Congratulations to the 2011 Dr. P.B. Poorman Award Recipient


Jeffrey Merrick is a Professor of History and Associate Dean of the College of Letters and Science at UW-Milwaukee. Dr. Merrick has devoted much of his academic career to the advancement of LGBTQ issues in his research, his teaching, and his service to the campus community. He has published more than a dozen essays and articles on homosexuality in eighteenth-century France and co-edited four volumes on homosexuality in France. Dr. Merrick has served on and coordinated the Committee on Lesbian and Gay History, an affiliated society of the American Historical Association, and organized multiple CLGH seminars at AHA annual conferences. At UW-Milwaukee, Dr. Merrick created and taught an undergraduate course, “Homosexuality in History,” and regularly supervises graduate students from many disciplines who are working on LGBT issues.

Dr. Merrick’s commitment to promoting greater LGBTQ inclusivity at UW-M spans decades. In the early 1990s, he was one of the organizers of the UWM LGBT Faculty/Staff Caucus and served as Caucus Coordinator for 13 years (1991-2004). From 1993-1994, Dr. Merrick co-chaired the UW-M Task Force on Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Issues. He served on the campus-wide Advisory Committee on LGBT Issues for nine years (1995-2004, chair 1995-1998), was the UW-M contact for the UW System LGB Issues Network from 1992-2004, and attended the organizational meeting of the Inclusivity Initiative. Dr. Merrick has represented LGBTQ issues on important campus search committees, including the Director of Equity and Diversity Services and Vice Chancellor for Climate and Diversity (twice), and he is currently chairing the 2011 search. On the community level, he has worked closely for many years with the greater Milwaukee LGBT Community Center in their development of a local history project.

Dr. Merrick has also been vital to the success of UW-Milwaukee’s LGBT Studies Certificate Program, which he co-founded in 1993. Dr. Merrick served on the LGBT Studies Certificate Program Committee for over a decade (1993-2004, 2007-2008) and coordinated the Certificate from 1998-2004. At the time it was established, Dr. Merrick secured modest funds and a commitment from the College of Letters & Science for a once-per-year Introduction to LGBT Studies course, resources not given to other undergraduate certificate programs. During his tenure as Associate Dean for the Humanities (2008-2011), the LGBT Studies curriculum and course offerings have grown tremendously. As a direct result of his advocacy, there are currently three sections of Introduction to LGBT Studies, a lower-level topics course, and an upper-level topics course offered each year. Enrollment in the certificate program has tripled and continues to increase.

The peers who nominated Dr. Merrick described him as inspirational, supportive, personally gracious, unwavering, tenacious, modest, and a remarkable colleague.