Senator Spotlight September 2015
The September 2015 Senator Spotlight is on Denise Bodman.
What unit do you represent?
I actually represent the entire senate (as Parliamentarian) but I teach in the T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics (aka The Sanford School).
How many years have you served on the Senate?
Whoa…I had to look this up because it seems like forever. I started back in 2006, when I also served on the Committee on Committees. I’ve also served on the CLAS Senate and even became presiding officer. I’ve served on various ad hoc committees at the university, including student retention, online learning, and the first ad hoc committee addressing non-tenure track faculty issues. This is my second year as parliamentarian.
How many years have you been employed at ASU? What other institutions have you taught at before coming to ASU?
I’ve been at ASU for over 25 years. I spent one year as a visiting professor at BYU in 2006/2007.
What is your research and/or creative activities focus?
My position is a teaching position but my activities extend beyond teaching, as I believe everything (from research to writing to community involvement) informs and betters my teaching. In 2013, I went to the University of Sichuan in China and partnered with one of their professors to address retirement in China (and the U.S.). While in China, I also presented on death/dying. I’ve also written a column/blog for the Arizona Republic (on parenting). My focus has always been parenting, family, and over the last 6 years, diversity. Heck…this is LIFE! What could be more interesting than that?!
Why did you decide to get involved with the Senate?
I was *appointed* to the senate (i.e., it was my turn) and my belief system says if one is going to do something, one should do it well. I discovered that the senate serves an extremely useful purpose. My service in the senate helped me see that this body is not simply an isolated unit that is out of touch with the majority of faculty. Indeed, it is essential as part of our role as faculty. Without the senate, our voice would not be heard.
Describe what you have learned during your time on the Senate.
I was told by one former administrator that ASU is a benevolent dictatorship and that just because the senate wants something doesn’t mean it will happen. A bit of a reality check…but I keep my Pollyanna attitude that we are important.
What committees have you participated in, or would like to participate in and what were you able to (or hope to) accomplish.
What would you say to your peers who might be considering accepting a nomination or nominating themselves for a position on the Senate?
GO FOR IT! We, as individuals, need to be agents of change and it won’t happen if we don’t step up to the plate. I’ve learned much through my association with and participation in the university senate. It provides a big picture, informs about programs on/off campus, and provides a wonderful venue for establishing friendships and collegial relationships across disciplines.