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Social Work Pioneers in Pennsylvania
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NASW Social Work Pioneer Program

The Social Work Pioneer Program was created by The National Association of Social Workers Foundation 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 service programs. They have accomplished this through practice, teaching, writing, research, program development, administration, advocacy, legislation, and election to public office.


All of these social workers are honored in the NASW Pioneer Room in the national office in Washington, DC. The pioneers have prepared the way for thousands of other social workers to make their contributions to the betterment of the human condition. They are all role models for future generations of social workers.


Pennsylvania's Pioneers


Ann Abbott, PhD, MSS

Brandywine Division


Phyllis Black, PhD, ACSW, LSW

Philadelphia (Southeast) Division


Mildred "Mit" Joyner, MSW, LCSW

Brandywine Division

Dorothy Lynch, MSW

Philadelphia (Southeast) Division


Rufus Sylvester Lynch, DSW, ACSW

Philadelphia (Southeast) Division


Christine Nichols, MSW

Southwest Division


Click here to see all Pioneers throughout the United States.

Interested in nominating a fellow social worker? Please see Pioneer Nomination Guidelines for more information.

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