A native of Texas, Mary Poplin earned her Ph.D. in Education from the University of Texas. She began her career teaching elementary school and special education, later becoming a professor at Claremont Graduate University in California where she was director of the Teacher Education Program, 1985-1995 and Dean of the School of Educational Studies, 2000-04. Between those positions Poplin worked with Mother Teresa and the Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta. She has hosted a Summit on Accountability and Social Justice which sought to define the major principles inherent in accountability systems in the U.S. that have been found to be effective in closing the achievement gap between rich and poor and between racial and ethnic groups. She is the author of "Voices from the Inside: A Report on Schooling from Inside the Classroom" (1992). More recently, Poplin has begun to work on the application of the intellectual, social, and psychological principles of the Judeo-Christian worldview as they apply to higher education, particularly among culturally and linguistically diverse peoples and the poor.