the University Senate?

The thought of serving in the University Senate might be daunting at first, but it is a role in which you can learn quickly and comfortably. You will become aware of the many committees on which you can serve and form meaningful connections with peers on issues of mutual interest and expertise. You will also realize networking opportunities that may not have been accessible otherwise. I knew nothing of what it meant to be a Senator, but I took the opportunity to fill the role when the unit’s previous Senator’s tenure ended. It can be a rewarding experience.

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