Two members of the Special Education Department in UNM’s College of Education & Human Sciences have just been recognized nationwide.

Assistant Professor Sarah Carlson and Distinguished Professor Ruth Luckasson were both honored at the 147th Annual Meeting of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD.) 

Sarah Carlson

This conference, which took place in June, in Pittsburgh, brought together hundreds of researchers, practitioners, policymakers, students and early career professionals, all working on solutions for those with developmental disabilities.

Carlson was awarded the Jim Thompson Early Career Scholarship, in honor of a researcher who recently passed away. She received a cash award which also helped her attend the conference. 

What an honor to receive the Jim Thompson Early Career Scholarship! Jim was a truly remarkable academic who made a  significant impact on the field of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. I feel so privileged to have received this award,” she said.

Luckasson received the AAIDD Presidential Award, intended for outstanding leadership at the state, regional, and national levels

"It was an honor to receive the AAIDD Presidential Award for outstanding leadership at the state, regional, and national levels,” Luckasson said. “I am grateful to

Ruth Luckasson

UNM and my colleagues and students for their strong support of my work."

Both also made scholarly presentations to the conference. Carlson presented on “Barriers to Goal Attainment for Autistic Youth and Their Families,” and Luckasson led a seven-country session on “The Status of the Shared Citizenship Paradigm Across the Globe.”

COEHS Interim Dean Kristopher Goodrich says this is indicative of the incredible Special Education Department faculty at UNM.

“Professor Luckasson is so deserving of her Presidential Award, as it is a testament to her storied career in Special Education, where she not only influenced the State of New Mexico in how they think about and support students with disabilities, her work has gained national and international recognition, including recent awards from the World Health Organization and other notable organizations,” Goodrich said. “We are also so very proud of Dr. Carlson, who has only been with us for a single year, but has already distinguished herself as a scholar in her own right. We look forward to the career she will have with us, and the influence she will definitely bring to the program.”