In Memoriam

Harold Bershady, Ph.D.

Harold J. Bershady, Ph.D.

Bershady joined the faculty at Penn in 1968 and, aside from sabbaticals, served continuously until his retirement in 2005. He was influential in the department principally as a teacher of sociological theory, both the classical works of Marx, Weber, Durkheim, Simmel, Schutz, and Mead and the contemporary works of Parsons, Garfinkel, Goffman, Bellah, Smelser, and others. He once estimated that he had taught more than 10,000 students, both undergraduate and graduate. His popularity as a teacher derived from the warmth, encouraging and supportive manner, and humor with which he related to students. His classes were often interlarded with jokes, anecdotes, and witticisms. Students sometimes came to his office simply to convey new jokes they had heard.  In 1993, Bershady received the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching from the university.

In Remembrance 

Robin Leidner

Robin Leidner, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Emerita, Department of Sociology, School of Arts and Sciences

Robin Leidner  was a specialist on sociology of work, who worked at Penn from 1988 until her retirement in 2022. A graduate of Northwestern University, she was the author of the influential book, Fast Food, Fast Talk: Service Work and the Routinization of Everyday Life. In her path-breaking book, she showed how workers were constrained and resisted employers’ efforts to script inauthentic interactions in routinized work settings.  She cared deeply about the undergraduate program, and she was a beloved teacher and mentor, particularly for graduate students, who often commented on her wit, integrity, and infectious curiosity of the social world.

In Remembrance


Samuel Klausner

Samuel Klausner, Ph.D.
Emeritus Professor of Sociology; Associate, Middle East Center

Klausner joined the Penn Sociology Department in the 1960s and continued to teach at Penn for 30 years until his retirement in 1996. He earned a Bachelor's degree in Mathematics from New York University, and subsequently earned a Doctorate in Education and a Ph.D. in Sociology from Columbia University. He was also a certified clinical psychologist in both New York State and the District of Columbia. Over the course of his academic career, Klausner authored 10 books on a diverse range of subjects, including Alaskan Eskimos and alcohol-related violence, and why men take risks. Much of Klausner's work focused on Jewish subject matter, including a comparative study of Jewish and Muslim dietary laws, as well as a book on the experience of Jewish MBAs in corporate America.

In Remembrance


Renee Fox

Renée C. Fox, Ph.D.
Professor Emerita, Sociology; Annenberg Professor Emerita of the Social Sciences

Renée joined the Penn Sociology Department as a full professor in 1969 after earning her PhD in Sociology in 1954 from Radcliffe College, Harvard University, and spending time at Columbia University Bureau of Applied Social Research, teaching twelve years at Barnard College, and spending two years as a Visiting Lecturer in the Department of Social Relations at Harvard.

In Remembrance


Charles Bosk

Charles L. Bosk, Ph.D.
Professor of Sociology
Professor of Anesthesiology and Critical Care, Perelman School of Medicine

Chuck worked at Penn for over 40 years and was a highly valued and longstanding member of the Penn Community. He was an award-winning teacher and a cherished mentor. His work focused broadly on the culture of medicine and he published numerous books and articles on how health care professionals make sense of experiences in which time-pressured decisions are required in situations filled with un-resolvable uncertainty.

In Remembrance