Dr. N. Yolanda Burwell has received the East Carolina University School of Social Work 2018 Distinguished Faculty Legacy Award.
Burwell will be honored at the school’s annual Alumni and Friends Celebration on Friday, Oct. 26, at the Greenville Hilton. The Outstanding Alumni Award and A Rising Star Award also will be presented at the event. Nominations will be accepted until Sept. 20.
Burwell of Zebulon has been a faculty member of the leadership training program of the N.C. Rural Center for 24 years.
She joined the ECU School of Social Work in 1990 as an assistant professor. She taught courses in social work policy, human behavior and macro practice and served as the director of the undergraduate program for four years.
Colleagues said Burwell challenged and motivated students to become excellent social workers “because clients and communities deserved the best. She held them to high expectations, and her legacy is evident through the successful careers of former students.”
Her academic research focused on social welfare history in African-American communities, empowerment strategies and social work in rural communities. She also has conducted numerous training and consultations on teamwork, cultural competence, conflict resolution and communication.
Burwell was active on the local mental health board and the Mediation Center of Eastern North Carolina. In 2005, she joined the North Carolina Rural Economic Development Center as a senior fellow, where she worked for eight years. She studied barriers and incentives for economic opportunities, especially for low-resourced communities and groups.
Burwell received her bachelor’s degree in social work from N.C. A&T State University, a master’s of social work from Washington University and her doctorate from Cornell University.
The event will celebrate the school’s accomplishments, provide networking for alumni and friends, and raise money for the School of Social Work Scholarship Pool to support students in the program. Graduates from ECU’s bachelor of social work program leave with an average of almost $23,000 in debt, while graduate students incur on average about $55,000 in debt.
The event is open to the public. For more information, tickets or to nominate someone for an award, visit https://hhp.ecu.edu/socw/alumni/, email email@example.com or call Virginia Bunch at 252-737-2058.
-by Crystal Baity, ECU News Services