Hester Fassel

Honored by:The Zoology and Genetics Department
Brick location:PAVER:14  map

Hester Elizabeth Daubek Fassel was a faculty member in the Department of Zoology and Entomology, currently called the Department of Zoology and Genetics, from 1962 until her retirement in 1987. She was an extremely popular teacher and advisor and perhaps influenced more undergraduate students than any other faculty member at the time. She routinely taught large classes such as Zoology 258 or Human Reproduction (affectionately known as Baby Zoo) Zoology 155 or Introduction to Human Anatomy and Physiology Zoology 358 or Human Prenatal Development and 458 or Physiology of Reproduction. A conservative estimate is that she taught over ten thousand students in her career. Numbers don't tell the whole story: Hester was an excellent teacher and was named Veishea Faculty Member of the Year in 1971 and also Sciences and Humanities Professor of the Year the same year. The popularity of Hester's speaking style, which had lots of pizzazz, combined with her subject, human reproduction, led to many requests for her to give talks in residence halls and fraternities and sororities. She gave an estimated twenty talks per year on subjects such as contraception to various campus groups. Hester coordinated and developed a program in Premedical Technology on campus. She established affiliations with several Medical Technology Programs in the state. She advised on average fifty students per year who were interested in becoming medical technologists. In 1985, she became one of the first two advisors ever to be chosen as Sciences and Humanities Outstanding Advisor. Hester contributed in many other ways to campus life. She was named Friend of GSB for her work with that organization. She served as advisor to Mortar Board for several years. She was active in several professional organizations. For example, she was a charter member of the American Society for the Study of Reproduction and a member of the American Fertility Society, Phi Beta Kappa, American Association of University Professors, Iowa Academy of Science, and American Institute for Biological Science. In addition, she was on the board of directors of Planned Parenthood for several years. Hester will be best remembered for her mastery of the art of teaching large classes. Her individualistic, somewhat flamboyant style has become legendary at ISU. The secret to her success was that "she loved students and loved what she was doing." The students returned her love. One student said, "She's interesting, she's understandable, and she knows a lot of things either no one else knows or they aren't willing to tell us; she's just the greatest teacher I've ever had." (ISU Daily April 27 1971)


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Eugenia Farrar
Hester Fassel
Delma Harding
Jody Stadler"