Suzanne Pritzker: Graduate College of Social Work - University of Houston
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Suzanne Pritzker


Associate Professor, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs

Room: 415 Social Work Building
Phone: 713-743-8114

Current Curriculum Vitae

Personal Statement

Dr. Pritzker began her professional career as a policy advisor for the Virginia Secretary of Education and as an analyst for the Virginia General Assembly. With a front-line view of the policy-making process, she developed a passion for educating and empowering vulnerable populations to participate in – and influence – public policy development and implementation. Her scholarship investigates how young people become civically involved and practice interventions to increase their empowerment and their engagement. Her research has focused on the impacts of interventions such as community-based participatory research, in the form of Photovoice, and service-learning on youth’s civic engagement.

Dr. Pritzker is committed to preparing social workers for their ethical responsibility to advocate with and on behalf of vulnerable populations. In one line of research, she extensively examines how social work programs prepare students to influence policy. She is actively involved in national efforts to strengthen the policy influence of the social work profession, including service on multiple national committees and on the board of Influencing Social Policy. She facilitates trainings on teaching policy for social work faculty across the U.S. Additionally, Dr. Pritzker is co-author of the forthcoming book, Political Social Work: Using Power to Create Social Change.

At the GCSW, Dr. Pritzker seeks through her teaching to guide students to understand how policy is developed and implemented and, ways they can participate in political processes, and to develop the skills necessary to engage in policy advocacy on behalf of and alongside their clients. She leads the GCSW’s Political Social Work Specialization and directs the College’s Austin Legislative Internship Program, a competitive internship program that places social work students in the Texas legislature for the entirety of each biennial legislative session. She created the College’s Policy Insider Series, a monthly policy seminar series, and is faculty advisor for the M.A.C.R.O. Student Network and the Policy Insider Advisory Committee.


BA, History, University of Virginia, 1996
MEd, Social Foundations of Education, University of Virginia, 1997
MSW, Virginia Commonwealth University, 2003
PhD, Washington University in St. Louis, 2009

Courses Taught

  • SOCW 6203 Social Welfare Policies and Services
  • SOCW 6204 Human Behavior in the Social Environment
  • SOCW 7367 Advanced Social Policy Analysis
  • SOCW 7329 Social Policy Advocacy
  • SOCW 7198 Legislative Seminar
  • SOCW 8334 Social Policy Analysis (PhD)

Research Interests

Youth civic engagement, youth empowerment, service-learning, positive youth development, children’s rights, political social work, political advocacy and social welfare policy, social work education, policy education.


  • Outstanding Individual in Academia, 2018 Social Work Day on the Hill Award, Congressional Research Institute for Social Work and Policy.
  • Selected as Coalition Scholar by the National Coalition for Policy Education and Practice in Social Work, 2016
  • Named to Rising Star Class of 2014-15, Houston Area League of Women Voters
  • Outstanding Faculty Award, 2014
  • One of “10 Dedicated and Deserving Social Workers” by Social Work Today magazine, 2013
  • Emerging Scholar in K-12 Service-Learning Research, 2007, 2009

Reports Co-Authored

Podcast Interview

Book Co-Authored