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2014 Lifetime Achievement Award
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2014 Lifetime Achievement Award
Dawn Apgar, PhD, LSW, ACSW

Over many years, Dawn Apgar, PhD, LSW, ACSW has devoted herself to improving the New Jersey Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, to expanding the Chapter’s membership, and to promoting NASW the social work profession in New Jersey and nationwide. During this time, she has been a dedicated NASW-NJ member and a leader in the social work field.


Dr. Apgar served as NASW-NJ Chapter president (2001-2003) and, for many years, has chaired the NASW-NJ Continuing Education Committee. She has held NASW-NJ positions as Second Vice-President, Secretary and Member-at-Large, and in 1988 she received the Chapter’s President’s Award for her outstanding service. She was also Chairperson of the NJ Chapter Task Force on Licensure and the NASW-NJ liaison to the New Jersey Board of Social Work Examiners. Moreover, she is the Chapter’s premier trainer for the LSW licensing examination and is known by many people as Chair of the NASW-NJ Annual Conference which is attended by 800-1000 Social Workers every year. 

Nationally, Dr. Apgar served as the Region IV Representative to the Board of Directors of the National Association of Social Workers. She was a Delegate to the NASW Delegate Assembly in 1996, 1999, and 2002, and assisted NASW in developing its case management certification. She has been a member of the Council on Social Work Education, the Society for Social Work and Research, the NASW Legal Defense Fund and the Institute for the Advancement of Social Work Research Boards of Directors.

Presently, Dr. Apgar is Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Human Services. She oversees the NJ Divisions of Developmental Disabilities and Disability Services. An expert in services to people with developmental disabilities, she has greatly expanded training, counseling, and supportive services to New Jerseyans. Previously, she served as Director of the Developmental Disabilities Planning Institute at the New Jersey Institute of Technology and was an adjunct faculty member at Seton Hall University and Marywood University’s Departments of Social Work.

In addition, Dr. Apgar is Chair of the New Jersey Board of Social Work Examiners which oversees the licensing of Social Workers throughout the state. 

Dr. Apgar received a BA in Psychology from Bucknell University and a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Rutgers University. She also earned a PhD in Social Work from Rutgers University.

In honor of her long career of service to NASW, NASW-NJ, the people and social workers of New Jersey, NASW-NJ is proud to present its 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award to Dr. Dawn Apgar. 

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