NASW Foundation National Programs
NASW Social Work Pioneers®
Anita S. Harbert, PhD, MSW
Specific Pioneering Contributions
In 1985, Harbert established the Center for Alcohol and Drug Studies and Services to address alcohol and other drug-related problems at the university and in the larger community. The Center specializes in research and evaluation design with an emphasis on socio-behavioral research and applied evaluation, and is an umbrella organization for several alcohol and drug related research initiatives, including the SDSU Driving Under the Influence Program which provides education and counseling services. Additionally, she has been a leading supporter for the development of the Joint Doctoral Program in Interdisciplinary Substance Use Studies (inaugural class fall 2015), the first such program focusing primarily on prevention, with the UC San Diego Division of Global Public Health.
Harbert was co-founder and President of the Board of Directors of the California Social Work Education Center. She was co-chair of the Commission on Accreditation of the Council on Social Work Education, and a consultant and site visitor on accreditation for multiple schools of social work nationally. Her efforts contributed significantly to raising the bar for the social work profession through application and monitoring of educational and training standards.
Internationally, Harbert was a Consultant on Volunteerism for the Elderly for the United Nations and the European Center for Training and Research. She was an expert on Long Term Training in Gerontology and Geriatrics for the United Nations International Institute on Aging in Malta, and an Invitational Speaker on the Global Effects of Urbanization on the Elderly at the 1990 Sino-American-British Conference on Social Policy held in Taiwan.
She was the Executive Director of the SDSU School of Social Work's Academy for Professional Excellence, which provides in-service training, technical assistance and research for the eight southern counties in California. The Academy trains approximately 3000 child protective service workers per year in Southern California.
Harbert was the Project Director of an Archstone Foundation-funded program to develop standardized curriculum on elder abuse for adult protective services workers in California. With the San Diego County Department of Mental Health Service, she directed a contract to provide training for mental services providers on the Psychosocial Rehabilitation and Recovery Models of services for chronically and persistently mentally ill adults.
She received her PhD from the Florence Heller School for Advanced Studies in Social Welfare, Brandeis University, a Master's of Social Work degree from West Virginia University, and a bachelor's degree in Psychology from Fairmont State College.
Significant Achievements and Awards