Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts History
Crook, Dorothea J., 1903-2000
Dorothea Johannsen Crook (1903-2000) was the first woman to head a department at Tufts University.
Born in Ithaca, New York, on October 14, 1903, Dorothea Johannsen received her primary education at Ithaca High School before enrolling at Cornell. She received her B.A. from Cornell in 1924 and transferred to Clark University, where she received an M.A. in 1927 and her Ph. D. in 1929. She immediately began teaching, first as an instructor at Wellesley from 1929 to 1930, and then as an instructor at the University of Rochester from 1930 to 1931. Johannsen then took a position at Skidmore, serving as associate professor from 1931 to 1945. While at Skidmore, she married Mason Crook. The two had met as graduate students at Clark.
In 1946, Crook was hired at Tufts University. She served as a lecturer in psychologyfor two years before being promoted to assistant professor in 1948. In 1953, Crook was appointed Hunt Professor of Psychology, making her the first female to rise through the faculty ranks to full professor.
In 1955 and 1956, Crook was a member of the Governor's Commission on Juvenile Delinquency. She spoke to parents statewide about the importance of disciplined children. From 1957 to 1958, Crook was on sabbatical leave as a Research Associate of the Institute of Experimental Psychology. She spent the year researching at the Center for Child Study at Yale University.
Upon returning to Tufts in 1959 Crook was promoted to chairwoman of the department of Psychology. She was the first woman promoted to department chair in the entire one hundred and seven-year history of Tufts.
Outside of the classroom, Crook published numerous articles, and was co-author of the Tufts Handbook for Human Engineering Data, a study that brought Tufts much recognition in the late 1940's. Crook retired in 1968 to devote her time to writing a history of psychology. She died in Maryland on March 5, 2000.