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Jesse Harris, PhD, ACSW
Pioneer Steering Committee

Betsy Vourlekis, PhD, ACSW
Pioneer Steering Committee


Mark Battle, ACSW

Founding Co-chair
Pioneer Steering Committee


Ruth Knee, ACSW
Founding Co-chair
Pioneer Steering Committee

While mourning Mark and Ruth's passing, we celebrate their accomplishments and contributions to the social work profession


Hello and welcome to the NASW Social Work Pioneers. We are honored to be a part of this distinguished group and pleased to serve as the committee’s co-chairs. We hope that you, too, will be inspired as you learn more about the Pioneers, and our commitment and dedication to the social work profession and to the improvement of social and human conditions at the local, state, national, and international levels.

Please join us in our continued efforts to recognize and nominate outstanding individuals whose contributions will continue to influence and shape the direction of the social work profession for generations to come. Thank you for taking the time to visit.

NASW Social Work Pioneer Program

The Social Work Pioneer Program was created to honor members of the social work profession who have contributed to the evolution and enrichment of the profession. The Pioneer Program identifies and recognizes individuals whose unique dedication, commitment and determination have improved social and human conditions.

Pioneers are role models for future generations of social workers. Their contributions are reflected in every aspect of the profession, as well as in the establishment of social policies and human services programs. They have accomplished this through practice, teaching, writing, research, program development, administration, advocacy, legislation, and election to public office.

The Pioneer Program provides support for Pioneer projects that combine historical perspective with an interdisciplinary approach. Other projects bring a historical perspective to current issues and challenges, and insight to emerging social problems.

NASW Social Work Pioneers
* The information that currently appears in the NASW Pioneer Program section is being updated. We appreciate your patience while this section is under construction to reflect the most current roster of Social Work Pioneers.

Pioneer Nomination Guidelines



Alphabetical listing of NASW SOCIAL WORK PIONEERS®


Nomination Guidelines


Pioneer Newsletter

Issue 1, 2015


Nomination Form

Eight Inducted into the Social Work Pioneer Program®

U.S. Senator and NASW Social Work Pioneer Barbara Mikulski video address

July 2014 Pioneer Newsletter

September 2013 Pioneer Newsletter

Five Inducted into the Social Work Pioneer® Program

Case Western Reserve University students honor 10 NASW Social Work Pioneers®



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