Scott Greer Awards for Outstanding Research

Postgraduate Achievement in Advancing Understanding of Urban Social Institutions

Dr. Edward J. Gumz

Dr. Edward J. Gumz received his Ph.D. in Urban Social Institutions from UWM in 1986. His dissertation examined the role of social workers, family court commissioners, and judges in the Milwaukee County Family Court, and was later published as a book under the title, Professionals and Their Work in the Family Divorce Court (Charles C. Thomas Publishers, 1987). Dr. Gumz taught in the Department of Social Work at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and Loyola University Chicago School of Social Work, where he was chairman of the Undergraduate Social Work Program and continues to teach in the MSW program there. He achieved tenure at both institutions and taught in the area of social policy, examining its relevance for social work practice and educating social work students about strategies to use to effect change at both the organizational and institutional levels; he brought an important historical and sociological lens to his teaching and scholarship regarding the social welfare institution. He is active in several communities, serving on a number of boards of directors of mental health and social welfare organizations. In the tradition of the late Distinguished Professor Scott Greer, Dr. Gumz, by his scholarship and leadership, has truly demonstrated the spirit of the Urban Studies Programs.

Postgraduate Contribution to Urban Affairs

Mr. Charles M. Hill, Sr.

Mr. Charles M. Hill, Sr. received his Master’s degree in Urban Affairs from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 1968 (he was part of the first year program cohort, 1963-64). He has been known as an advocate for the disadvantaged throughout his life, starting as one of the leaders in the 1964 boycott of Milwaukee's segregated schools. In 1970 he became the first African-American cabinet officer in Wisconsin and served at the pleasure of three Governors. During his tenure, he was instrumental in the creation of the state housing finance authority (WHEDA) and served as its Chairman. He also served on two Presidential task forces. As Executive Director of the Wisconsin Council on Criminal Justice he was instrumental in creating a new Children's Code and a statewide Public Defender program. From 1978 until his retirement in February of 2000 he was Executive Vice President, Community Investment Officer, and Chief Operating Officer of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago, and designed a number of innovative housing programs to serve low income families and individuals. He was commended by President Clinton for his achievements and continues in his advocacy role for those who are less fortunate. Since 2000 the Wisconsin Housing Collaborative presents the Charles M. Hill, Sr. Award for Housing Excellence to a pioneering recipient whose work has touched the lives of people in need.