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Jillian Riley to receive NASW-NC Presidents’ Award

Source: Seth Maid, Director of Membership & Communication, NASW-NC

The National Association of Social Workers North Carolina Chapter (NASW-NC) has named Jillian Riley as the recipient of the NASW-NC Presidents’ Award for Master of Social Work (MSW) students for the 2020-2021 academic year. Riley is enrolled in the MSW program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Social Work.

The NASW-NC Presidents’ Award recognizes Riley’s leadership within her school and community, her commitment to serving on social justice campaigns, and her dedication to advancing public policy.

Riley ran for local election to serve as a Durham Soil and Water Conservation District supervisor and was endorsed by the NASW-NC’s Political Action for Candidate Election Committee. She sits as the board chair of Crayons2Calculators and is a board member of the Durham City/County Citizen Advisory, the Equal Rights Amendment-NC Alliance, and the Raleigh Women’s March. In addition, she is an associate supervisor in the Durham Soil and Water Conservation District, where she represents her community on three different city/county boards.

Throughout her time at UNC School of Social Work, Riley has demonstrated a strong conviction in student leadership and social equity. She currently represents her school as a student ambassador and has been an active facilitator in student recruitment. She is listed as the third author of an upcoming publication by the Society for Research in Child Development titled “Longitudinal Trajectories of Four Domains of Parenting in Relation to Adolescent Age and Puberty in Nine Countries.”

Sarah Verbiest, clinical associate professor at UNC School of Social Work, noted that Riley’s “commitment to public service is evident and her ability to run a positive campaign with a strong platform and engage with a diversity of people is clear.” Verbiest added, “Jillian is the kind of student who always goes several steps above what is required and does it well.”

As a graduate assistant at the Juvenile Justice Division of the North Carolina Department of Public Safety, Riley is working on a statewide process for justice-involved youth to be engaged in local juvenile justice behavioral health teams. During her first-year research practicum at the Duke University Center for Child and Family Policy, she participated in domestic and international research, which includes the impact that COVID-19 has on working families. She is also a 2020 Ellen Black Winston Award Scholar and a 2019 Janice Hough Schloper Scholar.

Riley will be honored at the 2021 NASW-NC Virtual Ethics Conference and Awards Celebration on Friday, March 19, 2021.

NASW-NC is a membership organization that promotes, develops, and protects the practice of social work and social workers. NASW-NC also seeks to enhance the effective functioning and wellbeing of individuals, families and communities through its work and advocacy.