Mary Lindsey, Ph.D.
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Dr. Mary Lindsey, long-time and treasured USF colleague. Mary passed away suddenly January 26, 2018.
She served as the Director of the Florida HIPPY (Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters) T&TA Center since it was opened in 1996 within the Department of Child & Family Studies at the University of South Florida. She was dedicated to the field of early childhood education, and devoted much time working to emphasize the importance of parental involvement in their children's education. Many of her efforts were centered around mobilizing community resources to support the education of children "at risk" of school failure.
Mary received her undergraduate degree from South Carolina State University, and M.Ed., Ed.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Florida. She began working at USF in 1981 in roles of Director of Special Services in Undergraduate Studies, Executive Director of Hillsborough County Center of Excellence, Inc. and Executive Director of the Florida HIPPY Program.
Mary was successful in sustaining HIPPY programs in Florida by procuring over $30 million dollars dedicated to HIPPY's home-based, early intervention program that helps parents create experiences for their children that lay the foundation for success in school and later life. Mary initiated the first grant to the Children's Board of Hillsborough County to create the first HIPPY program in Hillsborough County in 1990. She firmly believed that all children can learn and must have access to quality preschool education.
Mary’s passion for inclusiveness and diversity spread across national boundaries, individual abilities and new technology. She established multiple relationships with educational organizations that work with children and families. During June 2015, she was among a group who participated in a two-week pilot project in Nigeria, West Africa where they piloted their program with nineteen different communities.
Over the years, Mary served as speaker at many events including HIPPY graduations. She was involved in a variety of professional organizations and was a recipient of numerous awards and distinctions. She was honored with the Avima D. Lombard Award at the HIPPY National Leadership Conference in in 2016. She served as a HIPPY National Trainer, was appointed to service on the National HIPPY Advisory Team and was also selected to serve on the state workgroup that was responsible for setting early childhood standards for children ages birth to three years old.