May 15, 2013

Diana PearceThe National Association of Social Workers has awarded the Presidential Award for Leadership in Research to School of Social Work Senior Lecturer Diana Pearce for a body of work that has "informed, shaped and advanced the social work profession."

Dr. Pearce coined the term "the feminization of poverty" in 1978, a phrase that has since entered the lexicon of poverty studies worldwide. During her notable career, Dr. Pearce has published widely on topics such as the impact of part-time employment, homelessness and welfare reform on individuals and families -- and, particularly, on women.

Most recently, Dr. Pearce has worked on a replacement for the poverty-line measure used in the United States. The new measure, called the Economic Self-Sufficiency Standard, takes into account real-life expenses such as taxes, housing and child care and has been used to advocate raising the minimum wage. 

Dr. Pearce has helped found and lead several coalitions, including the Women and Housing Task Force; the Women, Work and Welfare Coalition; and the Women and Job Training Coalition. She earned her MSW and a joint PhD degree in social work and sociology from the University of Michigan. She has been awarded three Fulbright scholarships.

Hear Dr. Pearce's award presentation: Feminization of Poverty Revisted.