The key players who established our department's identity, mission and vision.

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Founding Members and Early Trailblazers of the Department

Constance T. Fischer, Ph.D.

Dr. Fischer was born in 1938 in Oahu, Hawaii. Thanks to her father's military career, she traveled widely during her early years. Her undergraduate work was done at the University of Oklahoma where she received her B.A. degree with a major in political science in 1960. Her keen interest in political philosophy led her to the works of Sartre and Camus, as well as the existential thought of Kierkegaard and Buber. She received her M.A. degree in psychology in 1963 from the University of Kentucky and her Ph.D. degree in clinical psychology with a minor in philosophy and social psychology in 1966. She worked as a clinical intern at the V.A. Neuropsychiatric Hospital in Lexington, where she came in contact with Drs. Joseph Lyons and Richard Griffith, existential-phenomenological research psychologists.

Fischer met Dr. Amadeo Giorgi at the Lexington Conference on Phenomenology in 1965, and joined Duquesne as an assistant professor of psychology the following year. Throughout her subsequent decades as a faculty member at Duquesne, Fischer developed an expertise in teaching graduate courses on the area of psychological testing and assessment. She developed her own alternatives to traditional theory and practice of assessment, and in ways that met her interest in social responsibility. Her work on co-participation in the area of testing and assessment opened up fresh and original application of the phenomenological approach to psychology.

In 1985, Fischer published an assessment textbook, Individualizing Psychological Assessment, which teaches her innovative, phenomenological approach to psychological assessment. Over the years, she has published over 60 articles on assessment, qualitative research on privacy, intimacy, and being criminally victimized. She has also been extremely active in various professional organizations of psychology, as well as served as chair on various committees and boards.

Dr. Fischer is now a Professor Emeritus at Duquesne University.