2005 Scott Greer Awards

Scott Greer Award for Postgraduate Contribution to Urban Affairs

Edward JJ Olson Mr. Edward JJ Olson is a trained architect and practiced in that field in the U.S. and Sweden before earning his M.S. in Urban Affairs in 1972. At UWM, Mr. Olson has been an adjunct professor in the Department of Urban Planning and the Department of Urban Affairs. Currently, Olson is president of E jj Olson & Associate where he serves as an international consultant for health and human service continuum of care systems.

Mr. Olson works with public and private sector agencies in the development of new and innovative programs and strategic solutions that improve conditions in urban communities. His leadership role has included extensive consulting with federal agencies and national foundations, and membership on numerous national policy boards such as the Urban Elderly Coalition and the American Society of Aging. As Assistant Director of the Milwaukee Community Relations-Social Development Commission (CR-SDC), he was responsible for developing programs and conducting research that enabled CR-SDC to expand its budget from $3,000,000 to $25,000,000 and become one of the leading Community Action Agencies in the country. In addition, he was instrumental in developing Milwaukee County Commission on Aging which today serves 154,000 older adults in the metropolitan area. As its Chairman for more than 13 years, he was instrumental in establishing many innovative programs that became models nationwide and internationally. Furthermore, Mr. Olson developed the Geriatrics Institute at Sinai Samaritan Medical Center, one of the first comprehensive innovative continuums of care for older people in the country; a program designated by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation as one of its Hospital Initiatives in long term care.

Scott Greer Award for Postgraduate Achievement in Advancing Understanding of Urban Social Institutions


Dr. Avelardo Valdez, who also holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from UCLA, is currently the Director of the Office for Drug and Social Policy Research at the University of Houston and Professor in the Graduate School of Social Work at that institution. Previously, he was Professor in the Division of Social and Policy Sciences and Director of the Hispanic Research Center at the University of Texas at San Antonio.

He is a nationally recognized expert in the area of gangs and drug abuse within the Mexican-American population. An extremely productive research scholar, he has achieved an extensive publication record, and national influence. In addition, he has enabled the work of others to be launched and to thrive by establishing two university research centers that conduct research, training and demonstration projects in areas surrounding Latino social problems. To support these activities, he has secured grants from sources such as the NIH National Institute of Drug Abuse and the DHHS Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT).

Professor Valdez serves on numerous national committees and advisory panels including presently: The Committee on Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment of the World Federation for Mental Health, The National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship Review Panel, The National Steering Committee of the National Hispanic Science Network of the National Institutes of Health National Institute on Drug Abuse.