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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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Memorial established in memory of Center for Learning Assistance founder

A memorial fund has been established in memory of Karen G. Smith, the founding director of New Mexico State University's Center for Learning Assistance.


who wrote the original proposal for the learning assistance center and was its director from 1975 until 1988, died Oct. 13 at her home in Somerset, N.J. She was 66 years old.

She wrote the proposal for the center while she was a graduate student at New Mexico State, participating in the Education Professions Development Act Fellowship Program. She received her doctorate in education from New Mexico State in 1980.

Through the center she mentored more than 100 graduate students at New Mexico State.

After leaving the university, she founded learning centers at Tulane University and Rutgers University. At the time of her death she was the University Director of the Learning Resource Centers at Rutgers and supervised six centers.

She was a national leader in the field of learning assistance and recently was inducted as a founding fellow of The American Council of Developmental Education Associations for her contributions to the field. She advised many colleges and universities on the design and development of learning assistance centers, reading education, and the management and supervision of learning centers.

Her children, Suzanne R. Smith, M. Steele Smith and his wife Dana, and Marine Staff Sgt. Stuart W. Smith and his wife Yumi, a sister, Beryl Ward, and five grandchildren, survive her.

Contributions may be sent to the Karen G. Smith Memorial Fund for the Center for Learning Assistance, New Mexico State Foundation, P.O. Box 3590, Las Cruces, N.M., 88003.