DePaul University Newsline > Sections > Life Events > In memoriam: Traci Schlesinger, associate professor of sociology

In memoriam: Traci Schlesinger, associate professor of sociology

Stained glass

It is with deep sadness we share the news of Traci Schlesinger's sudden passing on Dec. 19. Schlesinger was an associate professor of sociology. May she rest in peace. 

Traci Schlesinger

Schlesinger was born in and raised in New Jersey, in the white working-class town of Dumont where few of her friends or family had attended college. She received her associates degree in Women's Studies from Bergen Community College, her B.A. from Fordham University in sociology and her Ph.D. in sociology from Princeton University. She joined DePaul's Department of Sociology in 2004, and earned tenure in 2012.

She was a scholar and an activist in equal measure and devoted her life to social justice work. The focus of her research was her analysis and critique of the criminal justice system, in particular its production and maintenance of racial stratification in the post-civil rights United States. In an interview, Schlesinger noted she chose DePaul because of its mission of social justice and its location in a large city. A nationally recognized expert in her field, she was considered a transformative teacher for students at both the undergraduate and graduate level. She received an Excellence in Teaching Award in 2011.​

A memorial gathering is being planned for her here in Chicago for DePaul faculty, staff, students and the broader community, which hopefully will take place early next year.