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Frances Lomas Feldman

Last updated 10/13/2021

Distinguished Professor Emerita Frances Lomas Feldman (deceased 2008) was working on a new book urged by her biographer daughter until just before her death at the age of 95.  The unpublished book draws on her own and the experiences of many others, to set forth principles on how to conduct effective and productive committees.  Aside from writing about committees, she was active in several organizations at the university and came to campus at least two days each week.  She still receives recognition for her hard work and dedication to the field of social work and to USC.  In 2004 she received the Carl I. Wheat and Frank Wheat Award from the Southern California Historical Society for her monograph, Human Services in the City of Angels, 1850–2000. In 2005 she received the Leibovitz Award for Distinguished Volunteer Services to Seniors.

Professor Frances Lomas Feldman joined the USC faculty as a full-time faculty member at the School of Social Work in 1954 where she remained until her retirement in 1982.  Her primary research was the social and psychological meanings of work and money in American life.  She also undertook related research, one of which centered on the needs of “isolated” Eskimo villages in rural Alaska.  This project, begun before Alaska became a state, brought many benefits, including telephone and radio communication, access to health and dental care, and creation of schools.  Aside from her work as a researcher, she was also a founder of the Delinquency Control Institute, which started in 1946 in the School of Public Administration, established the USC Faculty and Staff Counseling and Consultation Center, and developed the then-unique curriculum on Industrial Social Work in the School of Social Work.  She was a founder of the California Social Welfare Archives, the only regional health and welfare archives in a university; it gathers historical items and oral history interviews and also sponsors California’s Social Work Hall of Distinction.  The USC School of Social Work has established an endowed Frances L. and Albert G. Feldman Professorship in Social Policy and Health.  This is in addition to the Frances L. Feldman Scholarship, which will continue to serve the needs of graduate students.
“Stay active!  Just because you may be older doesn’t mean you can’t do anything anymore.  Be optimistic and take advantage of the opportunities that come your way.  Now that you are retired you have more time to do what you want to do, and taking advantage of those opportunities allows you to enjoy learning more.”  Frances Feldman, 2006