Senator Spotlight September 2022
Name: Michael Todd
What unit do you represent?
Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation
How many years have you served in the Senate?
I have been a member of the Senate since Fall 2020.
How many years have you been employed at ASU?
I have been in my current position for 10 years
What other institutions have you taught at before coming to ASU?
My only formal teaching experiences were as a graduate associate when I was a student in the Department of Psychology at the Tempe campus. I taught courses for the Department of Psychology in Tempe and for the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences and the Department of Life Sciences at the West Campus. Between that time and my current employment at ASU, I was a post-doctoral fellow in alcohol research at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine and then an Associate Research Scientist with the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation at the Prevention Research Center in Berkeley.
What is your research and/or creative activities focus?
In my current position as a Research Professor, I serve primarily as a collaborating statistician supporting externally-funded research projects. One major activity in my current role is working with faculty and trainees in developing the quantitative data analysis plans for grant applications. When a project is funded, I continue to collaborate with the research team as a co-investigator (and/or faculty mentor) overseeing management, quality control, and analysis of project data, and contributing as a co-author on scientific presentations and manuscripts. In the past 10 years I have collaborated with dozens of faculty investigators studying a range of health behaviors (primarily physical activity, nutrition, and sleep) and the mechanisms underlying associations among different domains of physical and psychological well-being.
Why did you decide to get involved with the Senate?
In part, I decided to get involved in the Senate because service roles for research track faculty are so very rare. But more importantly, I saw the Senate as a place where I could see “how the sausage is made” and…well…have a hand in making it.
Describe what you have learned (or hope to learn) during your time in the Senate?
In my time in the Senate, I have gained a deeper understanding of how the faculty, academic professionals, and the university administration can collaborate to make the university a place where students, faculty, and staff can succeed, often in the face of competing demands. I hope to continue learning about how the Senate can best serve the interests of these stakeholders and those outside of the university.
What committees have you participated in, or would like to participate in and what were you able to (or hope to) accomplish?
I have served one year as a member of the Research and Creative Activities Committee (RCAC), and will be serving as the chair of RCAC for the 2022-23 academic year. Last year our committee was able to finalize a decision tree to guide investigators, scholars, and creators who are in possession of illegally obtained data or information that they are considering using in their work. I hope that this year, our committee can take up similarly important challenges.
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?
“Do it!”, of course. The Senate affords great opportunities to learn about how the university works and to serve the university community. These opportunities are best realized by listening to colleagues, especially those from different units and disciplines, as they bring up issues and have perspectives we may not have encountered in our own experiences at the university.