Fisher Receives Distinguished Alumni Award from University of Utah

Posted: May 16th, 2017

April 17, 2017 University of Utah Distinguished Alumni Dinner

Professor Ellen Fisher was recently awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Utah Department of Chemistry. This award was established by the university to recognize and honor their most prominent and successful alumni from their undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral programs. About four alumni are awarded each year, and are invited to the University of Utah for a reception and dinner in their honor. While visiting the University of Utah, Fisher gave a lecture to attending students about some of her research titled “Confessions of a Gas-Phase Chemist in a Materials World. Plasma Chemistry from the Gas-Phase, the Surface and the Gas-Surface Interface: Fluorocarbon Plasmas.”  The ceremony and dinner were held at the University of Utah’s S.J. Quinney College of Law building, overlooking the Salt Lake Valley. The Department of Chemistry at the University of Utah stated that “We were absolutely delighted to have Ellen back with us for these few days, and thrilled to present her with this award in honor of her exceptional work.”

Ellen Fisher and graduate advisor Peter Armentrout, University of Utah Distinguished Alumni Dinner

While at the awards ceremony and dinner, Ellen spoke of her time at the University of Utah, and some of the relationships that she formed with her mentors. She explained how they affected her education and future endeavors. Fisher commented that, ” I am deeply honored to have been selected for the award.  Choosing to go to graduate school and specifically choosing the University of Utah for my graduate studies was one of the best decisions I ever made in my life.  It truly changed and shaped my vision of who I am as a scientist, educator, and scholar.  Although often difficult, I have very fond memories of my graduate school years.  At the awards dinner, I was given the opportunity to speak briefly and noted that I continue to use what I learned at Utah on almost a daily basis.  One of the key lessons I learned was how important it is to be mindful of how we mentor and nurture students as they truly are our the hope of the future – they are likely to be the ones who solve the global challenges facing the world today.

Ellen Fisher is a Professor of Analytical, Physical, and Materials Chemistry and the inaugural director of a new cross-disciplinary initiative, the School of Advanced Materials Discovery (SAMD) at Colorado State University (CSU). She also currently serves as the Senior Faculty Advisor to the Vice President for Research.  Dr. Fisher received a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry and Mathematics from Texas Lutheran University (formerly College) in 1986 (summa cum laude) and a Ph.D. in physical-analytical chemistry from the University of Utah in 1991. She performed postdoctoral research at Sandia National Labs before joining the faculty at CSU in 1993. Fisher has published over 150 original peer-reviewed articles that span diverse topics in plasma science, materials chemistry, chemistry education and the responsible conduct of research. Fisher has graduated 18 Ph.D. and four M.S. students, five students are currently pursuing the Ph.D. under her guidance, and she has mentored ~45 undergraduate research students, many of whom have gone on to graduate and professional programs.  In recognition of her efforts in research and education she has received the NSF CAREER award, was named an Office of Naval Research Young Investigator and a Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar.  She has also received numerous awards from CSU, including the Jack E. Cermak Outstanding Graduate Advisor Award, the Natural Sciences Award for Mentoring Undergraduate Research, and the Hazaleus Award for Empowering Women.  Professor Fisher is a Fellow of American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the American Chemical Society (ACS) and the American Vacuum Society (AVS). She has served on the editorial boards of several technical journals in her field and is currently an Executive Editor of the American Chemical Society journal ACS-Applied Materials and Interfaces.  For her outstanding efforts and excellence in research, teaching and service, the College of Natural Sciences at CSU named her a Professor Laureate in 2009 and in 2010 she was honored with the University’s highest award for research, the Scholarship Impact Award.

To read more about Fisher’s research, please click here.

Congratulations Ellen on all of your accomplishments!!