Anna Parisi and Melissa Villodas have received the Outstanding Doctoral Student Award for 2021 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Social Work. The award recognizes doctoral students who demonstrate exemplary scholarship, teaching, service, leadership and collegial support of fellow students.
Parisi is graduating with her Ph.D. in Social Work in May 2021. Villodas is completing her third year of doctoral studies. Both serve as research assistants to Amy Blank Wilson, Ph.D., studying mental health interventions in prison settings.
Parisi is a licensed clinical social worker and licensed clinical addictions specialist who has worked as an outpatient therapist and a community support team therapist, focusing on substance use. She has also served as an AmeriCorps service member.
A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of UNC Greensboro with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, Parisi earned her Master of Social Work degree at UNC School of Social Work.
Villodas has worked as a clinical therapist for a treatment family foster care program and as project director for NYU’s Youth and Young Adult Mental Health Research Group. She co-hosts the podcast “Mix(ed)Tape” and is actively involved with the Tiny Homes Village at the Farm project to provide affordable housing for homeless persons with mental health disorders.
Villodas earned her bachelor’s degree in English from Nyack College and her Master of Social Work degree from New York University. In 2020, she was selected for the LEAD Global Training Program at Washington University in St. Louis.
Mimi Chapman, Ph.D., associate dean for doctoral education, presented the awards to Parisi and Villodas during an online ceremony on Wednesday, May 12, 2021.