Lambert's Volkswagen collided with a dump truck two blocks north of campus at about 9:30 a.m., Berkeley police said.
Lambert, who joined the UC Berkeley faculty in 1964 and was one of the founders of the School Psychology Program, was described by colleagues and loved ones as very committed to her profession.
"She was terrifically hard working, totally dedicated to her job, to service to the university, and to the welfare of children and the promotion of their learning," said program coordinator Carolyn Hartsough, Lambert's friend and colleague of many years.
Lambert was a pioneer in establishing developmental psychology as the foundation for understanding children and adolescents in a school setting, said program director Frank Worrell, a former student of Lambert.
"She worked very hard for school psychology to be seen as an important and almost required discipline for schools," he said.
Both colleagues and family members said that Lambert's dedication to teaching and the field of educational psychology opened doors for the students she trained.
"There are graduates of her program who are now serving as professors in practically every program in the state from Humboldt in the north to San Diego State in the south," Worrell said.
When she was hired, Lambert was one of few women who taught at the university, helping "(change) the face of the Berkeley faculty in terms of assuring greater representation by women," said P. David Pearson, dean of the
In addition to establishing the program on campus-the first of its kind in California when it was founded in 1965-Lambert was also recognized for her work at the state and national levels.
Lambert was a fellow of the American Psychological Association, serving on its board of directors from 1984-87 and as chair of its Board of Educational Affairs from 1992-94.
Lambert was made an honorary member of the National Association of School Psychologists in 1996 and was named "a legend" when she spoke at the group's 1998 conference.
After receiving her bachelor's degree in psychology from UCLA in 1948, Lambert earned her master's degree in education from Cal State Los Angeles, and her doctorate in psychology from University of Southern California in 1965.
Lambert's son, Jeffrey Lambert, said she was a supportive mother, a wine and travel enthusiast and a loyal Cal athletics fan, in addition to all of her professional accomplishments.
His mother attended every football and basketball game, and knew all the football players' names and grades because she always wanted students to do well, Jeffery Lambert said.
"Even if no one would go (to the games) with her, she'd go alone, yelling louder than everyone else. Those ladies that sit behind her will notice this fall," he said.
Lambert is survived by her son, Jeffrey of Palo Alto, and daughter Laura Allan of Oakland. A memorial service is being scheduled for late May in Berkeley, officials said.