Dr. Scott Fier named Saddleback College Professor of the Year

Dr. Scott Fier stands proudly in front of the school marquis

Johnny Wilson

Dr. Scott Fier, chemistry instructor and department chair, has been awarded the title of Saddleback’s 2013 Professor of the Year.

Since a young age, Fier has had a genuine passion for education. At age five, Fier’s father took him on a campus visit to the University of California Irvine. Fast forward to 1984, and Fier had successfully completed his master’s degree in chemistry at UCI.

During his pre-grad years at UCI, Fier discovered his passion not only for educating himself, but for instructing others as well. Shortly after turning 18 his freshman year, Fier signed up to volunteer as a coach for a local Little League baseball team.

Fier’s dedication to helping others became a top priority for him soon thereafter.

“I think I spent most of the spring quarter worrying about my baseball team and less about chemistry,” Fier said.

Four years later, in 1978, Fier obtained his bachelor’s degree in both chemistry and biological sciences.

The following year after graduating, Fier returned to UCI to complete his teaching credentials.

What happened next was a combination of chance and hard work. As a student in UCI’s teacher education program, Fier spent his spring quarter as a student teacher at Irvine High School. Later that summer, a mere three days before Irvine High began classes, he received a phone call from the school’s principal Dean Waldfogle. A last minute position for a math teacher had opened up, and Fier took the job. He went on to teach there for 13 years thereafter.

He left Irvine High in 1993 to become a full-time chemistry instructor at Saddleback College. In 2002, Fier took over as chair of the chemistry department.

Fier has become known for his commitment to helping students both in and outside of the classroom.

“What I love about him is that he doesn’t just give you the answers, he makes you think,” said Maryam Sabahi, 21, biology, who is currently enrolled in Fier’s Chemistry 1A course.

Furthermore, Fier’s concern for students goes beyond the scope of Saddleback classrooms. He not only takes pride in having students pass his class, but also “sending students off to four-year universities and having them say that they were incredibly well prepared,” Fier said, “and in fact even better than the students that were already there,” he added.

Fier is one of the select faculty being honored at Saddleback; however, the amount of students affected by his dedication is innumerable.