Susan Lambert is retiring from the Crown Family School

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Crown Family School News
Susan Lambert

Susan Lambert is retiring from the University of Chicago Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice in August 2023 after serving more than 30 years as a member of our faculty.

The Crown Family School is greatly indebted to Susan for her outstanding scholarship, inspiring teaching, and institutional leadership. As a leading national scholar on the topic of low-paid employment and the area of work scheduling, Susan’s research has shaped the field and influenced policy makers, think tanks, and nonprofits. Her research on working time and low-wage employment generated needed interest on a topic that seeks to improve work conditions and the lives of low-income working families.

Susan has posed important questions and answered them using innovative research designs and rigorous empirical methods that use multiple sources of data. Through her analysis of surveys, she uncovered the widespread use of precarious scheduling practices in the U.S. labor market that significantly impact family income security and create household challenges. In response, Susan has worked closely with researchers and policymakers to reform work hour standards through public policy. Her research and testimony have inspired local and national policy initiatives, including the federal Schedules That Work Act, Oregon’s Fair Work Week Act, and ordinances in Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Philadelphia, and Seattle, among others.

At the Crown Family School, Susan has been a leader in developing the School’s curricula and enriching the intellectual life at the University. She has taught undergraduate, masters, doctoral courses, served as a mentor at the AM and PhD levels, and twice served as chair of the doctoral program. When the School launched the new minor in the College, Susan served as the inaugural faculty director. Within the School, she has been an active and engaged leader, chairing the Crown/Chapin Hall Institutional Review Board, the Curriculum Policy Committee, and co-chairing the Climate Survey Working Group. She has served on countless committees with the School and across the University. In recognition of her exceptional teaching abilities, Susan received the School’s award for Excellence in Teaching in 2009.

Within the profession, Susan has held leadership roles as a board member of SSWR, as President of the Work and Family Researchers Network, and as editor-in-chief of Social Service Review. In 2022, she was elected as a Fellow in the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare (AASWSW). She is widely recognized as an important public intellectual and has been a go-to expert for major media outlets including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, CNN, and NPR. 

The Crown Family School thanks Susan for her exceptional contributions to the profession, the Crown Family School, and the University. Her work has advanced the highest values of social work, and we are deeply grateful. Please join me in wishing her and her family the very best in the years to come.