NASW Pioneers Biography Index

The National Association of Social Workers Foundation is pleased to present the NASW Social Work Pioneers®. NASW Pioneers are social workers who have explored new territories and built outposts for human services on many frontiers. Some are well known, while others are less famous outside their immediate colleagues, and the region where they live and work. But each one has made an important contribution to the social work profession, and to social policies through service, teaching, writing, research, program development, administration, or legislation.

The NASW Pioneers have paved the way for thousands of other social workers to contribute to the betterment of the human condition; and they are are role models for future generations of social workers. The NASW Foundation has made every effort to provide accurate Pioneer biographies.  Please contact us at to provide missing information, or to correct inaccurate information. It is very important to us to correctly tell these important stories and preserve our history.  

Please note, an asterisk attached to a name reflects Pioneers who have passed away. All NASW Social Work Pioneers® Bios are Copyright © 2021 National Association of Social Workers Foundation. All Rights Reserved.

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M.C. “Terry” Hokenstad Photo
M.C. “Terry” Hokenstad

M.C. “Terry” Hokenstad, PHD, MSW, is the Ralph S. and Dorothy P. Schmitt Professor at the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, Case Western Reserve University, in Cleveland, Ohio. He also serves as Professor of International Health in the School of Medicine. Dr. Hokenstad’s prior positions included Dean and PhD Program Chair at Case Western Reserve University, and Director of the School of Social Work, Western Michigan University, in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Long active in international organizations, Dr. Hokenstad serves as a Consultant to the United Nations (U.N). He was a member of the U.N. Technical Committee for the Second World Assembly on Aging in 2002; has been President of the North American and Caribbean Region of the International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW); and served as both Treasurer and Membership Secretary of IASSW. At the national level, he has been President of the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) and Chair of the International Committee for the National Association of Social Workers, and has served as a member of the Board of Trustees for the National Council on Aging and the National Conference on Social Welfare.

Dr. Hokenstad has written extensively on international themes, has served as Editor-In-Chief of the International Social Work Journal, and Co-Editor of special issues for the Journals of International Aging, Social Policy and Administration, Sociology and Social Welfare, and Applied Social Sciences. His publications include five books, including Issues in International Social Work: Global Challenges for a New Century and Gerontological Social Work: International Perspectives; and numerous articles, chapters, and monographs in the fields of comparative social welfare, care of the elderly, social work practice, and education. 

A Fulbright Research Scholar at the Institute of Applied Social Research in Oslo, Norway, Dr. Hokenstad also has been a Visiting Scholar at the National Institute of Social Work, in London, and a Senior Fulbright Lecturer at Stockholm University, in Sweden. He taught and carried out research as a Canterbury Fellow at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, and as an Academic Visitor at the London School of Economics. Dr. Hokenstad has led delegations of social workers and social work educators to China, Japan, Russia, and South Africa, and has lectured in those countries, as well as in India and throughout Europe.  In addition, he also worked with governmental agencies and universities in Canada, Hungary, the Philippines, Sweden, and the United States in the establishment and evaluation of PhD programs in social policy and social work, a central focus throughout his career.

Born in Nebraska, Dr. Hokenstad earned his Bachelor’s Degree, Summa Cum Laude, at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and his MSW from Columbia University, where he majored in Community Organization and Social Casework. He received his PhD from the Florence Heller Graduate School for Advanced Studies in Social Welfare, at Brandeis University, and holds a Certificate in Educational Management from Harvard University. Hokenstad delivered the commencement address at his alma mater Augustana College (now Augustana University) in 2016, during which time he was presented with an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters.

NASW Social Work Pioneer - 2003

Newly Inducted NASW Social Work Pioneer Hortense McClinton 2015

Nominate A New NASW Pioneer

Please note, Pioneer nominations made between today’s date through March 31, 2023, will not be reviewed until spring 2023.

Completed NASW Pioneer nominations can be submitted throughout the year and are reviewed at the June Pioneer Steering Committee Meeting. To be considered at the June meeting, submit your nomination package by March 31. To learn more, visit our Pioneer nomination guidelines.

New Pioneers 

Congratulations newly elected Pioneers!  Pioneers will be inducted at the 2023  Annual Program and Luncheon. Full biographies and event details coming soon.