Beth A. Fisher, Ph.D. joined The Teaching Center as Assistant Director in 2006 and became Director of Academic Services in 2012. Beth has been a lecturer in the Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies since 2001 and currently teaches Gender and Consumer Culture in Late 19th- and Early 20th-Century U.S. Fiction. Beth has also taught literature and expository writing at the University of Iowa, the University of Missouri-St. Louis, and Fontbonne University.
Beth enjoys collaborating with faculty colleagues from across the disciplines to develop effective teaching methods. She leads the development of Teaching Center programs on evidence-based teaching for faculty. She works with her colleagues on the development of The Teaching Center’s faculty programs—such as workshops, Summer Faculty Institutes on Teaching, the Mentoring in STEM Teaching program, and the biennial iTeach symposium, and she directs the Center’s programs on inclusive teaching and learning. Other areas of expertise include integrating writing into course design, developing rubrics to evaluate writing, integrating peer review, and structuring and facilitating discussions.
Beth also leads the development of The Teaching Center’s website and other publications. She has published several articles on faculty development and on nineteenth-century American literature. In addition, Beth collaborates on Teaching Center scholarship projects, including AAU-supported programs on improving STEM Education and the integration of the OPAL observation protocol into faculty consultations.
Beth’s experience in program development includes her role in helping to launch the Washington University First-Year Reading Program (YFRP). During each the first two years of the Reading Program (2003-2004), she edited the FYRP anthology, created teaching materials, and served as the project manager. In 2004-2005, Beth devoted her expertise in writing, editing, and managing projects to a position with a local non-profit organization that is dedicated to improving the lives of women and their families.
A specialist in nineteenth-century American literature and culture, Beth has investigated how the development of a nascent consumer culture between the 1850s and the 1870s altered dominant ideas about gender. Her research has been supported by a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship Foundation Dissertation Grant in Women’s Studies (2000) and by a University of Iowa Seashore Fellowship (2000-2001). Beth has published and presented on critical and pedagogical topics related to fiction by the recently rediscovered Mexican-American writer María Amparo Ruiz de Burton, as well as by more widely known writers such as Harriet Beecher Stowe, Henry James, and Edith Wharton.
Beth earned an A.B., summa cum laude, in English from Washington University in 1992 and an M.A. (1997) and a Ph.D. (2001) in English and American literature from the University of Iowa, where she first developed her love of teaching.