Faculty Spotlight: Barbara Norrander


Faculty Spotlight:  Professor NorranderBarbara Norrander's picture


At what institution did you do your undergraduate and graduate work?

Undergraduate: University of Minnesota   

Graduate: Ohio State University


What was your favorite course in your undergraduate career?

“My favorite course was my first course on voting behavior, I thought it was really fun to be able to play with survey data.”


What is your field of research in?

“My field of research is in elections, voters, and election laws.”


What initiated your interest in this field?

“I did my original research on presidential primaries because when I was coming out of college, they started to do all the reforms on the presidential primaries that led to the proliferation and to the new rules by the parties, and so it was considered a topic of the day.


What inspired you to want to teach?

“I found that what I was doing was really interesting to me, so I thought it would be interesting for other people, hopefully.”


What do you think a professor’s role is in a student’s academic journey?

“I think it is to provide them with some basic information and information on the different viewpoints so they can be better informed when they make their own decisions.”


What words of advice do you have for students who may be taking your course(s)?

“Make sure to do all the homework and get your papers in on time.”


What is your teaching philosophy?

“Sort of what I previously mentioned, giving students basic information and presentation on the different sides of an issue and try to be sort of neutral.”


What do you like to do in your free time?

“I quilt and I like word puzzles, crossword puzzles, number puzzles, and pretty much any type of puzzle. I just bought my Ipad, and there’s a lot of puzzle apps.”


Who is your greatest inspiration?

“I grew up in Minnesota, and I always admired Hubert Humphrey. He was the big politician of the state, and he was an early supporter of Civil Rights, so in the 1940s he was pushing for civil rights and other kinds of liberal causes. People remember him more for being vice president, but before that time he was known as a liberal senator who tried to get the civil rights reformed.”