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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Mildred Mailick* (1927-2013)

Mildred Mailick had a long and distinguished career as a Professor of Social Work at the Hunter College School of Social Work. She also was a member of the faculty of the Mount Sinai Hospital Department of Social Work and the New York Academy of Medicine. Mildred was in practice as a clinician, or as an educator, for 50 years (1948-1998). Prior to receiving her Doctorate Degree, she was engaged in both agency and private practice. She taught in Hunter’s Masters and Doctoral Program for 23 years, teaching Casework and Clinical Practice.

She published more than 25 articles, presented 30 papers at conferences, edited two books, and contributed six chapters and reviews to books focusing mostly on clinical issues in health care. She was the Associate Editor of Social Work in Health Care (1989-1999) and served on the Editorial Board. Following her retirement, Dr. Mailick was active in a number of social work organizations including, serving as a Fellow in the New York Academy of Medicine (Social Work Section). She received her undergraduate and a Master's Degree in Social Work from the University of Chicago, and her Doctorate Degree in Social Work from Columbia University.

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.