New Mexico State University professor recognized for teacher education efforts in Mongolia

Candace Kaye, a retired associate professor in the New Mexico State University College of Education, recently received an honorary doctorate from the Mongolian National University of Education, along with a prestigious award from the Mongolian government’s Ministry of Education, Culture and Science.

New Mexico State University’s College of Education and an affiliated graduate faculty member in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the College of Education, is the first person from the U.S. to receive the honorary doctorate from Mongolian National University of Education, and is the first foreigner to receive the Science Leader Award by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. The award is the highest level of honor given by the ministry. (NMSU photo courtesy of Candace Kaye)


Kaye, who is an affiliated graduate faculty member in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the College of Education, received the recognition May 10 in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. From 2010 to 2011, Kaye served as a Teaching and Research U.S. Fulbright Scholar at MNUE’s College of Preschool Education. Since then, Kaye has returned to Mongolia for six to eight weeks annually to teach graduate classes in action research methodology and academic writing for publication; to give lectures and consult on a variety of teacher education topics; and to conduct and publish collaborative research. As MNUE scholars continue to move toward global recognition of their research, Kaye serves as a university-invited mentor for three MNUE-selected scholars to support submission and publication of their manuscripts in highly ranked English-language journals.

Kaye is the first person from the U.S. to receive the honorary doctorate from Mongolian National University of Education, and is the first foreigner to receive the Science Leader Award from the Mongolian Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. The award is the highest level of honor given by the ministry. In 2016, she was presented with the National Golden Star Medal by the Association of Mongolian Women Scholars.

“As I say so often since my first visit to MNUE, I have found my heart home here,” Kaye said during her acceptance speech before 100 government dignitaries and MNUE faculty and students. “As scholars and academic friends we share the same goal – to pursue excellence while creating opportunities and making a difference in the lives of our students and also through our own research. This extreme honor inspires me even further to continue to explore opportunities with my MNUE colleagues.”

Established in 1951, Mongolian National University is a public university and is responsible for 98 percent of professional educator undergraduate and graduate programs in Mongolia.

Kaye has authored several articles and books with colleagues at Mongolian National University, including co-editing and authoring two chapters in the recent textbook, “Foundations and strategies and applications for teaching young children with special needs,” published by Mongolian National Press. NMSU College of Education faculty members Lynn Bagwell and Randa Keeley wrote invited chapters for the textbook, which is the first to be written and published collaboratively as a Mongolian-English bilingual publication. It was presented during a national book launch while Kaye was at MNUE this month.

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