Paul and Barbara Zitzewitz give $200,000 to support science education and teaching facilities at UM-Dearborn

May 19, 2009

Barbara and Paul Zitzewitz

DEARBORN / May 19, 2009---Prof. Paul Zitzewitzís influence on science education at the University of Michigan-Dearborn will not end with his retirement.  Paul and his wife Barbara have made of gift of $200,000 to be used to support science teaching facilities and programs in the Department of Natural Sciences on campus.

Zitzewitz retired from active faculty status on April 30 and was named professor emeritus of physics by the U-M Regents at their May meeting.  The Zitzewitzes made their gift in 2006, with the condition that it be kept anonymous until Paulís retirement.
In recognition of their gift, Room 1022 in the UM-Dearborn 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 wasnít 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, Barbara, 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 who helped inform Paulís 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.

Paul and Barbara Zitzewitzís example also helped encourage their two grown children to pursue academic careers.  Eric Zitzewitz is associate professor of economics at Dartmouth College; Karin Zitzewitz, who earned her Ph.D. in anthropology at Columbia University, is teaching at Michigan State University



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