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Washington named Outstanding Doctoral Student

Tiffany Renee Washington was selected by the doctoral program committee to receive the 2010-11 Outstanding Doctoral Student Award. She was honored at a reception May 6.

Washington was nominated by several of her colleagues. When presenting the award, doctoral program chair Dr. Kathleen Rounds said one nominator’s quote best captures what most people wrote: “Whether it is teaching, scholarship, or service, Tiffany performs all with a spirit of excellence.”

Washington received her B.A. in Communication Studies from UNC-Chapel Hill, and went on to complete an MSW at North Carolina A&T and UNC-Greensboro. Prior to entering our doctoral program in 2007, she served as a medical social worker in home health and renal dialysis, and was the patient services coordinator for the Southeastern Kidney Council. Her leadership in the field of nephrology social work was recognized in 2005 when Tiffany was selected as the Social Worker of the Year by the North Carolina Council of Nephrology Social Workers.

As a doctoral student, she has received several awards and fellowships including a UNC Graduate School Minority Presence Fellowship, the Hartford Pre-Dissertation Award, a UNC Institute on Aging Pre-Doctoral Fellowship, and the Gordon H. DeFriese Career Development in Aging Research Award. She has also been awarded summer training fellowships from RAND and the University of California at San Diego (NIMH Aging and Mental Health Program).

Combining doctoral studies and engagement in community service, she serves on several advisory boards for community-based agencies and is the student representative to the Association for Gerontology Education in Social Work.  In addition, she volunteers for community agencies and service projects such as the National Kidney Foundation, World AIDS Day, and organized a local drive to increase bone marrow donations.

For the past two years Washington has taught “SOWO 492: APPLES Seminar in Service Learning Program” to Carolina undergraduates and has received excellent evaluations from her students. As one of her colleagues wrote, “Her passion and personal dedication to service inspires UNC undergraduates to pursue social service professions such as social work and public health and to be active and engaged citizens.”

One undergraduate who Washington mentored through an honors thesis project wrote, “I honestly was going to quit, but thanks to Tiffany’s constant encouragement, I continued the process and completed it! She is truly a blessing and a wonderful mentor.”

“Her passion for her work is an inspiration to all,” said another.