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Claire S. Rudolph, Professor Emerita of Social Work, Dies
Professor emerita Claire S. Rudolph died Jan. 5 peacefully at home. A resident of Syracuse since 1952, when she and her husband relocated to continue their graduate studies, she earned a Ph.D. in social sciences from Syracuse University and joined its faculty in 1965.
As a faculty member in the School of Social Work, she developed the curriculum for its healthcare concentration and served as chair for nearly 20 years. She also served as director of the Maxwell School’s Health Studies Program. She received emeriti status in 1996 and soon after, assumed responsibility for the Social Work Continuing Education Program, which continues today with leadership from the School of Social Work.
“A pioneer on many fronts in social work, Claire was an accomplished educator and trusted mentor to her students. A colleague and dear friend to many at Syracuse University and around the community she loved, her passing is a huge loss. She led an extraordinarily accomplished life,” says Diane Lyden Murphy, dean of Falk College.
Rudolph’s research focused on regional perinatal care, case management, domestic violence risks of pregnant women and child health outcomes. In addition to papers and articles, she co-authored the book “Issues in Intensive Care for High Risk Newborns and Their Families.” She secured training grants for more than a decade from the Bureau of Maternal and Child Health that supported students, and brought in several training grants from the Children’s Bureau (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services) focused on professional training for child welfare workers.
A particularly significant project was a five-year curriculum development grant that created the Child Welfare Concentration curriculum in the School of Social Work and also supported tuition. This project enabled current caseworkers from several upstate New York county Department of Social Services agencies, including Onondaga County, to earn their master of social work degrees on a part-time basis. “Dr. Rudolph’s dedication helped caseworkers provide to families the tools needed to make necessary behavior changes to adequately provide for and protect their children,” says Mark J. Jachim, casework supervisor of the Training Unit for Onondaga County Children and Family Services, who earned his M.S.W. in 1998 through the child welfare grant. “I use the skills I learned on a daily basis with families, and continue to pass them on to new staff I train so they too can provide to families the many things I learned from Dr. Rudolph and her colleagues.”
“When I joined the faculty of the School of Social Work, Claire made a special effort to make me feel welcome and supported. She was a respected colleague who remained ever ready to help junior faculty achieve their scholarly goals,” says Carrie Jefferson Smith, director of the School of Social Work. “I was fortunate enough to be able to work directly with Claire on two research projects. I will always appreciate her guidance and her mentorship.”
“Claire Rudolph made my appointment to the Syracuse University faculty possible. With me she was mentor, research collaborator, teaching colleague and long-standing friend. Our collaborations strongly influenced the course of my career. I admired her as an idea person with quick insight and boundless energy. Claire was extraordinary, and she will be remembered by the many people whose lives she touched,” notes professor of social work Nancy Mudrick.
Rudolph was honored with the Knee/Wittman Health and Mental Health Achievement Award by the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) as well as the NASW’s Outstanding Achievement Award. She received the American Public Health Association’s Outstanding Achievement Award in Public Health Social Work in 1994. Syracuse University honored her in 1988 with the Chancellor’s Citation for Exceptional Academic Achievement.
“Her leadership within the School of Social Work and the community were evident by her many accomplishments and level of engagement. I join the faculty in the School of Social Work grieving the loss of this consummate scholar and trusted friend. She was a true gift to all who knew her,” says Jefferson Smith.
Rudolph is survived by her family, including her husband of 68 years, Lionel Rudolph, their children, Susan (Jim) Barrett, Dan (Donna) Rudolph and Alan (Barbara) Rudolph, and their grandchildren, Rebecca, David, Rachel, Caroline, Andrew, Adam and Matthew. The full obituary can be found at the link below: