Former English Department Chair dies after battle with breast cancer

Andrew Fergin

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Dr. Dorothy Berger, former Chair of the Mesa College English Department died on Feb. 28 after a long battle with cancer.
Dr. Berger retired in 2002 after a 33 year career at Mesa College.
She is remembered by staff as a hard worker and a caring person. Professor Jennifer Cost recounts “When I first came to campus in 1999 I was very impressed with her commitment to her students she really did a tremendous amount of work for ESOL students.”
“She was a bringer together” says Dr. Chris Sullivan, Dean of Mesa College’s English department. “She knew how to bring out the strengths in people.”
Many members of Mesa College’s staff have fond memories of Dr. Berger. Dr. Sullivan fondly Remembers Dr. Berger as the woman who smoked brown cigarettes that gave him his start at Mesa College as an adjunct staff member.
For many more on staff, Dr. Berger was a leader. Cost remembers the help Dr. Berger gave her when she first began working at Mesa College. “She guided me. I had only been teaching for three years so she guided me she sat in on my classes she gave me advice and I also just really admired her commitment to social justice.”
That commitment to social justice stayed with Dr. Berger throughout her career. “She worked with victims of torture from other countries. She volunteered her time in teaching people who had gone through unspeakable acts if torture” says Professor Cost.
On the International Tibet Network’s website are the words “Dorothy was a great friend and colleague; an inspiration and driving force for the Tibet movement. She will be very much missed.”
“Dorothy’s passing is a great loss for our entire Mesa family. Those of us who had the privilege of knowing her will surely cherish our memories of her indomitable spirit and her numerous contributions to Mesa College.”