March 18, 1999
Vol. 18 No. 12

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    [ron huberman], by christopher smithGraduate student Ron Huberman recently received a Soros Fellowship.

    GSB, SSA student, who also protects Chicago citizens, receives honor

    Ron Huberman, 27, a Chicago police officer and dual master’s degree graduate student in the School of Social Service Administration and the Graduate School of Business, has been awarded a 1999 Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans.

    One of 30 recipients from 1,200 applicants nationwide, Huberman wants to use the problem-solving insights of social work and the management and leadership training of business school to “lead a more effective, efficient and compassionate police department.

    “I’d like to lead a police agency some day. There are a lot of technicalities involved in the administration of a law enforcement agency that a business education can address.” Huberman said the School of Social Service Administration will prepare him to “effectively analyze and design innovative policy.”

    Born in Tel Aviv, Israel, Huberman became a U.S. citizen in 1982. Raised by parents whose families had died in the Holocaust, Huberman and his family moved to the United States and resided in Tennessee. Huberman decided to become a police officer at age 6 when he and his mother were the victims of an armed robbery.

    Huberman became a police officer after receiving his B.A. in English and psychology from the University of Wisconsin at Madison in 1994.

    After graduating the Chicago Police Academy and joining the Chicago Police Department, Huberman sought assignment in the 24th District in Rogers Park where he continually worked to drive out contending gangs from his beat. “I really chose it because of the diversity of its population,” he said.

    He has been honored with a Department Commendation, The Spirit of Rogers Park Award, an Officer of the Month award and 24 Honorable Mentions.

    After two and a half years of service as a beat officer and as a tactical gang team officer during part of his service, Huberman decided he wanted a broader intellectual basis for the leadership roles to which he aspired. He then began school as a part-time student in the SSA and the GSB while still serving the police department. Huberman was granted an educational leave of absence in December 1998 to pursue his studies full time.

    He said his education at Chicago offers the framework for his goals. “I felt that by attending the University of Chicago I could get the best education that I needed.”

    While at the University, Huberman has volunteered at Cook County Hospital and was awarded the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship for his efforts to improve health care for impoverished residents in Cook County.

    The Soros fellowships, supported by a charitable trust established in 1997, are awarded each year to new Americans––immigrants or children of immigrants––pursuing graduate studies.

    Huberman said his University studies have taught him that what he reads and learns about immigration from the media “misses a lot of the history and contributions made by immigrants.” He said he is thankful for the opportunity to receive the Soros Fellowship, which supports new Americans who “have something positive to add to the culture.”