North Carolina AHEAD Awards

The Pat Bailey Award 

2014 Recipient - Nance Longworth (Davidson College)

About the Pat Bailey Award

The Pat Bailey Award was established in 2007 by the NC AHEAD Executive Board in honor of Dr. Pat Bailey, who was the Director of Disability Services at UNC Greensboro for many years, and was the founding President of NC AHEAD. Dr. Bailey has been a visionary leader in the field of higher education and disabilities; advocating for access, disability awareness, social change, cultural competency and policy development on both the state and national level.

This award recognizes an individual IN THE FIELD with an outstanding history of contributions to NC AHEAD. This nominee has worked to further the rights, dignity and access for students with disabilities. This nominee will be someone who has worked to provide students, faculty and staff a higher education experience rich in perspectives and opportunities. He/she will have demonstrated outstanding commitment to the value of diversity and has worked to promote an environment free from bias and discrimination. The nominee will be someone who shares his/her vision and leadership with others in the field.

The Laura Thomas Award

2014- not awarded

About The Laura Thomas Award

A pioneer is one who goes before, who paves the way. Laura Thomas was such a person. She came to the disability services area on the heels of obtaining her Masters degree at UNC Chapel Hill in the late 1970's. She laid much of the ground work for what we do in North Carolina postsecondary institutions today, as well as colleges and universities across the country. She was an early member of National AHEAD and a charter member of NCAHEAD, worked tirelessly for the cause of students with disabilities at UNC Chapel Hill and was a knowledgeable resource for all who knew her. Laura was director of Disability Services at UNC Chapel Hill for 17 years at which time she lost her struggle with colon cancer.

Those who knew Laura still miss her quiet thoughtful manner, her dedication, her knowledge of disability law and policy and her ability to a see a situation and have that way of knowing how to work it out.

The award was established by the first NCAHEAD Executive Board in 1996 in memory of Laura Thomas. The decision was made as a result of the Board's sense that there were those on campuses all over the state, who were providing both monetary and administrative support without acknowledgement.

The award recognizes an outstanding professional outside the field of disability services who has demonstrated exemplary support of disability services within a postsecondary academic setting and who is not a disability service provider. The person will be someone who "has made our lives easier," and who may not realize the value of what she/he does.

It is intended that the award be given annually, or at least as often as response to the call for nominations is positive. NCAHEAD members are encouraged to nominate a person from their campus who contributes in a significant way to the lives of students with disabilities and disability service providers.