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DAR meeting features interview for Black History Month

FALLBROOK – At the February meeting of the Fallbrook Monserate Chapter of the DAR featured a short enactment of the achievements of Dr. Marian Rogers Croak.

The enactment was presented by the committee chair of the DAR women issue committee, Sarah Schiller, to honor Black History Month. Dr. Croak's contributions are vast and change each person's life via the internet. Below is the presentation given at the Fallbrook Women's Club.

Schiller introduced Dr. Marian Rogers Croak (played by Peggy Shaffer) and asked her the following questions.

How did you first become interested in your current field?

Croak: When I was a child of about 5 or 6, I was so excited each time a plumber or electrician came to our house. I would follow them around, asking questions to discover how things worked and how to fix them when they didn't work. I still do that today!

Where did you get your education for such a complicated profession?

Croak: I attended Princeton University and the University of Southern California where I received my doctorate in quantitative analysis.

When you were at AT&T, you were the Senior Vice President of Research and Development. That's impressive, so what was your title when you made the move to Google and what was your role there?

Croak: At Google I became a Vice President of Engineering. My first role was bringing the internet to emerging markets. We laid fiber in Africa, built public Wi-Fi in railroad stations in India, and then began exploring possibilities in Cuba and countries where there wasn't an openness yet for the internet. Now that was an interesting job because it was a merger of technology, government affairs, and the needs of communities.

You have been honored for your work in Voice-Over Internet Protocol, can you tell us just what that is?

Croak: When we originally started this project, all data was processed through phone lines but we were interested in prototyping voice communications over the internet. The process took time, but we did succeed and now we can convert voice data into digital signals that can be transmitted over the internet rather than using those old, traditional phone lines. This work has led to furthering the capabilities of audio and video conferencing, making it a practical reality in today's world – like the Zoom platform that both businesses and families used to stay connected through the Covid-19 pandemic.

You are a rather prolific inventor in the voice and data communications fields, holding over 200 patents. Can you tell us some of those areas that we might be using in our daily lives?

Croak: Some of those most commonly used by the general public are: 1) The mapping and traffic updates used on your phones and in your cars while driving; 2) Special call handling for valued customers when you're shopping online; 3) The alerts you receive on your phone for emergencies, stolen children, or lost seniors; 4) Teleconferencing services (like Zoom) that we're all using on a regular basis these days, and 5) Communication assistance for law enforcement.

How do you feel about the contributions that you've made to technology? Croak: When I think of my contributions to technology, I feel very humbled. I'm grateful people have been able to use my developments and that they have helped humanity. I want to see things become better in my lifetime, and fortunately I have seen that....and I also want to keep things going in that direction.

Schiller concluded with "Marian, we want to thank you for being with us today and for your role in expanding what the internet can do around the world. Our lives will never be the same!"

Anyone interested in joining this DAR chapter can contact its Honorary Regent, Suzanne Lemoine, at [email protected]. The chapter can assist in seeing if someone qualifies with an ancestor who was a revolutionary war patriot.

Submitted by the Fallbrook Monserate Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.


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