Meet Our Newest Staff Members

POSTED ON: February 3, 2022

Meet our newest staff members in the Albert Nerken School of Engineering Dean’s Office, Cherisse Thomas and Robyn Fitzsimmons.

Cherisse Thomas, Departmental Budget Analyst
Image of Cherisse ThomasCherisse Thomas is a budget analyst, based in Bronx, NY. Her education began by studying communication sciences and disorders with a speech therapy concentration and transitioned by continuing education in business administration studying data analytics. She holds a BS in Communication Sciences & Disorders from Syracuse University and graduated with an MBA from Mercy College in 2018.

During and after graduating from Mercy College, Cherisse used her analytical skills to volunteer for non-profit organizations by providing insight to their datasets on a variety of subjects which later resulted in her landing a role managing budgets for homeless shelters across New York City. Before joining the Cooper community, she wanted to continue her career path with the purpose of making a positive impact in society. 

“The Cooper Union holds a special place of nostalgia and value to me. When I was in high school and had an interest in engineering, I was introduced to the institution by a Cooper Union alum and considered applying—it never happened. Fast-forwarding to 2022 during my job search, I came across an opportunity at Cooper Union that aligned with my experience and values—I felt it was meant to be for me to be here. I have been welcomed with opening arms by the Cooper community and I am looking forward to being a part of Cooper’s mission!”

Robin Fitzsimmons, Administrative Associate
Image of Robyn FitzsimmonsRobyn Fitzsimmons is an administrative associate, born and raised in New York. She has spent only one year of her life living in a different state. Robyn is a graduate of the CUNY College of Staten Island where she majored in Communications with an eye on working in entertainment. After gaining experience interning in radio and then working in television production, she discovered that the life of a freelancer was too uncertain for her. She needed the security and reliability of a full-time, permanent job.

Soul searching about her next steps and networking ensued, and soon(ish) Robyn was connected to a temp agency that had a job available at The Cooper Union. She jumped at the opportunity to be the Administrative Assistant in The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture Office where she worked for the last nine years. She feels lucky to have met so many dedicated faculty and to have watched nine classes of students learn, grow, and graduate from the school. She hopes to apply all the knowledge she’s gained so far at The Cooper Union to help faculty and students in The Albert Nerken School of Engineering have a meaningful experience.

“I’m not a student at The Cooper Union but working here allows me to feel what it’s like to be at school again. I get to continue learning, and I even go to graduation each year. I’m grateful for these experiences.”

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.