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Senator Spotlight October 2021


This Month's Senator Spotlight is on Christofer Bang 

What unit do you represent?

School of Life Sciences  

How many years have you served in the Senate? 

This is my second year

How many years have you been employed at ASU? 

Since 2011, hey that’s a decade already!

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

I was a middle school teacher in Norway, teaching science, math and music, and taught zoology and entomology field courses at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences before my wife and I moved to the US. I did my PhD here at ASU.

What is your research and/or creative activities focus? 

I consider myself an ecologist. I love taking students and kids outdoors and see them fascinated by nature. I participate in educational research, spearheading development of new online courses, and I always look for new ways for my students to learn science. I’m currently collaborating with the Dreamscape Learn initiative to add virtual reality and science fiction to my intro biology classes. I am a proud father of three wonderful kids, and they consume the rest of my creative focus.

 Why did you decide to get involved with the Senate? 

A few years ago, as a lecturer and non-tenure eligible (NTE) faculty, I started to as ask around about professional development and promotion. The information was surprisingly hard to find, and after talking with colleagues, they shared similar experiences. I established a group of NTE faculty in my unit and things started moving in the right direction. My unit elected me to the university senate, and here I am trying to make a difference!

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

As I see the mutual support between the ASU leadership and the senate, I believe we can move mountains! I am particularly encouraged by the senate continuously advocating for inclusivity, diversity and equity not just for faculty, but for all employees and students. 

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

I am a member of the personnel committee. In this role, I want to help build processes that allow ASU to value their NTE faculty more. With higher valuation, we can recruit and retain the best teachers for our students. I have seen top candidates for teaching positions selecting community colleges before ASU because we could not offer competitive contracts. Such outcomes are undesirable when part of ASU’s mission is to demonstrate leadership in academic excellence and accessibility. 

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 recommend it!