Alumna of the Year

The general qualifications for the Social Worker of the Year are:

  • Graduated from social work program at MSU.
  • Maintained a career of professional excellence since graduation.
  • Is active in community social service.
  • Role model for social work students.
  • Continues to support the mission and goals of the MSU social work program.
  • Demonstrates active interest in current students.


2015 - Sherika Robinson Bevill

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2014 - Amy Hood

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2013 - Lorie Naef

Image of Lorie Naef

Lorie Naef LCSW, currently works at Beyond Therapy Pediatric Group. A 1975 MSU social work program graduate, Lorie earned her MSW at the University of Tennessee in Nashville in 1978. Lorie was previously employed at Batson Children's Hospital and the Child Development Clinic at UMC.

2011 - Catherine Jones

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Catherine Jones retired supervisor from the Mississippi Department of Human Services, Division of Family and Children Services, went on to work at Rolling Hills Nursing Home in Starkville, MS. Ms. Jones is a 1974 graduate of MSU and is a licensed social worker. She has held a number of offices in the Mississippi Conference on Social Welfare.

2010 - Natalie I. Bryant

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Natalie I. Bryant is a 2004 BSW graduate from Mississippi State University, where she also earned a certificate in the Women's Studies program. Ms. Bryant is a licensed social worker employed as the Acting Area Social Work Supervisor for the Mississippi Department of Human Service (MDHS) in Pontotoc County. Previously, Ms. Bryant has also served MDHS as a Resource Specialist and Adoption Specialist. Ms. Bryant is an active member of the National Association of Social Workers and is the Vice President of the Mississippi Conference on Social Welfare.

2009 - Lori Woodruff

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Lori Woodruff is a 1981 graduate from MSU and subsequently earned her MSW at the University of Southern Mississippi and a Master of Education from Mississippi College. Currently an instructor at USM, Ms. Woodruff has won numerous awards including the 1996 and 2011 Mississippi Social Worker of the Year. She has held numerous offices, including President of the Mississippi Conference on Social Welfare and is a leader in preventing child abuse in Mississippi.

2008 - Jo Ann T. Rounsaville

Image of Jo Ann T. Rounsaville

Jo Ann T. Rounsaville, a 1981 graduate of MSU, is the owner and president of Quality Hospice Care in Philadelphia, MS and is a licensed social worker. A member of the Social Work Advisory Board, Ms. Rounsaville has sponsored numerous students in attending professional conferences.

2007 - Tamara Whetstone

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B.S.W., Mississippi State University
M.S.W., Florida State University

Tamara H. Whetstone has more than 17 years experience in the fields of Social Work and Service Coordination. During her career with National Church Residences, she served as a Service Coordinator and Senior Service Coordinator for 11 years. She became a Certified Training Associate (CTA) and Certified Online Training Associate (COTA) through National Church Residences University, and, in 2010, joined the Service Coordination Institute team as an Instructional Designer and Subject Matter Expert. Currently, Tamara is an Education Specialist for National Church Residences assisting with development and instruction of e-learning solutions to meet the educational and licensure needs of Service Coordinators and Housing Professionals across the country. She is also an adjunct professor for the Social Work and Distance Learning Departments at Mississippi State University, developing and instructing online courses. Tamara holds a B.S.W. from Mississippi State University and a M.S.W. from Florida State University and is a Licensed Independent Social Worker (LISW) in the state of Ohio.