UM Student Chosen to Receive Statewide Social Work Award

OXFORD, Miss. – A University of Mississippi student from Natchez has been recognized as the state’s top student this year in the field of social work.

Tatum Dellinger was recently selected by the National Association of Social Workers for the 2009 Claire Nowlin Undergraduate Award.


Every social work program in Mississippi was invited to nominate a student. Nominees were judged by the NASW board of directors on academics, community service and social work involvement. Dellinger was one of eight nominees.

NASW created the award to honor Claire Nowlin who served as NASW president for a number of years. Nowlin made huge contributions to social work in Mississippi before she died of cancer in 2007. Winners receive a $200 stipend and a commemorative plaque. Claire Nowlin’s husband, John Nowlin, presented this year’s award.

“I was definitely surprised when I heard my name,” Dellinger said. “When you are surrounded by so many worthy students, it is always surprising to find yourself not only nominated but selected.”

Carol Boyd, chair of the Department of Social Work, selected Dellinger to represent UM.

“I selected her not only because of her involvement inside the classroom but within her community as well,” Body said. “Tatum is very well-rounded and greatly represents the University of Mississippi.”

Dellinger attributed her success to the social work faculty.

“I want to thank the department faculty for their investment in my academic and personal growth.” Dellinger said. “It has been unparalleled.”

This fall, Dellinger will fill an internship at the Tupelo Family Resource Center. She plans to continue her research of Parental Alienation Syndrome. She will receive her bachelor’s degree in social work in December after completing the internship. Dellinger hopes to take the Social Work Licensure Exam in the fall as well.

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