Traci died Dec. 19, 2021, in Chicago.

She was born April 14, 1976, in Dumont, N.J., where few of her friends or family had attended college. She earned an associate’s degree in women’s studies from Bergen Community College in 1997; a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Fordham in 1999, graduating summa cum laude; and a Ph.D. in sociology from Princeton in 2006. 

Traci joined DePaul’s Department of Sociology in 2004, earned tenure in 2012, and served as director of graduate studies. She received an Excellence in Teaching Award in 2011. Traci spent a year as a visiting scholar at the Consortium for Women and Research at the University of California at Davis. 

Her research focused on an analysis and critique of the criminal-justice system, in particular its production and maintenance of racial stratification in the post-civil rights United States. Traci was a scholar and an activist in equal measure and devoted her life to social-justice work. Considered a transformative teacher for students at both the undergraduate and graduate level, she worked as a volunteer with the Chicago Books to Women in Prison cooperative and the Transformative Justice Law Project.

Traci is survived by her wife, Kathleen Frederickson.

Class Year: 
Graduate Class of 2006