Ellen Fisher is Senior Faculty Advisor (SFA) for Research at Colorado State University (CSU). The SFA plays a lead role in accomplishing Colorado State University’s research and discovery goals. As a key member of the Executive Leadership Team for the Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR), the SFA serves as an advocate for the VPR in a broad array of research administration and operational activities related to CSU’s $313M (FY13) research enterprise.
Prior to joining the OVPR Leadership Team in June, 2014, Fisher served in the CSU chemistry department where she was a professor and Department Chair (2009-2014). Fisher’s research crosses analytical, materials and physical chemistry and focuses on understanding the fundamental chemical processes that take place during plasma processing and chemical vapor deposition. She works to improve solar cell efficiency, develops composite nanomaterials, and explores environmental applications for plasma chemistry.
Fisher’s research has significantly influenced the microelectronics community. Fisher’s wide-ranging scholarship has also had a lasting impact on improving porous polymers for use in desalination and filtration applications; creating novel thin-film and nanostructured materials for use as protective coatings, solar cells, drug-delivery systems, and biocompatible materials; and innovative “green” chemistries that seek to reduce greenhouse gases in engine exhaust and organic contaminants in water. She also has performed research in science education and the responsible conduct of research.
Her teaching interests span diverse topics in Chemistry as well as multidisciplinary Responsible Conduct of Research, and Women in Science seminars for the CSU Women’s Studies program. She has also been involved in a university-wide ethics infusion program designed to help faculty incorporate ethics topics and concepts into their classrooms.
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 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. Prof. Fisher was elected a Fellow of American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in 2011 and of the American Vacuum Society in 2005. She has served on the editorial boards of several technical journals in her field and is currently an Associate 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.
Fisher’s work has resulted in five patent disclosures, more than 135 peer-reviewed journal articles and 120 invited talks. She has graduated 15 Ph.D. and 4 M.S. students, 6 students are currently pursuing the Ph.D. under her guidance, and she has mentored dozens of undergraduate research students, many of whom have gone on to graduate and professional programs across the country.
Fisher performed post-doctoral work from 1991-1993 at the Sandia National Laboratories, and received her doctoral degree from the University of Utah in 1991, and her bachelor’s degree from Texas Lutheran University in 1986.