Suzanne M. Bianchi, a former chair of the Department of Sociology and a pioneering researcher who changed the way American society views mothers in the workforce, passed away at the age of 61 in her home in Santa Monica. Professor Bianchi also previously led the Maryland Population Research Center, an international research leader in the topics of Gender, Family and Social Change; Health in Social Context; Social and Economic Inequality; and People and Place. The College of Behavioral and Social Sciences remembers her as a brilliant academic mind, a dedicated colleague and a dear friend.
"Suzanne was an exceptional scholar-mentor. She showed us through her scholarship and through her mentoring how to turn our curiosities into knowledge that pushed our fields of interest. She helped us hone in on the critical importance of the quality of the research question we were seeking to address, helped students sharpen these questions, and find the best ways to answer them, and she taught junior faculty and students the skills to do this independently," said Professor Melissa Milkie, who frequently collaborated wtih Professor Bianchi. "Suzanne was an exceptional leader, generous with her time, and yet humble about her successes."
In part because she was so generous with her time and talents, Professor Bianchi made a lasting impact on her students, peers and the academic world.
"From my own first job at Census to my move back to Maryland, I haven’t made a major career decision in the last 20 years without consulting her, and for good reason — for a smart, selfless, well-centered interpretation of what was going on, no one was better. Hers was the rare ability to do great social science and great personal interaction, and she cared deeply about both," said Professor Philip Cohen.
Professor Bianchi's legacy of personal kindness and professional innovation and impact will live on through the lives and work of her students and colleagues throughout the University of Maryland community.
In honor of Professor Bianchi's legacy and impact on the Maryland Population Research Center, the MPRC Student Research Support Fund has been established to provide student research support and scholarships.
Click here to make a gift online.
Or, mail a check payable to the University of Maryland College Park Foundation with “MPRC Student Research Support Fund” in the memo to:
Office of External Relations
2141 Tydings Hall
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742
If you are a Maryland faculty or staff member, you may also set up a gift through payroll deduction by calling Jennifer Kilberg to request a form at (301)-405-2998.
Thank you for your support!