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June 18, 2002

In Memoriam

Professor Emerita Norma Wikler dies at 60

By Jennifer McNulty

A memorial for professor emerita of sociology Norma Juliet Wikler will be held June 30 in Central Park in New York City. Wikler, who retired from UC Santa Cruz after teaching from 1971 to 1991, died May 28 at her home in Costa Rica. She was 60.

While at UCSC, Wikler coauthored the 1979 book Up Against the Clock: Career Women Speak on the Choice to Have Children, which explored the decisions career women make about whether or not to have children. Based on interviews with 85 women, the book presented 10 "Voices of Experience" that articulated the many factors involved in the choices women make to have children, become single mothers, or remain childless. Betty Friedan heralded the book as breaking fresh ground "delineating the problems and conflicts of young women living with the options the Women's Movement fought for."

Wikler earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan and a master's and doctorate from UC Berkeley. She was a senior research associate at the Institute for the Study of Social Change at UC Berkeley and a Bunting Fellow at Harvard University.

Wikler was founder and first director of the National Judicial Education Program to Promote Equality for Women and Men in the Courts (NJEP), sponsored by the National Organization for Women's Legal and Education Fund and the National Association of Women Judges, which led to the creation of more than 50 gender-bias task forces for the state and federal courts.

Wikler's work spanned the sociology of the legal, medical, and military professions and the establishment of an organic pineapple industry in Costa Rica. She coauthored a booklet for children on organic agriculture that is used by schools throughout Costa Rica.

Survivors include her mother, Ada Wikler, of Lexington, Ky.; sisters Marjorie Senechal of Northampton, Mass., and Jeanne Wikler of New York City; and a brother, Daniel Wikler, of Madison, Wis.

More information about the memorial for Wikler and a charitable fund being established in her memory is available on the web at www.wikler.net/news.html.

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