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Dawna is a dedicated social worker, student affairs professional, and community advocate. A New Jersey native, Dawna has lived and worked in North Carolina since 2013. Dawna arrived at Duke in 2021 and served as the Director of the Mary Lou Williams Center before assuming her current role. With over 10 years of student affairs experience, she has worked in crisis and case management, housing and residential life, and multicultural and first-generation student support. Dawna has served as a faculty member in the Higher Education Case Management Association’s (HECMA) foundations program and as an active NASPA member. An engaged Chapel Hill resident, Jones was named the 2020 Young Professional of the Year by the Chapel Hill – Carrboro Chamber of Commerce for her service to the Chapel Hill Housing Advisory Board and leadership roles within the Chapel Hill – Carrboro and North Carolina NAACP organizations. Dawna holds degrees in Sociology (BA), Higher Education Management (M.Ed.) and Social Work (MSW) and Transformative Leadership for Civic and Community Engagement (Ph.D.)
Outside of work and community service Dawna loves reading, movies, and dining out with friends.