Harlan R. Beckley award presented to Notre Dame’s Jennifer Warlick

By: Sam Kille

August 5, 2019

The Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty (SHECP) recently presented its third annual Harlan R. Beckley Award to Dr. Jennifer Warlick, University of Notre Dame, for her exceptional leadership and advocacy in the field of poverty studies as a member of the consortium.

Warlick, an associate professor of public policy and economics, and director of Notre Dame's poverty studies interdisciplinary minor, has served as a beacon of light for students pursuing an education in poverty studies.

"I began to study poverty in 1972, and a line graph of the policy changes since that time resembles a rollercoaster, I'm afraid, with more dips than peaks," said Warlick in her acceptance speech. "It's hard to feel that one has or does make a difference in the fight to alleviate the struggles of people experiencing poverty. Thus, this award is simultaneously gratifying but also mystifying for me. An optimist by nature, I try my best to focus on the portion of the glass that is half full."

Named in honor of SHECP's founding director, the award was announced during the Frueauff Closing Conference at Marymount University, which brought together SHECP interns, faculty and supporters from more than two dozen colleges and universities.

"I see the future in you, and I have confidence that you will carry the faith of optimism to the realization of concrete goals that make this world a better place for everyone" Warlick said to the interns. "It has been my great privilege to be a member of the SHECP community."

Since 2008, 258 students have graduated as poverty studies minors at Notre Dame. As the academic and internship director of SHECP at Notre Dame, Warlick has guided 26 Notre Dame students through SHECP internships since 2012. 

"The poverty studies interdisciplinary minor at Notre Dame, which Jennifer founded, exemplifies her commitment to applying a deep scholarly understanding of poverty to practices that aim to create policies that will reduce poverty and increase justice," said Dr. Thomas G. Burish, provost of the University of Notre Dame. "In short, Jennifer has devoted her personal and professional life to the values and deeds that the Harlan Beckley Award honors."

Warlick has published in both national and foreign journals and in numerous books regarding income maintenance policy, aging, and the measurement of poverty. Her most recent project is "Rural Poverty in the United States" (Columbia University Press). She also volunteers her time to local organizations serving low-income residents including the South Bend Public School Corporation and St. Joseph County Health Department.

"The Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty commends Dr. Jennifer Warlick for the lasting impact her insight and example has had on her students, the consortium, and the countless lives touched by the program," said Dr. Brett Morash, SHECP executive director. "We are humbled and honored to draw upon her leadership and commitment."

Contact: Sam Kille, communications director, Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty,, (516) 782-7062


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