A Lasting NC State Connection
Alumna and former social work professor Wilma Peebles-Wilkins was one of the first Black women to graduate from the college with a degree in sociology and a minor in social work.
“NC State has been a part of me all my life.”
For 1967 alumna and former social work professor Wilma Peebles-Wilkins, that statement is no exaggeration.
Peebles-Wilkins’ connection to her alma mater started when she was a young girl growing up in the Oberlin Village area of Raleigh during the civil rights movement. Over the years, she became one of the first Black women to graduate from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences with a sociology degree and a minor in social work. She also returned as a social work professor, administrator, donor and alum.
Peebles-Wilkins, who also earned a master’s degree in applied social sciences and a Ph.D. in educational history and philosophy, has 50-plus years of experience as a social worker, administrator, educator and advocate for health care and services to families and children. As such, she has garnered titles like pioneer and trailblazer and myriad accolades, including the 1988-89 Outstanding Teacher Award from NC State.
Her career in academia includes working at Eastern Kentucky University and Case Western Reserve University before coming to NC State. During her 13-year tenure at NC State, she served as director of the social work degree program, associate head of the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work, and associate professor.
After that, Boston University’s School of Social Work recruited her to serve as associate dean for academic affairs. She went on to become its acting dean, then dean — and now is dean emeritus at Boston University.
In between, Peebles-Wilkins carved out time to serve on numerous committees, write (extensively about the history of Blacks in American social welfare for various publications), volunteer and give back to the college
To honor her love for NC State and social work — and her parents’ commitment to education — she established The Myatt-Peebles Scholarship Endowment for Social Work. The scholarship is given to undergraduate students pursuing a bachelor’s degree in social work, ensuring her connection to her alma mater would be a lasting one.
In the box below, we share a selected list of Peebles-Wilkins’ honors, committees and service as well as the names of the students awarded the Myatt-Peebles Scholarship Endowment for Social Work, now in its fifth year.
-Social Work Pioneer Awardee, National Association of Social Workers.
-Social Work Trailblazer Honoree, Case Western Reserve University’s Office for Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity.
-Greatest Contributions to Social Work Education Award recipient, National Association of Social Workers, Massachusetts Chapter.
-Distinguished Practitioner Inductee, National Academies of Practice.
Committees and Service
-State delegate, first Examination Committee of the Association of State Boards of Social Work.
-Gubernatorial appointee to North Carolina Social Work Certification and Licensure Board.
-Former Scholar, Duke University’s John Hope Franklin Center for Interdisciplinary and International Studies.
-Board of Directors of the National Association of Deans and Directors of Schools of Social Work.
-Board of Directors and the Commission on Accreditation of the Council on Social Work Education.
-Madison Ferrera, 2019-20
-Jacob Hoyt. 2020-21
-Kayla Alford, 2021-22
-Kimberly Barrera-Gutierrez, 2022-23
-Jennifer Campos, 2023-24