First Female Engineer to Get an M.Eng. Degree from Stevens
Back in 1970, Turkey...
I was busy filling application forms for an advanced degree in Chemical Engineering, when my advisor said "Ayda, why don't you apply to Stevens Tech? This year is their 100th Anniversary and, for the first time in 100 years, they will accept female students to the Engineering Department. It's a small school with a nice campus right across NYC. You will have plenty of social and cultural opportunities as a bonus." So I applied and was accepted (with a TA).
There was no place as a girl's dormitory and they had to place me in the Married Students Apartment. The first year (when the twin towers of World Trade Center were in construction!) I worked as a TA for the senior class, all male and about the same age as me. I had to correct their homework and grade their papers, which resulted in hour long discussions and life was not easy for me!
The next year I was assigned to the freshmen (then including a handful of female students), it was a lot easier and I had more free time.
I was the first female engineer to get an M.Eng. Degree from Stevens and this made news in a local newspaper.
The memory of Stevens is very dear to me and I am proud of the immense progress it accomplished during the last years. I visited my Alma Mater in 1980, and again in 1999. Who knows, maybe there will be a 3rd time...
- Ayda Arkayin M.Eng. '72