Longtime Riverdale resident and Columbia University professor Barbara E. Neuhaus died on Jan. 8. She was 82 years old.
Ms. Neuhaus was a faculty member of Columbia University’s Occupational Therapy Programs and served as its director from 1985 to 1995. As director, she established Columbia University’s Post-Professional Masters Program in Occupational Therapy, a Dual Degree MS/MPH Program in Occupational Therapy and Public Health, and cooperative academic programs with a variety of undergraduate colleges.
“She was warm and lovely and a great hostess and taught me a lot about being a good person and being a generous person. She was a great role model as a woman professional,” said her niece Susanna “Itty” Neuhaus-Schuck, an associate professor of art at SUNY New Paltz.
Ms. Neuhaus was born in Ulm, Germany on January 21, 1928. She was the daughter of Dr. Hugo Neuhaus, a pediatrician, and his wife Marie, a pediatric nurse and teacher. Her family fled Nazi Germany in 1936 and settled in Freeport, N.Y. Dr. Neuhaus attended public schools in Freeport, graduating from Freeport High School in 1946. She earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology and political science from Keuka College in 1950 and went on to receive a certificate in occupational therapy from Columbia University and a master’s in special education and a doctorate in education from Teachers College, Columbia University.
During her career, she received numerous professional awards including being named a Fellow of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) and was awarded Columbia University’s Distinguished Occupational Therapy Alumni Award for Professional Achievement in 1997. She was also AOTA’s delegate to the World Federation of Occupational Therapists and the World Federation’s Americas Region representative to the World Health Organization. In 1989, as a member of the World Health Organization, she visited South Africa to investigate medical practices under apartheid. In 1999, she was AOTA’s representative to the United Nations International Year of Older Persons. She was twice a Fulbright Scholar to Belgium, once as a graduate student and later as a professional.