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Dr. Mary Crosby wins Buck Award

After years of service as a teacher, Dr. Mary Crosby, professor and chair of Dominican University of California’s multiple-subject credential program, has been named the recipient of the distinguished Beryl H. Buck Award for Achievement.

The award, presented annually to an individual and an institution by the Marin Community Foundation, is for exemplary accomplishments that have educated the residents of Marin County. This year’s theme was “sharing knowledge, creating opportunity,” which focused on the ways that education enhances opportunities for residents of the county.

Dr. Crosby will be honored at a luncheon on Aug. 18 in San Anselmo and receive the award at ceremonies on Thursday afternoon, Nov. 5, at the Marin Community Foundation in Novato.  She will receive a $10,000 check and `Next Generation Scholars,’ a college access program for underserved students in Marin, will receive a $25,000 check.

“It is especially significant that I receive the individual award at the same time that `Next Generation Scholars’ receives this year’s Organizational award. I, too, was the first in my family to go to college – with a great deal of support and scholarships,” Dr. Crosby said. “Opportunities abound for college grads. I am an example of that.”

Dr. Crosby thanked Sister Samuel Conlan for the faith she had in her programs and Dominican President Joseph Fink for helping her develop other programs to support the children in Marin’s schools and surrounding counties. Crosby also thanked faculty colleagues and teachers who graduated from the Dominican credential program.

“For the past 36 years, Dr. Crosby has prepared more than 3,000 teachers to excel as educators and mentors,”  MCF President Thomas Peters said. “Her work advancing special education and elementary education has touched the lives of tens of thousands of school children in Marin and beyond.”

Described as a “teacher’s teacher” and as “the perfect role model,” Dr. Crosby has been at Dominican for 36 years and directly or indirectly has had an influence on thousands of school children. More than 80 percent of Marin’s teachers have come through Dominican’s program, including Marin County Superintendent of Schools Mary Jane Burke, who was a student in the first course Dr. Crosby taught on the San Rafael campus.

Dr. Crosby grew up in Florida where she first started teaching. She earned her Ed. D in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1970.

Winner of the Sarlo Distinguished Professor Award at Dominican’s Commencement in 1999, Dr. Crosby began her career at Dominican in 1973 as an Assistant Professor of Education in the Special Education Project as the Founding Director of the Dominican Educational Center for Curriculum Innovation. She developed and advanced curriculum to train teachers to educate and support students whose needs or disabilities require special approaches, equipment and care. With a grant she secured from the San Francisco Foundation, Dr. Crosby developed “The Learning Center” at Dominican.

In 1976, Dr. Crosby was named Associate Professor of Education and, in 1980, she became Professor of Education.

In 1984, Dr. Crosby switched roles to direct Dominican’s elementary program, developing it into one of the top teacher preparation programs in California. In keeping with changing requirements and demands of the California Commission on Teaching Credentialing, she has continually honed the program to meet the requirements for special needs students and non-English language learners.

With the passion and compassion of a first grade teacher, Dr. Crosby is a tireless worker driven to improve human conditions and enhance the quality of life. Her duties at Dominican today range from teaching undergraduates in her early literacy course to how to work with beginner readers.


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