Dolores Norton MSS ‘60; PhD ’69

Published Date: September 3rd, 2008
Category: Uncategorized

Bryn Mawr College Trustee Emeritus
Samuel Deutsch Professor in the School of Social Service Administration (SSA) at the University of Chicago

Dodie NortonA former professor of Social Work and Social Research, Dodie was the first African American to achieve tenure at Bryn Mawr. She served the College for nearly two decades as a Trustee of the College and as part of the inaugural cohort of advisers for the GSSWSR’s Board of Advisers, which was established in 2002. She was instrumental in the dissertation work of Tawana Ford Sabbath, MSS ’71, PhD ‘86.
Her 20-year longitudinal research, “Children at Risk: The Infant and Child Development Project,” investigates patterns of parent/child interaction related to developmental outcomes, especially school achievement, of high-risk inner city African-American children and their families. She has helped to shape more effective supports for these children through her work with the California Department of Education Preschool Learning Guidelines, the WestEd Program for Infant and Toddler Care, and the U.S. Administration for Children, Youth & Families’ Advisory Board on Early Head Start.

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2 Responses to “Dolores Norton MSS ‘60; PhD ’69”


My time as a graduate student at Bryn Mawr was made so much richer because Dolores “Dodie” Norton was my advisor. Her office was my oasis in more ways than one. Just seeing Dr. Norton made all seem well for me. Later, I would appreciate her scholarship and continued contribution to the field of social work. I was blessed to have so much of her time. She was receptive to my visits even when we did not have an appointment. I remember that Dr. Norton was poised, passionate, comical, and prepared. I was in her casework methods class and benefited greatly from her academically sound and practice-based approach to teaching. My only regret was that I was never supervised by Dr. Norton. That would have been the icing on the cake for me. Dr. Norton has been an inspiration to me since the first day of our meeting in Fall 1969.


Even today, more than 30 years after an experience in which Dodie was central, I tell the story of how she calmed a little 4 year old who was enrolled in one of the child day centers I was responsible for during the 70’s. Dodie’s reassuring words and voice helped this child who was in such emotional pain feel safe, if only for the twenty minutes she held him. In the years since, Dodie’s intelligence, compassion and gentleness have remained constant. It’s impossible to count the number of lives she’s touched in such positive and inspiring ways. Little did I know when I mey dodie Notron that I’d found a friend and collegaue for life.