The University of Chicago

School of Social Service Administration Magazine

Congratulations, Professor Julia Henly A scholar who demonstrates outstanding scholarship and impact.

August 30, 2018

Julia Henly has been promoted to the rank of Full Professor.

Julia HenlySince her arrival at SSA, Julia has consistently demonstrated a level of outstanding scholarship and impact. Her research focuses on the economic and caregiving strategies that low-income mothers use in their efforts to manage the demands of their jobs with childrearing responsibilities. Her work includes attention to constraints imposed by precarious work schedules and how interactions with child care providers, caseworkers, extended family members, and managers facilitate or complicate work-family management. Her work is distinguished by her commitment to make a difference in the lives of the families she studies. 

Julia’s research has been published in highly-regarded journals in social work, demography, labor economics, and public policy, demonstrating the broad impact of her work. She is known among peers as a national thought leader in child care policy and a “must-have voice at the table” on issues of gender and poverty. Her work has provided new insights regarding child care subsidy policies, greatly influencing state and local governments that are implementing critical family assistance plans. Julia’s work has attracted grant support from foundations and federal agencies, including having recently received two prestigious awards, the William T. Grant Distinguished Fellow Award and the Robert Wood Johnson Interdisciplinary Research Leader Award. Earlier this year, in recognition of her exemplary efforts, the Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR) honored Julia as a fellow. Government and policy organizations at the local, state, and federal levels routinely invite Julia to serve on expert panels to help guide their deliberations. For over a decade she has been an advisor related to the Administration for Children and Families’ work around policies designed to improve low-income families’ access to quality early care and education settings and currently serves on the Steering Committee of the ACF Child Care and Early Education Policy Research Consortium.

Beyond her academic and scholarly contributions, Julia has been an engaged institutional leader, serving as a member and chair of multiple SSA committees and now chairs the SSA doctoral program. As an effective advocate for female faculty members and parents of young children, Julia has advised several university initiatives through participation on the University of Chicago and University of Chicago Hospitals Child Care Enhancement Initiative, the Steering Committee of the University of Chicago Child Care Center Faculty Advisory Committee and the University of Chicago Women’s Leadership Council. Among students, she is praised as an inspiring teacher who has guided and cultivated careers. She has chaired 9 dissertation committees and served as a committee member or reactor to 20 others. In the process, she has been duly selected for two SSA awards – for Excellence in Teaching and Excellence in Doctoral Student Mentoring. Julia also was one of the first SSA faculty members to teach in the College.

Please join me in congratulating Julia on this well-deserved promotion. The University and SSA community are greatly enriched by her eminence and exceptional talents.

Deborah Gorman-Smith, PhD
Interim Dean
Emily Klein Gidwitz Professor
University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration