Remembering April Brayfield


Memorial, Friday,  January 27, 2012

Rogers Chapel, 3:00 pm


AprilApril liked purple ink, pink flamingoes, Jazzfest, Mardi Gras parades, bright colored clothes, and crafts. She did everything with energy and enthusiasm.  Above all else, she was a dedicated teacher.  Before finishing her doctorate at the University of Maryland, the university recognized her qualities with its Excellence in Teaching award. At Tulane, she received the 1997 Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award, the 1997-1998 Mortar Board Salute for Excellence in Academics, the 1999 Sociology Graduate Student Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching, the 1999-2000 Mortar Board Salute for Outstanding Teaching,  the 2001-02 Distinguished Newcomb Fellow of the Year, the 2003 President’s Recognition Certificate for Innovative Use of Technology in Teaching, the 2003 R.C. Read Award for Excellence in Teaching, the 2004 President’s Medal for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, the 2008-09 John Stibbs Award for Outstanding Faculty Member, and the 2010 SLA Outstanding Teaching Award.  If there was a teaching award she did not win, she must not have been eligible for it. Every student was important to April and she worked hard to give each one the best education possible.

Her department remembers her as an indefatigable organizer and as the right person for all the toughest jobs. Recognizing that graduate students needed better preparation to become teachers, she put together a class in pedagogy for Sociology Ph.D. students. She led the department in reforming the undergraduate curriculum. Most recently, she chaired the Sociology Departmental re-accreditation committee, led the way in establishing assessment and evaluation criteria, and compiled the documents for the department’s contribution to the university’s successful re-accreditation project.

April was extremely active in the university at large, in her profession, and in the New Orleans community as well as in her department.  Among her colleagues, she was well known for her unstinting service efforts and active engagement in a multitude of university committees and regional sociological associations. A longstanding board member of the Tulane University Women's' Association, April was also the founder of Crafty Ladies, a women's service organization dedicated to raising funds for various charities through the production and sale of their artwork and crafts.

April was an accomplished scholar in her field. Her widely published research made important and internationally recognized contributions to the academic and applied policy literatures on gender roles, childhood, and child care policy. For the past few years, April was particularly interested in working on cross-cultural comparisons of child-rearing in Hungary and the United States.

Since her father was in the military, she traveled widely in her childhood. She completed a B.S. at the University of California at Riverside in 1981. She earned her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees at the University of Maryland at College Park. After completing graduate school, in 1990, she took a position as a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the Urban Institute in Washington, D.C. She began teaching at Tulane in 1992, and taught her classes until the final week of her life.

April Brayfield died on the morning of Tuesday, December 13, 2011. Her friends and colleagues remember her as a valuable person in their lives and as a model of a university professor. Her husband, Sandor Furedi, will hold a Celebration of Life gathering at their home at 4223 Vincennes Place in New Orleans from 2 to 6 PM on January 7, 2012. Her department and the School of Liberal Arts will sponsor a remembrance in Rogers Chapel beginning at 3 PM on January 27. All those who remember April Brayfield are invited to attend the Rogers Chapel event and share their stories and reminiscences.


Tulane University, School of Liberal Arts, 102 Newcomb Hall, New Orleans, LA  70118, (504) 865-5225,