NASW Foundation National Programs
NASW Social Work Pioneers®
Rose Praisner ( -1989)
As a proud and committed social worker, Rose Hubbard Praisner laid the ground work for professional development in many ways, including licensure, school social work, and collaboration between state agencies and universities.
The daughter of a territorial physician, she was born in the Pecos Valley of Southern New Mexico. She attended New Mexico State University in the late 1930s and graduated from Texas Tech University with a BA degree in English in 1938. She received an MA degree in Government in 1940 from the University of New Mexico and completed her Masters in Social Work in 1942 at Tulane University.
Her career began in 1939 as a medical social worker in the New Mexico Children's Medical Services. Responsible for over one-fourth of the state's case load, her catchment area covered all of Southern New Mexico. Later, she was employed in medical social work settings in Louisiana and Los Angeles. Returning to New Mexico in the 1960's, Rose served as the first school social worker in the Roswell School District where she also taught Government.
In the early 1970's, Rose served as the Executive Director of the Mental Health Center in Corsicana, Texas. From 1976 to 1978, she filled the position of Deputy Director for "Anatomy of Protest," a research project on violence, in Washington, D.C.
In 1978, Rose joined the faculty at New Mexico State University. She instructed the first field unit housed within the Social Service Division. She also taught courses in practice and child welfare. As the author of numerous child welfare grants funded for teaching and traineeships, she served as coordinator of advisement and was acting department head for one year. In recognition of her years of teaching and expertise in social work practice, she was awarded the title of Emeritus Associate Professor.
She was responsible for beginning the program unit in Southern New Mexico for the NASW and served on the state board. She also was involved in early licensure initiatives and was always a strong link between the University, school social work, and state agencies. She developed many innovative and new field placements for students and worked very closely with students through advisements.
Students assessed Praisner as being very organized, professional, and able to adapt quickly to any situation. Her knowledge and her ability to convey this knowledge enhanced students' education. Students stated that under her instruction, they were encouraged in their own creativity and in outreach to other agencies and the larger community. Through difficult situations, she was able to retain a warm sense of humor, and she taught students the importance of taking care of themselves.
Rose made many trips to Washington, lobbying on behalf of social workers, and was known as the best "hugger" in several senators' offices. She served as a strong advocate for abused children and their families with legislators in New Mexico as well as other elected officials. She was recognized as Social Worker of the Year in Southern New Mexico.