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Staff and faculty celebrated for their years of service to state 

by Chris Hilburn-Trenkle

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Social Work is proud to recognize a number of faculty and staff members who have dedicated years of service to both the School and the state. Below you can find a list of staff and faculty members whose talent and service have helped bring the School of Social Work continued success.  

We thank you for all you do for the School and our community. 

30 Years

Carolyn Adams: Retired — Human Resources Consultant  

25 Years

Barbara Leach: Family Support Project Coordinator 

Steven Day: Research Associate Professor  

Sam Deal: Facilities Manager  

Phil Kaufman: IT Manager  

Kimberly Strom: Smith P. Theimann Jr. Distinguished Professor  

Smith P. Theimann Jr. Distinguished Professor of Ethics and Professional Practice Kimberly Strom, who joined the School in 1999, has mentored a generation of doctoral students, led presentations and workshops around the world and contributed to the School’s excellent standing nationally. Strom earned her bachelor’s degree at the University of Maine before receiving her master’s degree in social work from Adelphi University and her doctorate in social work from Case Western Reserve University. Strom’s areas of teaching include direct and macro practice, education, and leadership. She has held various leadership positions at both the School and the University, including as the School’s interim dean, the director of the UNC Office of Ethics and Policy and the principal investigator of the School’s behavioral health care contract. 

Strom has written countless articles on ethics and practice and is the author of multiple books, including “Straight Talk about Professional Ethics” and “The Ethics of Practice with Minors.” An internationally recognized scholar, Strom represents North America on the International Federation of Social Work Ethics Commission and leads trainings on both ethical practice and ethical action. She recently served as a presenter at the 13th annual European Social Work Research Conference in Lithuania and taught a class at the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia.  

“It’s a privilege to have spanned decades at the School of Social Work, most especially for the opportunity to have worked with and remember the contributions of amazing people like Audreye Johnson, Gary Shaffer, Rachel Dedmon, and Linda Wilson,” Strom said. “They and others left us a strong foundation!” 

Kimberly Strom, Ph.D.

20 Years

Penny Hawkins: Administrative Research Manager 

Sarah Reives-Houston: Director, Behavioral Health Springboard 

Melissa Godwin: Clinical Associate Professor 

15 Years

Steve Guest: Senior Research Associate  

Jeannette Laboy: Project Manager  

Allison Metz: Director, Implementation Practice  

Aisha Stocks: Executive Assistant  

10 Years

Bernice Adjabeng: Program Director, Peer Support Program  

Peer Support Program Director Bernice Adjabeng is no stranger to higher education. After earning both her MSW and Master of Arts in nonprofit management from Washington University in St. Louis, she earned a Doctor of Management degree from Webster University. While taking classes at Webster, Adjabeng began working at the School of Social Work in 2014 as an administrative support specialist.  

Adjabeng has helped the School in various roles during her tenure — she transitioned to a research project manager in 2016, became a program coordinator in 2018 and entered her current role as program director at Behavioral Health Springboard in 2022. In 2017, she also became an adjunct faculty member at the School, teaching courses in multiple areas including management and administration and social work practice. 

In her role as program director, Adjabeng supervises the credentialing, curricula and training of North Carolina peer support specialists. She also helps formulate policy for the statewide peer support specialist program and steers development for the data-driven systems that implement policies and procedures to help benefit countless individuals across North Carolina. 

“Serving as the program director for the North Carolina Certified Peer Support Specialist Program at the School of Social Work has been an incredible opportunity to leverage my training, knowledge, and skills in social work and management to help develop systems and improve many lives,” said Adjabeng. “It is gratifying to be part of a team that supports individuals in recovery as they help others overcome mental health and substance use challenges.” 

Bernice Adjabeng, Program Director

Vicky Chang: Administrative Support Specialist 

Alicia Freeman: Mental Health First Aid Program Manager  

Annamae Giles: CARES Program Coordinator  

Brittany Greene: Problem Gambling Program Specialist 

Nancy Hagan: Senior Research Associate  

Kathleen Malley: Programmer/Policy Analyst/Data Manager  

Katherine Treadway: Training Specialist  

Kandace Davis Farrar: Associate Dean of Advancement  

Nicolle Mynhier: Accounting Technician  

Amy Blank Wilson: Associate Professor and Meehan Early Career Distinguished Scholar

5 Years

Annie Francis: Senior Research Associate  

Krystal Graves: Children with Complex Needs Program Specialist  

Beth Lowder: Innovation Program Manager  

Innovation Program Manager Beth Lowder received her bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2014 and began taking classes at the School of Social Work to earn her MSW degree shortly thereafter in 2015. While at the School, Lowder had multiple impactful internships, including as a graduate research assistant for the Jordan Institute for Families. She also helped to design and launch the Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Lab at the School as a social innovation intern. Lowder continued her work with the lab after graduating in 2017, supporting students and finding ways to strengthen social work education and practice as a program manager.  

In 2019, Lowder designed and oversaw the launch of the Community Aspirations Hub at the School, a project that aims to address multidimensional poverty, and in 2021 she moved into her current role, where she forms and spearheads partnerships between outside organizations and the School. These collaborative projects provide some of the many impacts the School brings to the community by helping to improve the health and well-being of individuals. 

“I am grateful to have had the opportunity to serve the UNC School of Social Work for five years,” said Lowder. “As innovation program manager, I am privileged to be part of many exciting community-engaged projects to improve people’s health and well-being. I work alongside wonderful colleagues who are dedicated to making a positive impact on the communities we serve. It’s an honor to contribute to the mission of the School and to know my work makes a difference in people’s lives.” 

Beth Lowder

Evelyn “Evi” Taylor: Retired — Associate Dean MSW Education