Senator Spotlight March 2022

Name Stephanie Downie

What unit do you represent?

Languages and Cultures

How many years have you served in the Senate?

Three years

How many years have you been employed at ASU?

15 years

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

Virginia Commonwealth University and University of Georgia

What is your research and/or creative activities focus?

 My research and teaching focus is on creating more experiential learning opportunities for first- and second-year undergraduates. During my time in CISA, I developed a stand-alone ENG 102 ProMod course open to all majors which is meant to foster a desire in students to connect with and serve their communities. I want to help transform the first-year experience from something often considered a slog through core curriculum before getting to one’s major-related coursework into an opportunity for students to apply these new skills in personally meaningful ways.

Why did you decide to get involved with the Senate?  

During my years as a full-time instructor, I had no voice, so as a lecturer, I jumped at the opportunity to finally participate in faculty governance.

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

I hoped to learn more about the relationships among faculty, university administration, and the Board of Regents, and I certainly achieved that. In particular, I wanted to see why it is so hard to dismantle the inequities that persist in higher education, despite the abundance of intelligent people and desire for progress.

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

I had hoped to be on the Personnel Committee because I was aware that outstanding RFCs pertaining to NTE faculty remained to be addressed. Instead, I served on the University Services and Facilities Committee, which proved to be very interesting given the recent and ongoing development across ASU’s campuses.

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?

I would say that serving as senator is a fantastic way to better understand how ASU functions. It’s also a great opportunity to meet colleagues and staff from a wide range of fields and learn about their important contributions.  It has been a fascinating and gratifying experience for me.



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