Black History Month Tech Spotlight shines on Marian Rogers Croak.
Ms. Croak earned a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University in 1977 and a Ph.D. in Quantitative Analysis and Psychology from the University of Southern California in 1982. She then began a 30+ year career at AT&T Bell Laboratories that involved developing and advancing Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technologies. Among other things, her work led to furthering audio and video conferencing capabilities and a patent on technology that allowed cellphone users to donate money to organizations via text message. That technology, created with co-inventor Hossein Eslambolchi, was used in the aftermath of the 2010 Haiti earthquake and allowed relief organizations to collect more than $43 million through text-based donations. Throughout her career, Ms. Croak earned over 200 patents and (along with Patricia Bath) was one of the first two black women inducted into the National Inventors Hall of fame in 2022.