Purdue Calumet Alumni Leader’s Award
Mary E. Dankoski, PhD, LMFT
Mary Dankoski joined the faculty of the Indiana University School of Medicine in 2000 and is the Lester D. Bibler Scholar and Assistant Dean for Faculty Affairs and Professional Development. From 2009 to now, she also serves as Interim Co-Chair for the Department of Family Medicine. She earned her Master of Science in marriage and family therapy at Purdue Calumet and completed her PhD in marriage and family therapy with a graduate minor in women’s studies at Purdue University, West Lafayette. Her bachelor’s degree is in psychology from the University of Michigan.
Early in her career she focused on practicing medical family therapy and teaching behavioral medicine in the Department of Family Medicine; over time she developed an interest in faculty development and began leading initiatives related to faculty advancement and strategic planning. Since joining the Dean’s Office for Faculty Affairs and Professional Development in 2006, she has helped shape the study of faculty vitality and directs programs for the advancement of women in the school, which has over 1,500 faculty members. This work led to the IUSM receiving the Association of American Medical Colleges Women in Medicine and Science Leadership Award in 2009, which she accepted on the school’s behalf. Recently in the Department of Family Medicine, her focus (with colleague Dr. Kevin Gebke, with whom she shares the role of Interim Department Chair) has been on advancing the education and research missions to address projected primary care workforce shortages in Indiana. In addition, Mary has been active in the marriage and family therapy profession, having served as the President of the Indiana Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and Chair, Council of Division Presidents of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.
One key to her success is her family support. Her husband of almost 18 years, Phil Dankoski, has been unwavering in his support and generosity. He has been a stay-at-home Dad for the last 9 years while their children were young. Mary and Phil’s children (Maura aged 11, Sean aged 9, and Tess aged 7) keep her grounded and provide her with delight on a regular basis.
Mary’s most valued Purdue Calumet experience:
“Purdue Calumet’s marriage and family therapy masters program is the home of my earliest professional roots. The program is intense and rigorous and the faculty demand innovative, critical questioning of ideas and methods. This provided me with both a strong foundation in my field, and pushed me to vastly expand my thinking. I gained a great deal of confidence from my education at Purdue Cal. Like a tree, such strong roots allowed me to branch firmly in new directions.”
Mary’s advice for current Purdue Calumet students:
“Don’t be afraid to take risks. Stretch yourself and do it wisely: find a great mentor and build your network. Also, choose wisely in your personal life. Work to build a lasting partnership with someone who is truly life-giving.”