The University of New Mexico’s College of Education & Human Sciences recently announced a prestigious honor awarded to Associate Professor of Educational Thought and Sociocultural Studies Dr. Glenabah Martinez

Glenabah Martinez
Dr. Glenabah Martinez

Martinez has been named the 2023 Elder of the Year by the National Indian Education Association (NIEA). 

The NIEA recognizes leaders who have made significant contributions to Native Education by promoting language, culture, and tribal sovereignty and by fostering understanding and appreciation of American Indian, Alaska Native, or Native Hawaiian cultures in educational or community settings.

Honorees are also recognized for their lifelong commitment to promoting quality education through active community service and serving as role models or mentors for Native American children, youth, or adults. 

Martinez (Taos/Diné) has spent three decades serving Native communities and beyond through the power of education. In addition to leading the Institute for American Indian Education (IAIE) and coordinating the Educational Thought and Sociocultural Studies program at UNM, Martinez has offered her care and skills as a high school teacher, coach and of course, elder.

She also specializes in education research as it relates to Indigenous youth, critical pedagogy, and the politics of social studies curriculum. She has published numerous academic articles as well as a book, all while looking out for the well-being of New Mexico’s Native communities.

Martinez will be honored at an NIEA awards luncheon on Friday, Oct. 7, 2023.