Lois Wladis Hoffman, emeritus professor of psychology, died February 13. She was 85.
Professor Hoffman was born March 25, 1929 to Gus and Etta Wladis. She was the youngest of three children and raised in Elmira, New York. Professor Hoffman attended the State University of New York at Buffalo where she earned her B.A. degree with high honors in 1953. She went on to earn her M.A. degree from Purdue University in 1954, and her Ph.D. degree in sociology from the University of Michigan in 1958. From 1954-60, she worked at the Institute for Social Research, first as an assistant study director and then as a research associate. From 1960-67, she was an independent scholar and co-editor of the Review of Child Development Research. In 1967, Professor Hoffman joined the psychology faculty at the University of Michigan with one of the earliest appointments to the then budding Developmental Psychology area where she became full professor in 1975. She served as chair of that area and was a contributing force to its national recognition and rapid expansion. Professor Hoffman also helped to establish the U of M Women's Studies Program.
Professor Hoffman’s pioneering research investigated the effects of women working —how their employment affected themselves and their families — and her studies generated knowledge of great relevance to the women's movement. Other noteworthy contributions include her international research about how children are variously valued in different cultures and her widely cited article that scrutinized overstated claims for the genetic determination of behavior. She was also an acclaimed teacher and sought after mentor. In the course of her illustrious career she coauthored four books, coedited four others, and published more than 80 papers. She served as president of two divisions of the American Psychological Association: the Psychological Study of Social Issues Division (1983-84) and the Developmental Psychology Division (1990-91).
She received numerous awards, including the Child Study Association Outstanding Book Award (1966), the J.F. Lewis Award form the American Philosophical Society (1978), an Outstanding Teaching Award from the Department of Psychology (1981), and the LS&A Excellence in Education Award in 1994. She was a distinguished scholar at Radcliffe College and a scholar in residence at Rockefeller Center in Bellagio, Italy. In 1989, the American Psychological Association included her in its listing of "Eminent Women in Psychology."
She is survived by her husband Herbert Zimiles, two daughters, Amy Kilroy and Jill Hoffman, and five granddaughters.
-- Contributed by Patricia Reuter-Lorenz, Chair of Psychology, based on memorials and other
recognitions written by colleagues and family