Carolyn Fisher wins prestigious Future Leaders Award

Carolyn Fisher, graduate student in molecular biology and genetics

Winter 2014

The Association of American Colleges and Universities has announced that Cornell University graduate student Carolyn Fisher was one of the 2015 recipients of the annual K. Patricia Cross Future Leaders Award.

This award recognizes graduate students who show exemplary promise as future leaders of higher education; who demonstrate a commitment to developing academic and civic responsibility in themselves and in others; and whose work reflects a strong emphasis on teaching and learning. The award is named in honor of K. Patricia Cross, professor of higher education, emerita, at the University of California, Berkeley.

Fisher, a doctoral student in biochemistry, molecular, and cell biology, studies the signaling mechanisms behind the amyloid precursor protein, which is implicated as a central player in the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Her research at Cornell’s Nicolson Lab could contribute towards finding a treatment.

Fisher is a big believer in “paying it forward” to the students, scientists, and leaders of tomorrow, “my biggest passions in life are helping others and motivating students in STEM, especially science.”

To this end, she co-founded an outreach and service organization, GEEKS (Graduate Students Employing Empathy, Knowledge, & Service) and has led workshops , including a “Reverse Your Tastebuds!” biochemistry workshop, for middle and high school students with the goal of inspiring future generations of talented STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) scholars.

She credits professional development and teaching workshops organized by CTE (Center for Teaching Excellence) and CU-CIRTL (Cornell Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning) for helping develop her teaching and mentoring skills.

Recipient of a National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship and a strong advocate for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) education, Fisher’s passion for teaching has been recognized through various TA awards and fellowships including the CALS Outstanding TA award, the Joseph Calvo Teaching Award, the Graduate Research Teaching Fellowship (GRTF), and the Graduate Teaching Assistant Fellowship (GTAF). Currently, she is serving as a community leader, mentor, and role model for undergraduate students in Cornell’s West Campus Housing as a Graduate Resident Fellow (GRF).

As a biochemistry doctoral student, Fisher understands the value of encouraging students to pursue STEM education and careers. As an enthusiastic mentor, community leader, and TA, she is excited to lead the next generation of STEM scholars in their pursuit of professional and personal greatness, and to have a lasting impact on the science leaders of tomorrow.

The above originally appeared in the Winter 2014 Graduate School Alumni Newsletter