Miss Irwin attended Mesa College in San Diego, received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of California at Berkeley (1980), and a Masters in History from San Francisco State University (1995). She teaches history at San Francisco Bay Area colleges, including Diablo Valley College, Chabot College, Laney College, and California State University, East Bay. 

Miss Irwin is also a professional copyeditor specializing in non-fiction, including scholarly books and articles.

In 2011 Miss Irwin won the National Coalition of Independent Scholars' Eisenstein-DeLacy Award for "Sex, War, and Community Service: The Battle for San Francisco's Jewish Community Center," Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies, Vol. 32, Issue 1 (May 2011). In 2003, she won one of six Fellowships presented by the Jewish Women's Archives "Jewish Women Building Community" project (funding provided by the Myra Reinhard Family Foundation of San Francisco). In 1999, Miss Irwin won the Coalition for Western Women's History's Jensen-Miller Best Article Prize for "'Going About and Doing Good': The Politics of Benevolence, Welfare, and Gender in San Francisco, 1850-1880," Pacific Historical Review, Vol. 68, Issue 3 (August 1999). 

Miss Irwin is currently managing several writing projects, including a history of San Francisco's Emanu-El Sisterhood for Personal Service

Published works so far :


Mary Ann lives in Oakland and volunteers with several local organizations, including: St. Vincent de Paul Homeless Shelter (MSC-South); Save the Bay, the Bay Area's oldest environmental action group; and Taproot Foundation, a volunteer-matching group that connects professionals with not-for-profits needing their skills. She has two children and one cat; son Zachariah and daughter Cera are exemplary but the cat is very bad. Teaching and writing are ancillary to Miss Irwin's real mission in life, which is collecting vintage hats.




Curriculum Vita