Believing in a strong work ethic, moral compass, faith, individuality, perseverance and resourcefulness, Ann Bailey Croissant, PhD, became involved in teaching because her parents were also teachers. She grew up on a farm and that made her appreciate the outdoors more. She wanted to discover a cure for a major disease and planned on going to a large university for this. She was asked by her parents to either work in a grocery store, live at home and go to University of Northern Colorado, or go away to school without a car. During the process, she set high standards and figured that if she hurried up through this school, she could go onto graduate school even sooner. Dr. Croissant later fell in love with biology, which she later majored in, along with an earth science and mathematics minor. She discovered her true potential for achievement and set those high standards to prove it to herself. Along the way, one of the professors at her university recruited her from the science department to work in the laboratory school with children, thus starting off her career in teaching. She believes that people really influence each other, and she wishes to make her contributions and impacts positive.
Dr. Croissant started out teaching and speaking at various public and private schools, college and universities in 1960, which she continued to do until 2018. At the same time, she also lectured at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (Cal Poly Pomona) from 1978 onward. Some years later, she instructed at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, California, from 1984 to 1987 while also becoming a professor in education and behavioral studies at Azusa Pacific University from 1984 to 2002. Most recently, Dr. Croissant served on the advisory council of the master’s degree program in public administration at Cal Poly Pomona from 2010 to 2018. She also taught creative and collaborative leadership for a graduate program in leadership studies from 1990 to 2002 in a dozen countries.
A National Science Foundation fellow in 1962, Dr. Croissant was the founding president of the Glendora Community Conservancy from 1991 to 2018, the California Missing Linkages from 1992 to 1994 and the San Gabriel Mountains Regional Conservancy from 1997 to 2018. Presently, she has also served as a science curriculum consultant for Los Angeles and San Bernardino County Schools since 1978 and an environmental impact reports consultant in Los Angeles County since 1987. Dr. Croissant utilized her traits throughout her field when breaking societal barriers and stereotypes, especially for women in science. The education, opportunities, and scholarships she invested in her goals were the steps that prepared for realizing her full potential. The experiences she had further allowed her to meet personal challenges in her path and to enjoy the adventures of teaching and research along the way.
Prior to pursuing a professional career, Dr. Croissant attended the University of Northern Colorado, earning a Bachelor of Arts in 1961. She then matriculated at the University of Wisconsin, where she received a Master of Science in 1968. She went on to obtain a PhD from the University of Southern California in 1991. Dr. Croissant is also a certified secondary school teacher, elementary school teacher and community college teacher in the state of California.
Involved in many civic endeavors, Dr. Croissant served on the board of directors for the Claremont Hills Conservation Corporation from 2009 to 2018. Formerly, in Glendora, California, she served as a science consultant for the Girl Scouts of America from 1980 to 1987, president for several terms with the Glendora Schools Parent Teacher Associations from 1981 to 1985, and campaign chair for seven city council and school board elections from 1981 to 2000. Moreover, she was president of the Glendora Educational Foundation from 1983 to 1984 and secretary for the Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Advisory Committee on Hillside Planning and Conservation in 1989, among other civic groups.
A contributor of myriad articles in professional journals and member of numerous related organizations, Dr. Croissant received an award and recognition regionally and nationally from the American Planning Association for editing and sponsoring watershed planning studies and research titled “Reconnecting the San Gabriel Valley: A Planning Approach for the Creation of Interconnected Urban Wildlife Corridor Networks” in 2000. She was later awarded with the Best Urban Interface Land Management in the USA by the National Sustainable Sites Initiative in 2009, and was recognized for her presentation of studies and research by the Southern California Academy of Sciences in 2010. She continued to accrue community-based awards for her positive impacts on research into practice, plus her rescue of endangered species, and other conservancy land management successes that she led. Included among these honors was the Humanitarian Award from the Glendora Community Coordinating Council in 2012. Furthermore, Dr. Croissant was bestowed with a Glendora Community Service Award in 2014 and named a Hero in Our Midst by Rose Magazine in Los Angeles in 2015, among others.
Moving forward, Dr. Croissant will be continuing with what she is doing in conservation, grant writing and working with people to translate concepts of conservation in education, cities, nonprofit organizations and government. There is much mismanagement and opportunities lost in planning, preparation and business models due to essential training, understanding and application of the essential “cycles in nature,” which eventually determine the true success of human ideas.