Retiring professor and wife donate $200,000
to UM-Dearborn program

Paul Zitzewitz's influence on science education at UM-Dearborn will not end with his retirement. He and his wife, Barbara, have made a gift of $200,000 to be used to support science teaching facilities on campus and programs in the Department of Natural Sciences.
(Photo courtesy UM-Dearborn)

Zitzewitz retired from active faculty status on April 30 and was named professor emeritus of physics by the regents at their meeting Thursday. The Zitzewitzes made their gift in 2006, with the condition that it be kept anonymous until Paul Zitzewitz's retirement.

In recognition of the couple's gift, Room 1022 in the Science Learning and Research Center will be named the Zitzewitz Science Education Laboratory.

Paul Zitzewitz is one of the pioneers of science instruction at UM-Dearborn, having taught thousands of students since joining the faculty in 1973. He wasn't long at UM-Dearborn before the question of how to teach physics became as important to him as physics itself. Partly he credits his wife with sparking that interest.

A chemist and teacher, Barbara Zitzewitz also taught courses at UM-Dearborn from 1975 to 1983. Later, she had a variety of other jobs supporting the use of computers in education and developing instructional software products.

It was Barbara Zitzewitz who helped inform her husband's thinking on theories of how students learn, and shared with him research on how to make a science curriculum more successful for students and teachers alike.