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School of Social Work celebrates 98th annual commencement

The UNC School of Social Work held its 98th annual hooding ceremony on Saturday, May 11. Friends, family members, and others gathered in Memorial Hall on UNC’s campus to celebrate this year’s 130 MSW and three Ph.D. graduates.

Dean Gary Bowen and Alumni Council President Kristen Register Lakis, MSW ’12, welcomed the audience and presented the 2019 Distinguished Alumni Awards. This year’s recipients are: Susanna Birdsong, MSW ’08; Noel Bost, MSW ’96; Jessica Burroughs, MSW/MPH ’98; Mia Ives-Rublee, MSW ’09; and Marci White, MSW ’78.

Deloris Jordan received the Tate-Turner-Kuralt Champions Award in recognition of her extraordinary volunteer work with the School of Social Work and in communities across the globe.

During the ceremony, the MSW Class of 2019 and Social Work Student Organization (SoWoSo) chairs Elizabeth Byrum, Shannon Gaylord, Briana Pfeuffer and Nora Simmons also honored several faculty and staff members with special awards. Those recognized were:

  • Most Supportive Faculty Member: Laurie Selz-Campbell
  • Most Innovative Faculty Member: Tonya Van Deinse
  • Most Overall Outstanding Faculty Member: Marilyn Ghezzi
  • Most Inspirational Faculty Member: Iris Carlton-LaNey
  • Most Supportive Staff Member: Monique Tuset
  • Most Overall Outstanding Staff Member: Sharon Thomas

Iris Carlton-LaNey, Ph.D., Berg-Beach Distinguished Professor of Community Social Work, delivered this year’s commencement address. With a career spanning more than 40 years, Dr. Carlton-LaNey is a nationally renowned scholar who has received many accolades for her work, including the National Association of Social Workers N.C. Social Worker of the Year award, the 50 Heroes for Justice award and the Social Work Pioneer award.