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Anita S. Harbert, PhD, MSW

Specific Pioneering Contributions
Dr. Anita Harbert is professor emeritus and former Director of the School of Social Work, the University Center on Aging, and the Center for Alcohol and Drug Studies, San Diego State University. The University Center on Aging has been a leader in developing new knowledge, stimulating professional interest, and influencing national and international policy in the area of minority aging.

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.

Career Highlights 
When she was the Acting Dean of the School of Social Work at West Virginia University, Harbert had the vision to start an annual professional development conference to train social service practitioners in the field of aging and founded the Summer Institute on Aging in 1977. Building on the Institute on Aging, Harbert gathered an interdisciplinary team to start the Gerontology Center at West Virginia University, now known as the Center on Aging.

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. 
Harbert served as president of the California Association of Deans and Directors of Schools of Social Work, and held offices in the National Association of Deans and Directors of Schools of Social Work.

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.
Throughout her career, Harbert has been the successful recipient of millions of dollars in grants and contracts from national, state and local funding agencies supporting social work education and training for the public social services.

Biographical Data 
From rural West Virginia, Harbert spent years as an educator involved deeply in her community and abroad in the areas of elder care, child protective services training and advocacy, and substance abuse.

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 
Harbert received the2011 NASW Presidential Award for Social Work Education, the 2007 NASW California Lifetime Achievement Award, and the 2008 NASW California Outstanding Administrator Award. In 2007, she received the San Diego State University Top Twenty Award, selected as one of the twenty top faculty and staff making a significant contribution to the University.

Significant Publications 
Harbert co-edited with Tarek Shuman, E. Percil Stanford, Mary Gwynne Schmidt, and Joan L. Roberts Population Aging International Perspective: Proceedings and Recommendations of the International Conference on Population Aging (1993). In addition, she authored Federal Grants-In-Aid: Maximizing Benefits to the States (1976), and co-authored with Leon Ginsberg, Human Services for Older Adults: Concepts and Skills, 2nd Ed. (1990).