NMSU Glass Family Research Institute for Early Childhood Studies introduces director

NMSU’s College of Education has added the finishing touches to the Glass Family Research Institute, which seeks to influence policy and practices related to New Mexico’s young children, families and early childhood educators.

The institute focuses on contemporary interdisciplinary research, educational degree offerings, university and community lab schools and collaborative partnerships at the international, national, state and local levels. It was made possible by a generous gift from Smoky Glass Torgerson and her husband, Alan.

In 2021, the institute welcomed director Angela Owens and completed renovations on the institute’s physical location on the ground floor of O’Donnell Hall.

“As the director of the Institute for Early Childhood Studies, Dr. Owens will guide advanced research in early childhood care and education,” Glass Torgerson says. “As a leader in early childhood education, NMSU’s College of Education must prepare our children for success in school and in life. This unique research institute will identify best practices and policies in early childhood education and will collaborate nationally and globally with the education community.”

Owens says, “I look forward to the collaborative opportunities for research that will be completed between our local lab school, interdisciplinary fields within university departments and the community. We will explore questions related to culturally responsive care, pedagogy and instruction, ensuring equity in early childhood education. Pursuing timely research informed with young children, their families, educators and the communities which nurture them in our borderland is one of my most important goals both during this pandemic and post-pandemic.”

Henrietta Williams Pichon, interim dean for the College of Education, says Owens has a genuine interest and enthusiasm for early childhood education and is a great asset to the institute.

“As the premier early childhood research institute in the Southwest, we understand that the earlier we understand children’s educational experiences, the better we are able to ensure that families are getting what they need for educational success and beyond,” Pichon says.

Owens’ research focuses on caregiver experiences with the special education process, early childhood education and inclusivity for all children. She also has experience including teaching in daycare, elementary and special education settings, and as an elementary campus administrator.

“The institute’s research provides an extraordinary opportunity to impact the success of our next generation of youth. It’s so exciting to see NMSU step out as a leader in the development and implementation of early childhood education practices and innovations,” Glass Torgerson says. “Dr. Owens and her colleagues are well prepared for the task.”

Adriana M. Chávez ’19

Owens

Glass Torgerson