The best teachers are perpetual students, and Elizabeth Fry is both. A teaching specialist in the quantitative methods in education program, Fry is pursuing her Ph.D. with the goal of improving the way statistics is taught through research. She teaches EPSY 5261–Introductory Statistical Methods and EPSY 5262–Intermediate Statistical Methods, and has co-taught EPSY 5271–Becoming a Teacher of Statistics.
But Fry didn’t always see herself in a teaching role.
“I got my master’s in statistics at Ohio state, originally with the intention of getting a Ph.D. I really enjoyed the first courses and my experience as a teaching assistant.” She continues, “When I got to my higher level courses, I didn’t like the research in statistics as much. I realized that what I’m really interested in is how my students learn better and what I can do to help them.”
Fry says the most exciting part of her work is seeing students understand complex concepts.
“I know it’s cliche, but I really enjoy when students have those ‘aha’ moments when I try to explain something that’s confusing and then they get it,” she explains. “One thing I really enjoy teaching is simulation based methods.”
When talking with prospective students, Fry shares how she’s found a community of like-minded colleagues and friends in the the Department of Educational Psychology.
“The community here is very collaborative. When I came here, I noticed that students wanted to help each other. It’s not competitive at all.” She continues, “Sometimes we have happy hours. My first year, my classmates and I would get together in study groups. It almost feels like a family. I like that part of this program.” Fry says.
Fry also shares the uniqueness of the statistics education track in the quantitative methods of education program.
“The statistics education track here is very unique. When I applied, it was the only one in the country. I really enjoy it and hope we can draw more students.”
When she finds free time, Elizabeth enjoys working on home improvement projects, painting, crocheting, and taking walks around Minneapolis parks when it’s nice out.