Meet Dr. Tyler Fisher, UCF’s first Rhodes Scholar


Dr. Tyler Fisher (B.A. English Literature, 2002; B.A. Spanish, 2003) became UCF’s first Rhodes Scholar in December 2002. The scholarship enabled him to undertake a Master’s in European Literature at the University of Oxford. Originally from Fort Myers, Fisher also is an author, poet and musician. He will visit the UCF campus the first week of April to participate in some of the university’s 50th anniversary activities. To find out why he once carried a tribal bow and arrows across the UCF campus, or what he now is looking forward to, keep reading this Q&A:

Please bring us up to date on your career.

After continuing at Oxford for my doctorate in Medieval and Modern Languages and a postdoctoral research fellowship in Spanish literature, I currently teach Spanish language, literature, and history at Royal Holloway, University of London, and Lady Margaret Hall, University of Oxford.

Who inspired your achievements at UCF?

My UCF professors, without a doubt, were the inspiration and catalyst for what I achieved at UCF and beyond. I am especially grateful to my mentors, Dr. Barry Mauer, Dr. Jayashree Shivamoggi, Dr. Alberto Villanueva, Dr. Kevin Meehan, and Dr. Richard Tucker.

  • On fieldwork expeditions that involved mapping oral histories via GPS, Dr. Mauer not only taught me hands-on interviewing and editing skills, he also demonstrated patterns of creative thinking and a true readiness to engage interdisciplinary subjects. His example continues to shape my approaches to research.
  • Dr. Villanueva was officially my professor for Latin American literature, but outside of our class schedule he was a model of pedagogical patience, spending hours correcting my mangled Spanish descriptions of tropical plants. I strive to show the same level of patience when guiding my students in their extracurricular projects.
  • This view of undergraduate education as the sort of learning that transcends a schoolday and spills beyond semester calendars translates readily to sustained, lifelong learning. Dr. Tucker introduced me to UCF’s Learning Institute for Elders.
  • Their friendship, active interest in my work, and enduring encouragement have strengthened my belief that learning should be a lifelong endeavor. It is an attitude I am also trying to impart to my own students.
To read the full interview, please click here.