Our Valued Volunteers: 5 Questions for David Bantz,  IAM – University of Alaska 

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By Apryl Motley - Technical Writer & Communications Lead, Internet2 Trust and Identity/NET+ Service

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

InCommon Community

Did you know that in 2021 InCommon volunteers collectively contributed 2,343 hours of time to help move the IAM community forward? We couldn’t do all we do without our valued volunteers. With this year’s Call for InCommon Advisory Committee Nominations currently underway, we are  highlighting some of our current and past volunteers from the community. (You can volunteer too! Submit your nomination by October 21.)

David Bantz currently serves as chair of the InCommon Community Trust and Assurance Board (CTAB), which represents the community in InCommon Federation’s trust and assurance related programs and initiatives. David has spent close to half of 24-year tenure at the University of Alaska in identity and access management (IAM). 

Read on to learn more about him and his experience volunteering with InCommon. 

David Bantz

How did you first enter the IAM profession?

I sometimes describe my work in IAM as an extension of my academic work in philosophy dealing with identity puzzles, such as clones, persistence of something’s identity through changes including replacement of all its parts, or time travel paradoxes. But it’s also true to say that I stumbled into IAM as a consequence of deploying an institutional directory using iPlanet Directory Server.

What motivated you to volunteer with the InCommon community?

Smart informed people willing to share expertise to solve real problems and enhance higher education.

In what ways did volunteering benefit you? What did you enjoy most?

I’ve been able to work with great people from other institutions who usually have better ideas than I do – at least until I make them mine too. Working with others in InCommon is a welcome shift away from break-fix and other pressing and mundane day-to-day work and keeps my perspective appropriately focused on fundamentals and longer term goals.

Would you recommend volunteering to your peers? Why?

This is likely one of your most enjoyable and useful opportunities for professional growth.

What advice would you offer to peers who are considering committee participation?

Ask what needs or challenges trouble you or spark your interest. Find the group(s) working on those issues and seek to join them.

Take David’s advice! These committees are seeking new members:

  • InCommon Steering Committee
  • InCommon Technical Advisory Committee (TAC)
  • Community Trust and Assurance Board (CTAB)
  • Community Architecture Committee for Trust and Identity (CACTI)
  • eduroam Advisory Committee (eAC)

For more information about these groups, refer to these descriptions or visit www.incommon.org/community/leadership.

If you have any questions about the nomination process, please contact tSue Gavazzi, InCommon Community Liaison, at sgavazzi@internet2.edu.

We hope that like David you will consider becoming a volunteer and helping us to make a positive impact on the community. Submit your nomination!

Fun Facts About David
Favorite Superhero: Mr. Spock
How He Takes His Coffee: Strong and black (espresso roast)
Best IAM Advice He Ever Received (& from whom): “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes you might get what you need.” (slightly mis-quoting Mick Jagger and Keith Richards)