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Distinguished Alumni Awards

Each year, UNC School of Social Work honors outstanding alumni for their leadership, passion, commitment, and contributions to the field of social work. Distinguished Alumni Awards are presented during our School’s commencement ceremony each year.

The Nomination Process

You are invited to help identify and nominate candidates for UNC School of Social Work Distinguished Alumni Awards recognition. A nominee must be a graduate of UNC School of Social Work (either MSW or Ph.D.) to be considered for this award. Nominations must be received by March 15 to be considered for the award presentation in May.

Nominations are reviewed using the following criteria:

  • Demonstrates outstanding leadership and makes significant contributions to the field of social work.
  • Demonstrates a deep commitment to highly ethical social work standards.
  • Develops and/or implements major innovations that have improved the quality of life for community members.
  • Benefits clients, the professional community. and the social work profession through special contributions, advocacy, and involvement in professional, civic, and/or community organizations.
  • Serves as an effective advocate for social work issues.

To nominate an individual, please provide a written nomination that includes the following information:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Nominee’s name and contact information
  • Nominee’s current employment or professional affiliation
  • A statement explaining in detail the reasons you believe your nominee is a strong candidate for this award (most nominations are 2-5 paragraphs in length)

You may submit more than one nomination. Please submit each nomination separately either by email or by mail to this address:

Distinguished Alumni Awards nominations
Dean’s Office
UNC School of Social Work
Campus Box #3550
Chapel Hill, N.C. 27599-3550

Distinguished Alumni Awards — Past Recipients

In some years, no award was presented.

2019
Susanna Stepp Birdsong ’08
Noel Sebastian Bost ’96
Jessica Nakell Burroughs ’98
Mia Ives-Rublee ’09
Marcia Lynn White ’78

2018
Veronica Creech ’98
Constance Fraser Gray ’91
Mark A. Oliver ’98
Anna Marie Scheyett ’89
Jovetta L. Whitfield ’95

2017
Sharon Warren Cook ’95
Dana Courtney ’74
Karen McLeod
Phyllis Thomas-Thorpe ’82
Irene Zipper ’73

2016
Gary Bowen ’76
Desdemona Faison ’85
Justin Perry ’09
Stephen Douglas Trantham ’92

2015
Easter Maynard ’97
Michael Newton-Ward ’84

2014
Seanee Garris Alexander ’99
Mary Deyampert-McCall ’80
Chris Estes ’00

2010
JoAnn McCatchern Swart ’78
Myrna Miller Wellons ’96

2009
Bobby Boyd ’69
Ella Craig ’50
Michelle Hughes ’95
Constance Renz ’74

2008
Diann Dawson ’74
Debra Jenkins ’77
Amanda Stone ’94

2007
Holly Bowles Blanton ’77
Isabel Geffner ’02

2006
Connie Bonebrake ’86
Louise Coggins ’80
Robert Gorman ’78

2005
Edwin Chapin ’67
Gay Morris ’81
Matt Sullivan ’97
Gail Varley ’80

2003 
Sarah Austin ’64
Andrea Bazan Manson ’95

2002
Molly Barker ’89
Sonja “Yvette” Murphy ’90
Robert Stump ’69

2001
McCray Benson ’90
William Pollard ’69

2000 
Bill Brittain ’65
Marilyn Maxwell ’72

1999
Linda Miller Summer ’48

1997 
Ruby Demesme ’79

1996
Frank Raymond ’65

1995 
Martha Beach ’75

1993
Yangcha Crabb ’74

1992
Sandra Mastin Cook ’74