Cynthia A. Crawford, Ph.D.

Dr. Cynthia A. Crawford

2021 Outstanding Faculty Innovator in Student Success Award

Cynthia A. Crawford, Ph.D.

California State University, San Bernardino
Professor, Psychology

I love working with students because it allows me to pay back all the opportunities given to me when I was a student.'

Major Accomplishments:

  • Awarded an NIH Support for Competitive Research to increase research opportunities for students and faculty.
  • Co-wrote the curriculum to launch an undergraduate Biological Psychology at CSU San Bernardino.
  • First faculty representative from a comprehensive public U.S. university chosen to serve on a review panel that approves research grants for the National Institutes of Health.

Dr. Cynthia Crawford’s contributions as a professor of psychology and director of the Office of Research Development have enriched the CSU San Bernardino learning community and provided impactful opportunities for countless students. In her role as director, Crawford has helped advance the university’s research and grant capacities with grant awards growing from $5.5 million in 1996-97 to $42 million in 2019-20.

When Crawford joined CSU San Bernardino in 1996, few opportunities existed for students to engage in research. Her trailblazing efforts have since led to a robust research environment for students and faculty alike. Today she is known for her strong mentorship, compassionate c​are and keen abilities to advance student growth. As one former student shared, “As a person of color in the scientific world, there are not many exceptional role models for me to follow. Thus, when I met Professor Cynthia Crawford...I was truly inspired to follow her example. Her story of success, as an African American woman in the sciences, propelled me to believe that I too, a descendant of Mexican farmers, could become a successful researcher in the field of neuroscience.”

An authority in the biomedical neuroscience and psychopharmacology fields, Crawford has published more than 75 journal papers with student authors appearing more than 100 times on her publications. She also has secured federal grants totaling more than $13 million on behalf of the university, with virtually all supporting student success. Most recently, she and a colleague were awarded an NIH grant aimed at increasing the diversity of students who earn their bachelor’s degrees and complete research-focused, biomedical advanced degrees. She was the first faculty representative ever chosen from a public comprehensive university in the United States to be selected as part of a review panel that approves NIH research grants.

Crawford earned her bachelor’s degree from Washington University and her master’s and doctorate degrees from the University of Kentucky.