Social work presents alumni, faculty awards

The George Warren Brown School of Social Work honored three individuals with Outstanding Alumni Awards at the 2005 Outstanding Social Work Awards Banquet May 12 at the Forest Park Visitor Center.

The school also presented an Outstanding Faculty Award to Mark R. Rank, Ph.D., the Herbert S. Hadley Professor of Social Welfare.

Outstanding Alumni Awards were presented to the Rev. Cynthia S. Bumb, Ruth Greene Richardson and Frank S. Seever.

Bumb, a 1983 graduate and pastor of the Pilgrim Congregational United Church of Christ, has been recognized as a coalition-builder between groups with divergent interests.

Known for her ability to bridge the gap between the sacred and the secular, Bumb is engaged in justice and community social action in reproductive choice, family health, youth development and direct services to the disenfranchised.

She is on the boards of numerous community groups such as Doorways, an interfaith AIDS residence program. Bumb is the outgoing president of the Missouri Family Health Council.

Richardson, a 1950 graduate, is the founder and former executive director of Three Rivers Youth, a private nonprofit agency providing services to abused, neglected, runaway and homeless youth. She is a social work pioneer who touches the lives of the disadvantaged through art.

After breaking racial barriers at the School of Social Work and the University, she went on to influence the delivery of social services to children, youth and families with a goal of racial unity.

In retirement, Richardson has returned to her work as an artist. In addition to receiving many awards, her art was recently exhibited at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.

Seever is a 1954 graduate and the founder and president of the Taylor Institute at the University of Chicago, an international leader in research, public policy analysis and program development.

Throughout his career, he has been known for his innovative work, dedicated to improving the human condition in urban neighborhoods.

He developed the first Meals on Wheels and Welfare to Work models in the United States and is the founder of Chicago Commons, a virtual think tank of inner-city, community-based social services.

Rank has been a member of the University faculty since 1985 and a social work faculty member since 1989. He is known for his innovative and thought-changing research and teaching on poverty, social welfare and economic inequality.

He is the author of the critically acclaimed books Living on the Edge: The Realities of Welfare in America and One Nation Underprivileged: Why American Poverty Affects Us All.

Rank is the recipient of numerous awards, including the annual Faculty Teaching Award from the Council of Students of Arts & Sciences and the Outstanding Research Award from the Society for Social Work Research.