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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 Linda May Grobman Photo
Linda May Grobman

Pioneering Contributions

Linda May Grobman’s pioneering contributions are in two areas—supporting early-career social workers through her innovative publishing endeavors, and embracing technology for social workers—and in the intersection of the two. She has dedicated her career to supporting new social workers and social work students, with special consideration for how new social workers communicate with their new colleagues and adjust to professional life. She saw the need to inform new social workers in the beginning of their careers and to help them connect to their new field.

Grobman started her publishing company, White Hat Communications, in 1993. She published the first issue of The New Social Worker magazine in 1994. The magazine became a quarterly publication in 1996, and eventually was supplemented with a website that she built in 1995, teaching herself HTML programming language. She acquired the domain name in 1997, which is the address of the magazine's website today, which houses a free digital edition of the magazine accessed by social workers around the globe.

Grobman was involved in online social work communities as early as the late 1980s and was an active member of the AOL Social Work Forum in the 1990s, as well as a Co-Sponsor of the website with NASW. Grobman realized the potential of digital resources for the new generation of social workers and has harnessed it to create a powerful resource. Grobman created a monthly e-newsletter that supplements the magazine, which began circulation in 2001. Circulation of the magazine in print and digital copies, in addition to the monthly e-newsletter, totals 58,000 people, and The New Social Worker page has 152,000 followers on Facebook, as of September 2016.

Career Highlights

Grobman started her social work career in Georgia’s public mental health system as a social worker in an adult mental health inpatient unit. She worked as a pediatric hospital social worker, as a program director for a student leadership organization at Emory University, as staff of the Georgia and Pennsylvania Chapters of NASW, and as an item writer for the Association of Social Work Boards. She moved to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania in 1988, to accept a position with the Pennsylvania Chapter of NASW, where she worked as a Communications and Marketing Associate and eventually as the interim Executive Director.

She is the Publisher, Founder, and Editor of The New Social Worker magazine; and Editor of the book “Days in the Lives of Social Workers: 58 Professionals Tell Real-Life Stories from Social Work Practice,” which is in its 4th edition as of 2016, and others in this series. She co-authored the groundbreaking book, “The Social Worker’s Internet Handbook” with Gary Grant. She also started an online social work book club, where members have read and discussed books that include social work characters or themes.

Biographic Data

Grobman received her BM Degree in music therapy from the University of Georgia in 1977 and her MSW Degree with a concentration in mental health from the University of Georgia in 1982. She is a licensed social worker in Pennsylvania, a member of ACSW, and NASW, and became a Certified Music Practitioner in the Music for Healing and Transition Program in 2008.

Significant Achievements and Awards  

  • Pennsylvania NASW Social Worker of the Year, 2014;
  • The New Social Worker magazine received the 2013 NASW Media Award for Best Magazine, as well as an additional NASW Media Award for Best Article for a piece on social worker burnout and self-care by SaraKay Smullens; and,
  • The magazine received additional NASW Media Awards in 2015 for Best Trade Publication and in 2016 for Best Magazine Article (Jonathan Singer and Sean Erreger article on talking about suicide).

Significant Publications 

  • Grobman, L. M. (Ed.). (2011). Days in the lives of social workers (4th ed.). Harrisburg, PA: White Hat Communications.
  • Grobman, L. M. (Ed.). (2010). The field placement survival guide. Harrisburg, PA: White Hat Communications.
  • Grobman, L. M. (Ed.). (2005). More days in the lives of social workers. Harrisburg, PA: White Hat Communications.
  • Grobman, L. M., & Clements, J. (2013). Riding the mutual aid bus and other adventures in group work. Harrisburg, PA: White Hat Communications.
  • Grobman, L. M., & Bourassa, D. B. (Eds.). (2007). Days in the lives of gerontological social workers. Harrisburg, PA: White Hat Communications.
  • Grant, G., & Grobman, L. M. (1998). The social worker's internet handbook. Harrisburg, PA: White Hat Communications.
  • May, Linda I., & Kilpatrick, A. C. (1989). Stress of self-awareness in clinical practice: Are students prepared? The Clinical Supervisor, 6(3-4), 303-319.

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.