Johnna's Articles

A Special Daily Resource Shared by Kerry Ruff

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2021




Marian Rogers Croak was born in 1955 and little is known about her upbringing but it seems, her father was her biggest influence. He pushed her to pursue her passion for science through creativity like building a small chemistry lab in her childhood home. She went on to attend Princeton University for her undergraduate studies and received her doctorate degree in social psychology and quantitative analysis from the University of Southern California in 1982. Later that year, she would get a job at AT&T Bell Laboratories where she worked in their research division. She began her work in network engineering and forged a career that was male dominated. Early in her career, she pushed for the switch from wired phone technology to internet protocol. Marian predicated internet protocol (IP) would explode when the internet first became popular. She started to develop technology that would transform the internet and she did. She worked with voice and data communication over the internet. She developed the fundamentals for what is now called “voice over internet protocol (VOIP). Not many know that Marian, an African American woman is responsible for initiating and furthering the development of VOIP. Her groundbreaking research allows people to communicate through audio/video while using the internet and it’s the same technology used by Skype and Vonage. She pioneered the use of phone network services like when AT&T collaborated with American Idol to use text messaging to vote. 22% of viewers learned to text to take part in the show. Dr. Marian holds about 300 patents and in 2005 she would file a patent for text-based donations and this capability would change how people donated money to charitable organizations. After the 2010 Haiti earthquake, at least $22 million dollars were donated in this fashion. Throughout her career at AT&T, she held the title of Vice President of the Services Network in Research and Development. Marian was responsible for over 200 programs dealing with AT&T’s wireline and wireless services She was promoted to Senior Vice President of Applications and Services Infrastructure where she supervised over 2,000 engineers and computer scientists and the number of programs she helped managed grew to over 500. Dr. Croak was also in charge of development, testing, service planning and product realization. In 2013, she was inducted into the Women in Technology International’s Hall of Fame and has been honored with multiple awards for her technical efforts. In 2014, she left AT&T and joined Google as their Vice President for Engineering. Dr. Croak has led Google’s service expansion to help develop getting internet into areas of the world where it is not. Dr. Marian Croak led the development of Wi-Fi across India’s railway system. Today we honor the woman who created a lane of her own in the world of engineering and technology. Thank you. Happy Black History Month.


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