“I feel like I have been given so much through a myriad of different ways by my education at the Mount,” says Carrie Ann Blackaller ’65, ’72 MS.
A recently retired professor, Blackaller’s long career in teaching started at the Mount, where she received her bachelor’s degree in English and Political Science, then an MS in education with an emphasis on special education. At the time, the Mount’s Special Education program was considered innovative, ahead of federal laws later passed to ensure that educators were trained to work with students who have learning disabilities.
While at the Mount, she worked for the academic dean and the dean of the graduate school. Seeing the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Carondelet (CSJ) in leadership positions made an impact on her, but it wasn’t until years later that she realized the empowering effect of being in an environment where women leaders were commonplace. She was keenly aware of her responsibility and the expectation to be of service to others because of the subtle ways the sisters embodied service to others.
“Lessons that I learned at the Mount have sustained me through my professional and personal life,” she says.
Blackaller went on to earn a PhD in education at USC. She was a special education teacher for the Inglewood and Torrance Unified School Districts, taught first and second grades and upper elementary history at the Escola Internacional de Valle do Paraiba in Brazil, was director of education for the Switzer Center, and eventually became a professor in the Special Education program at California State University, Dominguez Hills. After 25 years at the university, she retired in 2014. As emerita professor, she is now teaching in a five-year early retirement program for faculty.
Blackaller is grateful for the education she received at the Mount and the lessons she learned from the faculty and the CSJs. “Through giving, we acknowledge the debt that we owe to others,” she says of her decision to include the University in her estate plans.