Boston College School of Social Work (BCSSW) emeritus faculty members Ruth McRoy and Elaine Pinderhughes will be honored as NASW Social Work Pioneers® at a celebration and program next month in Washington, D.C., hosted by the NASW Foundation. The NASW is the largest membership organization of professional social workers in the world, with some 120,000 members. The Pioneers program “honors members of the social work profession who have contributed to the evolution and enrichment of the profession . . . and through unique dedication, commitment, and determination have improved social and human conditions,” according to the NASW website.

Ruth McRoy

Professor Emerita Ruth G. McRoy

Ruth McRoy, the inaugural holder of BCSSW’s Donahue and DiFelice Endowed Professorship, is being honored for her many contributions on behalf of adopted children and families; skillful promotion of effective and sustainable community-university partnerships; and successful interprofessional collaborations. McRoy’s research investigated long-term outcomes for birth parents, adopted children, and their families and examined transracial, interracial, open, special needs, and international adoptions. Additionally, she is being recognized for her leadership related to diversity, racial equity, and culturally competent practice. McRoy is also the Ruby Lee Piester Centennial Professor Emerita at the Steve Hicks School of Social Work at the University of Texas at Austin.

Elaine B. Pinderhughes

Professor Emerita Elaine B. Pinderhughes

Elaine Pinderhughes is the former chair of BCSSW’s clinical program. Her groundbreaking 1989 textbook, Understanding Race, Ethnicity, & Power: The Key to Efficacy in Clinical Practice, is credited by the Council of Social Work Education with “providing the rubric for culturally competent practice across the human services disciplines.” She has served as Lydia Rappaport Professor at Smith College School of Social Work and Lucille Austin Fellow at Columbia University, and held the Moses Chair at Hunter College School of Social Work. Pinderhughes helped establish and participates annually at the BCSSW lecture series that bears her name.

“It’s no surprise that Ruth McRoy and Elaine Pinderhughes are being honored as NASW social work pioneers,” says BCSSW Dean Gautam N. Yadama. “Ruth and Elaine are remarkable scholars and teachers who have made a profound and lasting impact on the field of social work. Together, they have provided a century of leadership to the profession. We are grateful for their important contributions to the field and proud to have them as members of our School of Social Work family.”