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Five receive Distinguished Alumni Award for 2017

Five alumni of the UNC School of Social Work have been named as recipients of the School’s Distinguished Alumni Award. Dean Gary L. Bowen presented the awards during the School’s 2017 commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 13, in UNC’s Memorial Hall.
Meet the recipients:
Sharon Warren Cook serves as dean of curriculum, instruction and assessment for Kingsborough Community College in Brooklyn, N.Y. She has also served as a professor and administrator at North Carolina A&T University. She is a 1995 graduate of the School’s MSW program.
Dana Newman Courtney has been a social work professional for more than 40 years, serving with the Durham County Department of Social Services and with the nonprofit organization VISIONS. She is a past president of the School’s Alumni Council and currently serves on its Board of Advisors. She is a 1974 graduate of the School’s MSW program.
Karen McCloud is president of the Benchmarks alliance and has served as executive director for the North Carolina Association of County Directors ofSocial Services. Currently, she is co-chair of the Legislative Child Fatality Task Force. She is a 2001 graduate of the School’s MSW program.
Phyllis Ann Thomas-Thorpe has more than 30 years of experience in human services and, before beginning her career in social work, became the first female officer with the Durham Police Department. She also worked for Duke University Medical Center and for the State of North Carolina and continues to take an active role with volunteer activities. She is a 1982 graduate of the School’s MSW program.
Irene Nathan Zipper served as director of the Family Support Network of North Carolina and as a member of the School’s faculty, retiring in 2013. She led the Transatlantic Consortium for Early Childhood Intervention, promoting scholarship with professionals in Germany, Portugal and Sweden. She is a 1973 graduate of the School’s MSW program.
These social work professionals have and continue to be outstanding representatives for the School. We are proud of their accomplishments. Congratulations to our Distinguished Alumni Award recipients for 2017!