Grace F. Brody, associate professor emerita from the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences (MSASS), has seen many changes over time as a researcher and educator, but one bond that remains strong and constant is that of the child and their caregiver.
Helping future social workers build family relations is a legacy that will continue through a generous $1.5 million gift to MSASS from Brody to endow and create the new Grace F. Brody Professor of Parent-Child Studies. The professorship honors the retired faculty member, who dedicated 20 years of teaching and service to the school in the area of family development and child rearing.
In a changing world and society, parent-child relations have taken on new forms with the involvement of not just parents raising children, but now the involvement of grandparents, stepparents and divorced parents, said Brody.
The person who fulfills the new professorship will have the task of advancing work in this area of social work. "Dr. Brody's gift ensures that parent-child relations will always be a central topic at the Mandel School", said Cleve Gilmore, dean of MSASS.
Currently a search is underway by MSASS to find a scholar who will become the Brody Professor, one of the few in the country that focuses specifically on the bond between the parent and child.
Brody, who was widowed at the age of 26 and left with a 10-month-old child to raise on her own, continued to build a life for herself and her child. She went on to earn three degrees—a B.S. in education from Columbia University, a Master's of Education degree in counseling and guidance from the University of Maryland and a Ph.D. in psychology from American University.
This is not Brody's first gift to the school. She also funded the Grace F. Brody Institute for Parent-Child Studies, which also supported research in the fundamental bond between parents and their children and in the area of family relationships.