My name is Trond Petersen. I am the Director of BISP, and a Professor in the Department of Sociology and in the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, and also serve as Executive Associate Dean in the College of Letters and Science. I grew up in Oslo, Norway, finished two Masters degrees at the University of Oslo and came to the United States in 1982 as a PhD student at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. I was previously at the Faculty in the Department of Sociology at Harvard University 1985-1988 and came to UC Berkeley in 1988. My research areas are on inequality, gender inequality, the role of family policy for equality, and quantitative methods.
It was 16 years ago that I started the BISP program, as a way to provide a unique opportunity for international students to experience the incredible courses and campus life Berkeley has to offer. It started with a group of students from Norway that we sponsored, and it now has grown tremendously in numbers and diversity to include students from many parts of the world. The hard-working BISP staff now coordinate the program and support our students. Speaking as a professor, it is wonderful to have these students in our classes and engaging in our program activities. It is truly a multi-cultural learning environment for all of our foreign visitors and UC Berkeley students, and the lives of students and Berkeley as a whole are enriched by this program.
In my spare time I like to read novels and history books, go to the Opera and the Symphony, and to travel to many corners of the world.