Debra Fischer, awarded the Dylan Hixon ‘88 Prize for teaching excellence in the natural sciences

Wed, 05/08/2019

Debra Fischer is one of five faculty members honored with prizes for exceptional teaching.

Yale College Dean Marvin Chun said,  Debra Fischer, professor of astronomy, you have a gift for teaching students who are not majoring in the sciences. In your course ‘Origins and the Search for Life in the Universe,’ you weave together ‘physics, chemistry, and biology to explore an engaging, challenging question of whether life exists elsewhere in a manner that is rigorous but approachable.’

In nominating you for this prize, students praise you for being so extraordinarily effective at teaching science to non-science students:

Dr. Fischer’s course has helped me develop a greater appreciation for science as a powerful method for grappling with challenging questions.

… The exam was actually enjoyable; Professor Fischer created this masterpiece that allowed us to extrapolate upon everything we’ve learned this year.’

One student sums up the case for awarding you a prize like this: ‘As a few of my classmates discussed during finals, “Somebody give [her] a prize for being the best person ever!” While Yale doesn’t have the capacity to do quite that, I do at least hope that we can recognize her teaching.’

For your devotion to teaching, Yale College is delighted to bestow the Dylan Hixon ’88 Prize for Teaching Excellence in the Natural Sciences and Mathematics on you, Professor Debra Fischer.”

Excerpt from Yale News article written by Susan Gonzalez, May 8, 2019

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