Linda Elaine Fisher
Linda Elaine Fisher, associate professor of biology and microbiology
and chair of the biology discipline at U-MDearborn, died at
the emergency room at Garden City Hospital Aug. 13. She was 54.
Fishers research focused on virology and microbiology with
a special interest in emerging infectious diseases, including measles,
West Nile Virus and HIV. She was a national leader in the area of
science education. She lectured to professional groups on how to
improve science teaching at the secondary and college levels and
on ways to encourage women and minorities to pursue careers in science.
Her teaching was characterized by deep concern for students
learning and for their ability to write, says physics Prof.
Paul W. Zitzewitz, chairman of the Department of Natural Sciences.
She was the kind of colleague with whom you could feel comfortable
in discussing both professional and personal issues, and for that
reason, she had many close friends across campus, he says.
Even though she had health problems over the past few years,
she remained cheerful and positive, and devoted to the University.
Fisher earned her bachelors degree in microbiology and German
at the University of Kansas in 1969 and her doctoral degree in microbiology
there in 1974. She was a postdoctoral fellow at the Roche Institute
of Molecular Biology in New Jersey and at the Pennsylvania State
University College of Medicine before joining the U-MDearborn
faculty as assistant professor of biology in 1978.
She was promoted to associate professor with tenure in 1984. Fisher
also served as a visiting scientist at the St. Jude Childrens
Research Hospital in Memphis and as a visiting professor at Spelman
College in Atlanta.
Fisher was active in the American Society for Microbiology at
the local and national levels. In 2001, she received a two-year
appointment in the Waksman Foundation for Microbiology lecturers
program, which provides speakers for scientific meetings.
For her service to womens issues on campus and in the community,
Fisher was awarded the U-MDearborn Susan B. Anthony Award
in 1988. She also was recognized for her mentoring activities by
an award from the Detroit chapter of the Association for Women in
Fisher served on numerous campus committees, including the chancellor
search committee in 1999-2000, the College of Arts, Sciences and
Letters executive committee, the Faculty Senate, the disability
resources advisory committee and a diversity task force.
In addition to her teaching and research, Fisher was advisor to
the biological students honor society, Tri-Beta, and volunteered
several summers as an instructor in a program to introduce girls
to the world of science. The program, called Labcoats and
Microscopes, was coordinated with the Michigan Metro Girl
Fisher was a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.
She is survived by her husband, Louis, an architect, and her 14-year-old
son, Jason. A memorial service was held for Fisher Aug. 24. Contributions
can be made to U-MDearborn to support students in the sciences.
Checks can be sent to the Office of Institutional Advancement, Room
1040 Administration Building, 4901 Evergreen Road, Dearborn, Mich.
Submitted by Terry Gallagher, U-MDearborn
Nathalie Drews, an associate professor emerita of social work who
was known for her research on death and dying, died Aug. 26. She
Drews received her masters degree from the School of Social
Work in 1951. After graduation, she worked for the city of Detroit
Department of Public Welfare and provided social services in Europe
for the American Red Cross, which allowed her to satisfy her love
She joined the staff at U-Ms University Hospital in 1956
and joined the School of Social Work as an assistant professor shortly
thereafter. She was a distinguished and well-loved teacher, mentor
to many students, founding member of the Turner Geriatric Services
Advisory Committee, research scientist at the Institute of Gerontology
and assistant dean for student services at the School of Social
Drews retired in 1992. She is best known for her pioneering research
in the areas of death and dying, and will be remembered for her
devotion to students and years of dedication to the school.
A funeral was held on Aug. 30, with interment in Holland, Mich.
Drews is survived by friend Leona Jacobs, brother and sister-in-law
John and Lily Drews, and several nieces and nephews.
Submitted by the School of Social Work