Lauren Thorn Alumna Profile

Lauren Thorn is a two-time ECU alumna. She received her BS in social work in 2004 and was awarded the BSW Outstanding Senior award. In 2005, Lauren received her Master of Social Work with a specialization in family and child welfare. In 2020, Lauren received the 40 under Forty leadership award from ECU’s Office of Student Affairs and Development.

Lauren began her career at The Oakwood School in Greenville as the school social worker. In this role, Lauren provided clinical counseling to individuals, groups and classes with students in kindergarten through 11th grade.

In July of 2008, Lauren began working at Personalized Therapy Inc. Lauren served in numerous roles, such as intensive in-home leader, outpatient therapy program director, outpatient therapist and part-time clinical director. In all of these roles, Lauren provided clinical therapy to children, adolescents, families and adults in their homes and in agency settings. Additionally, Lauren supervised the MSW-level interns during the school year and participated in field education programs. Notably, Lauren was crucial in assisting the agency in becoming CARF accredited and CAHBA certified. During this time, Lauren completed her P-LCSW clinical hours/supervision and became fully licensed LCSW in August of 2009.

In August of 2011, Lauren returned home to ECU in the role of staff counselor and outreach coordinator in ECU’s Center for Counseling and Student Development. In this role, Lauren provided clinical counseling services to college students in individual, group and crisis settings, as well as created and presented outreach programs focused on mental health topics and CCSD services.

Today, Lauren is the associate dean for the Dean of Students Office at ECU. In this role, Lauren oversees established programming from the Dean of Students Office such as Cupola Conversations and CREED Week/Awards, planning student memorial services with student groups and Office of Parent and Family Programs, collaborating with other departments and offices on the Resiliency Initiative, and continuing to build programs around civility and tenets of the Creed. Lauren also serves as an advisor to the Student Treasure Chest, maintaining the Dean of Students Office’s website, and assisting with other committees and working groups as needed as a representative of the office. Most recently, Lauren has been overseeing new efforts at the university, including facilitating the integration of YOU@ECU wellbeing online portal on campus, leading the Food Insecurity Campus Assessment group, coordinating Fresh Check Day mental health awareness event, and assisting with the roll-out of the Green Dot Bystander Invention program. Lauren advocates for students seeking support from the DOS office, addresses university complaints or grievances, collaborates with financial aid, academic advising and the registrar’s office to address student concerns, provides follow-up and referrals to other offices and departments when necessary, and supervises field education students from School of Social Work.

Since March, Lauren has served as an integral part of ECU’s response to the COVID-19 crisis. Lauren was one of the Call Center leads, assists with distribution of CARES Act Funds, and is responsible for coordinating the isolation and quarantine protocol process for on- and off-campus students.

During her professional career, Lauren has been recognized for numerous achievements. Recognitions include: ECU Student Affairs Spirit Award, Chancellor’s Leadership Academy, ECU Student Affairs Inclusion Award, ECU Student Affairs Excellence Award, Office for Equity and Diversity Mini-Grant for Allyship Workshop, ECU Student Affairs “Program of the Year” Award for “Netflix and Chat”, ECU Student Involvement and Leadership “Lead With Passion” Campus Partner Award, UNC System BRIDGES Women’s Leadership Program, and ECU Student Affairs Development 40 under Forty award.

Since 2017, Lauren has also been an active member of the of Junior League of Greenville and serves as the Vice President of Communications.

Regarding her ECU and HHP experience, Lauren tells us, “I loved all of the opportunities I had as a student in the School of Social Work, especially building relationships with many of my faculty and getting to put my skills into action with my field education experiences. Having an opportunity to give back now as an alumni, administrator and field supervisor is so rewarding, and I am grateful to be able impact the next generation of social workers representing ECU!”

Lauren’s advice for current and prospective students: “I have always told social work classes and students going into field experiences to have an open mind! Know that you may not get your “dream job” right away, but every position and placement can teach you something. Develop a network of support from your colleagues and use one another to explore your career options. It may change over time (and it might not be what you had in mind when you first entered the field!), but once you find your passion, it will keep you motivated when you face difficulties or challenges.”