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About Dr. Mary Ann Markey

Mary Ann’s journey from an involvement in an abusive marriage to the position of a respected college professor and mentor is a testament to her resilience and determination. Despite facing physical danger and emotional turmoil during her 32-year marriage, Mary Ann’s refusal to surrender to such a toxic environment showcased her feisty spirit. The turning points in her life included taking up martial arts for self-defense, and the tragic death of her daughter which fueled her guilt and sense of responsibility.

Discovering support from WISP (Women’s Independence Scholarship Program) became a pivotal moment for Mary Ann, offering her the encouragement to pursue her dreams. She returned to college to complete her education, overcoming the challenges of a steep technological learning curve at the turn of the 21st century. Shifting her major from chemistry to biology and then finally settling on psychology as her degree plan, Mary Ann engaged in filicide research, bringing a better understanding of intra-family homicide and domestic violence to her academic pursuits.

Through scholarships that were provided to her by WISP, Mary Ann earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology (2004) which was then followed by a Master’s Degree in Psychology (2005) and a PhD in Conflict and Crisis Management (2011). Her rapid completion of the Master’s and seamless transition to the PhD program demonstrated her unique brilliance and energy. A true polymath, Mary Ann pursued that PhD in Conflict Analysis and Resolution which enabled her to use an intellectual approach to heal from abuse.

Throughout her educational journey, Mary Ann worked in diverse industries, such as co-owning the largest commercial printing company at that time in Fort Lauderdale, Florida for 32 years. Upon moving to North Carolina in 2007, she became the Director of the Family Center for the Family Violence Prevention organization in eastern North Carolina. She was simultaneously the co-owner of an exotic pet shop, Odd By Nature which focused on unusual tropical fish and reptiles. Her passion for education persisted as she became a practicum supervisor for students at East Carolina University, and guest lectured on Biophilia at local colleges. She has a passion for defending populations that are less able to defend themselves whether it is abused, neglected, abandoned and homeless children, marginalized individuals, mistreated pet companions, and even Nature at-large.

Despite her achievements, Mary Ann emphasizes the importance of learning to delegate and prioritize having arrived at the conclusion that even she has limits. Her current missions include advocating for real estate tax relief for the widows of disabled veterans no matter where they were residents or where they died. Her philosophy on this project is that our Veterans fought for and defended ALL of the United States, not just whatever state they happened to live and die in. Mary Ann is negotiating the deal to purchase and restore the oldest local golf course in the community which was founded in 1959. Notably, she founded a non-profit organization in 2020, The Teddy Bear Project which provides healing and support to children who are in distress, reflecting her commitment to helping others heal from abuse. Mary Ann’s life has come full circle as she married her high school sweetheart after they were reunited in 2014, thereby living by her father’s early teachings that one can accomplish anything through a non-traditional path.