Sharing her phone number with her students, Dr. Fleischer is definitely not your typical college professor. When students call her with questions, she is always surprised by how concerned they are about not wanting to bother her or take too much of her time. However, Fleischer exclaims in response, “I wouldn’t give you my number if I didn’t want you to call me!” Her concern for her students is obvious, but she still makes it a point to constantly tell them how much she really does care.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, Fleischer said that while growing up, it was mandatory for everyone on her street to know how to play ball. She admires Jackie Robinson to this day for his ability to restrain his anger on the field despite all of the threats and negative remarks that he received. As a child, Fleischer was sure that she wanted to become a war correspondent. She greatly revered those who defended our country, and she wanted to make a difference just like them. However, shortly after enrolling at Brooklyn College, she realized that if she really wanted to make a difference, it would be by influencing the next generation.
Fleischer was originally interested in the disciplines of math and science, but after watching her older sister Frieda Zames become a math professor, Fleischer wished to be different. Hence, she went on to study literature and philosophy, obtaining both her master’s and doctoral degrees at New York University. Having previously worked at Queens College, Columbia University, and the University of Akron, Fleischer came to NJIT in 1998. In the past 18 years, she has taught many different courses in the Humanities department, including Literature and Medicine as well as Film and Medicine.
Aside from being a professor, Fleischer is in fact a published author. In 2001, she co-wrote “The Disability Rights Movement: From Charity to Confrontation” with her sister. Essentially, the book describes the disability rights movement in the United States and what it means to be disabled. Fleischer’s sister was diagnosed with polio as just a child, and she became a strong activist for disability rights as an adult. Zames also worked at NJIT, despite her disability, and because of that, Fleischer is especially dedicated to this institution. When asked about what she envisions for the future of NJIT, Fleischer responded saying she wants to see “students who not only want to do well, but also want to do good [in the world].” She firmly believes that the students here at NJIT will be able to fulfill their aspirations of making the world a better place, and she is impressed by their idealism.
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