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Yarneccia D. Dyson Named Head of NC State School of Social Work

1911 building on NC State's campus

The College of Humanities and Social Sciences has named Yarneccia D. Dyson department head and professor in the School of Social Work, effective August 15 pending Board of Trustees approval.

Currently, Dyson serves as an associate professor and chair of the Department of Social Work and Gerontology Program at UNC Greensboro (UNCG). 

“Yarneccia brings an impressive record of research, engagement and teaching to our university, and I’m thrilled she is joining our college to lead the School of Social Work,” says Deanna Dannels, dean of NC State’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences. “Her collaborative leadership philosophy, social and behavioral science acumen, and commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion will help guide our community and create innovative opportunities for faculty and students.” 

Headshot of Yarneccia Dyson
Yarneccia Dyson.

Dyson is an award-winning thought leader and higher education strategist who joined UNCG as an assistant professor of social work in 2016 before being named to her current position last year. She chairs the university’s Research Grants Committee and is co-chair of the School of Health and Human Sciences Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee. In addition, she serves as director of the Well-Being, Intersectionality, Sustainability, Engagement, Empowerment and Equity Research Lab (The WIS3 Lab) and leads the development of HIV prevention interventions and programs. 

Additionally, she has earned more than $5 million in external funding and is the principal investigator for a $1.9 million grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration for the Integrated Behavioral Health and Racial Equity Scholars (IBHRES) program. Dyson is actively engaged on the national level in various social work education organizations, including the Council on Social Work Education and the Association of Baccalaureate Social Work Program Directors.

Her academic career also includes previous roles as a graduate faculty member at the University of Alabama, visiting scholar at James Madison University and assistant professor at Benedict College. Additionally, she brings more than 20 years of social work practice experience and leadership experience to NC State.

Dyson is passionate about inclusive and equity-centered practices in higher education and administration, faculty development, as well as advancing anti-racist practices in all systems (education, health, justice, etc.). Her research focuses on improving the health, access and well-being of historically oppressed communities, mentoring experiences for Black women and women of color, as well as improving the sexual and reproductive health outcomes for communities of color. 

Among her many awards and recognitions includes the prestigious Council on Social Work Education Early Career Faculty Service and Leadership in Social Work Education Award that she received in 2021, as well as being named a 2021 Michigan Integrative Well-Being and Inequity (MIWI) Scholar. Additionally, she has received awards for her contributions to diversity and inclusion, teaching awards, and research innovation. In 2020, she was selected as a Health Disparities Research Institute (HDRI) Scholar by the National Institutes of Minority Health and Health Disparities.

Dyson holds a Ph.D. in social work policy, planning and administration and social science from Clark Atlanta University. She earned her MSW from Florida State University and BSW from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University.