Alumni Profile: Phyllis Berger ME’46
Phyllis Belous Berger ME’46 was the first woman to graduate in mechanical engineering from The Cooper Union and went on to earn a master’s in fluid mechanics from Stevens Institute of Technology. Throughout her career, she broke through barriers for future generations of female engineers. She was the first woman to serve on the New York State Board of Examiners of Professional Engineering and Land Surveying, and was the first female Chair of a state board anywhere in the United States. At Bronx Community College, she was elected chairwoman of the Engineering Technologies Department, making her the first woman to head an engineering technology department in New York. She was a founding member of the Society for Women Engineers. She was passionate about reading and improving the lives of those less fortunate. Phyllis Berger was also the first woman to receive a medal for achievement in education from Newark College of Engineering, as well as an award from the New York State Society of Professional Engineers. In 1973, she was honored with the President’s Citation from The Cooper Union. Phyllis Belous Berger passed away on July 16, 2011, surrounded by her children Marsha and Peter, their spouses Jonathan and Nina, and her grandchildren Danny, Theo, Laura and Lisa. She was preceded in death by her husband Alex in 2005.