UD professor Bahira Trask has been recognized for her work focusing on women and families in the global economy.

Trask named fellow

UD's Bahira Trask recognized for bringing women, families to forefront


8:24 a.m., March 3, 2015--The National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) has conferred its prestigious fellow status on Bahira S. Trask, professor, associate chair and graduate coordinator in the University of Delaware’s Department of Human Development and Family Studies. 

Trask is internationally renowned for her research on the relationship between globalization and family change in Western and non-Western contexts. Her work focuses in particular on the evolution of gender roles as a result of the changing economy, and the need for policies that strengthen and support families. 

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An active scholar, Trask has published two books on globalization, Women, Work, and Globalization: Challenges and Opportunities (Routledge, 2014) and Globalization and Families: Accelerated Systemic Social Change (Springer, 2010), edited three others including an anthology Personal Relationships (Cognella, 2011), and published more than 50 peer-reviewed articles, chapters and review articles in significant journals, handbooks and edited works.

“Dr. Trask’s scholarship highlights the vital intersection between social policy and family well-being in our rapidly changing society,” said Rena Hallam, interim chair of the Department of Human Development and Family Studies. “She is very deserving of this honor. Her ability to analyze significant issues in ways that translate into concrete approaches to support women and families is most remarkable.” 

Trask is also an engaging mentor and a respected educator. 

Teaching Diversity and Families, one of UD’s largest classes (300 students per semester), Trask highlights and clarifies the linkages in the dynamic relationship between global macro processes and the micro workings of families. She also serves as graduate coordinator for the human development and family studies department, guiding over 45 students a year through their graduate programs.  

Trask has been awarded the department’s Outstanding Faculty-Undergraduate Teaching Award and the Outstanding Faculty-Graduate Teaching Award multiple times, demonstrating her extraordinary dedication to undergraduate teaching, scholarly approach to teaching and learning, and support of students and colleagues.

“I absolutely love working with students and helping them see the world and their lives from new more critical perspectives,” she said. “Moreover, in our global, highly connected world, intercultural understanding is one of the most important skills that any of us can attain. I want my undergraduate and graduate students to understand the value of diverse viewpoints and experiences, and to foster in them a love of learning that will last a lifetime.” 

Committed to making positive changes locally as well as globally, Trask has served in a variety of leadership positions at UD, helping to design the Blueprints program for the state of Delaware, bringing substantive change in life opportunities of at-risk residents of Wilmington and Georgetown, Delaware; heading the Graduate and the Promotion and Tenure committees for a number of years and serving as a college representative to the Institute for Global Studies.

Trask further advances her profession through her work on several major task forces for her national organization, NCFR and by serving on the editorial boards of The Journal of Family Theory and Review and The Family and Consumer Sciences Research Journal.

Most notably, Trask is an internationally-recognized scholar, serving as a representative of the United Nations North American Expert Group during the UN’s Twentieth Anniversary of the International Year of the Family. As such, she has been invited to speak in New York, Mexico, Switzerland, Qatar, and Buenos Aires, discussing the global challenges faced by women, families and society as a whole as a result of the world’s changing economy. She was also invited as the plenary speaker at the National Council on Family Relations conference and as a participant at the 2014 White House Summit on Working Families.

In February 2015, Trask spoke at the UN on “Changing Families, Changing Societies: How Women, Aging, and Cultural Diversity are Transforming our World.” This event was sponsored by the non-governmental organization on the Family at the United Nations and included members of civil society, the unit on Social Policy and Development, and the Focal Point on the Family. 

Rob Palkovitz, professor of human development and family studies, nominated Trask for this honor. “Bahira is an outstanding colleague who continues to model the role of an engaged scholar in teaching, research and professional service, in every regard. Her exemplary leadership inspires our students to the highest levels of professional achievement, and her influence, both nationally and internationally, has situated HDFS among the most central conversations of our time."

Trask earned her bachelor’s degree in political science with a concentration in International Relations from Yale University, and her doctorate in cultural anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania. 

Article by Alison Burris

Photo by Evan Krape

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