Sharon Jones, ‘heart and soul of the school,’ honored with University’s Massey Distinguished Service Award

Sharon Jones, director of student services and assessment at the School of Media and Journalism, has been honored with a 2019 C. Knox Massey Distinguished Service Award from the University in recognition of “unusual, meritorious or superior contributions.”

Chosen by Interim Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz from campus-wide nominations, six recipients, including Jones, will be honored at a Saturday, April 27, awards luncheon. Each winner receives a $10,000 stipend and an award citation.

“Sharon Jones embodies the spirit of our school’s commitment to students in all phases of their lives,” said Susan King, dean of the MJ-school. “Sharon guides our students along their academic paths, but she does so much more. Students know they can come to her with anything and find someone who will listen, console, encourage and help them navigate the complexities that school and life may present.”

Through nearly 47 years of service, Jones has acquired invaluable institutional knowledge and the wisdom to apply it for the good of all concerned. She is praised by her co-workers for being supportive, collaborative and involved. Nominators describe her as a mother figure, “the heart and soul of the school” and “a hero to thousands of students.” As director of assessment, Jones is as attentive to administrative detail as she is to those who seek her counsel. She successfully supervises the processes necessary for endorsement by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.

“These amazing colleagues who, through their dedicated work and commitment to excellence, continually up the pace of progress at the Carolina we cherish and love," Guskiewicz said of the 2019 Massey Award winners, which also includes MJ-school alumna Linda Douglas ’82, UNC’s director of volunteer engagement for university development. "We thank them for their service to our University and our state. They are the soul of this most public of the public universities.”

The late C. Knox Massey of Durham established the award in 1980. In 1984, Massey joined the families of his son, Knox Massey Jr., and daughter, Kay Massey Weatherspoon, to create the Massey-Weatherspoon fund. Income from the fund supports the Massey Awards and Carolina Seminars. This year marks the award’s 40th anniversary.

The 2019 recipients are:

  • Robert G. Anthony Jr., curator of the North Carolina Collection and director of the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center for University Libraries;
  • Lynn White Blanchard, director of the Carolina Center for Public Service;
  • Nancy Dense Burton, receptionist and administrative support specialist for Housekeeping Services;
  • Linda Brown Douglas, director of volunteer engagement for University Development;
  • Deborah L. Hawkins, manager of parking control and event operations in Public Safety; and
  • Sharon Horton Jones, director of student services and assessment at the School of Media and Journalism.


Read more about the Massey Award winners in the University Gazette