Pennsylvania-born in 1955, Dr. Marian Croak was groomed for greatness, and her inventions have made the world a better place. Dr. Croak often credits her father for encouraging her to pursue her passion for science through as many creative ways as possible, even building a chemistry lab in their home.
That small chemistry set would inspire her to enter and graduate from Princeton University and later earn a Ph.D. in quantitative analysis from the University of Southern California.
Dr. Marian Croak is Black Genius.
Dr. Croak would soon begin her 30-year career at AT&T serving many roles, including Senior Vice President of Research and Development. Call it a Black woman’s intuition, Dr. Croak predicted that IP and the Internet would change the world, inspiring her to develop a technology that would transform the Internet we know today.
As an engineer, she worked on advancing Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technologies, converting voice data into digital signals that can be easily transmitted over the internet rather than traditional phone lines. It was a game-changer then and as we’ve all learned over this global pandemic, her technology remains vital now.
Zoom, Skype, MagicJack, Vonage, and other Internet-based audio/video and text communication applications wouldn’t be around if not for the VOIP technology. Dr. Croak has also helped advance technology, including calling and text messaging on cellular phones.
Since then, Dr. Croak holds over 125 patents in VOIP technology. Equally impressive, Croak and her team created a text-to-donate system for charitable organizations that first saw widespread use after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005, which raised $130,000. After the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, the technology raised $43 million in donations.
In 2013, Dr. Marian Croak was inducted into the Women in Technology International’s Hall of Fame. A year later, Dr. Marian Croak left AT&T Labs and started working for Google as their Vice President for research and development for access strategy and emerging markets. Here, Dr. Croak is responsible for expanding what the internet is capable of doing around the world and getting the internet into areas of the world where there is none.
Because of Dr. Marian Croak’s genius, more people have access to communication than ever before. She did that.