Sharon Holmes Thomas has been selected by the National Deans and Directors of Social Work Admissions (NDDSWA) to receive its national Mentor of the Year Award for 2020. Thomas is assistant dean for recruitment, financial aid and admissions at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Social Work.
The NDDSWA Mentor of the Year Award honors exceptional performance in recruiting and cultivating the next generation of leaders in social work. Thomas will receive the award in a virtual ceremony on Friday, Nov. 20, at 4 p.m.
“Sharon is so deserving of this award,” noted Dean Gary Bowen in a message of congratulations that he shared with the School. “Sharon, you make us all proud!”
Richard Sigg of Case Western Reserve University announced the award on behalf of NDDSWA, adding, “Sharon has enhanced the organization; her advice and insight has had a positive impact on our colleagues.”
Sigg also acknowledged Thomas for her “selfless efforts to seek out opportunities to introduce new colleagues to the admissions field and provide a welcoming environment.”
Thomas is an alumnus of the School, earning her Master of Social Work degree in 1998. She also completed undergraduate studies in sociology and in African and African American Studies at the University of Michigan.
She served as human services coordinator for the Orange County Department of Social Services before returning to the School in 2001 as a field education advisor. She was appointed as director of the Triangle Distance Education MSW Program in 2003 and has led the School’s recruitment, admissions and financial aid work since 2007.
Thomas also led development of a statewide Diversity Recruitment Event, now in its 8th year, that encourages students from North Carolina’s historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) to pursue graduate studies.