A Mexico native who became a University of Arkansas in Little Rock professor was honored as a leader in her field of gifted education by the National Association for Gifted Children, and that’s not the only award she will receive for her service.

MacFarlane received the Early Leader award for her significant leadership and service to the field of gifted education in November at the association’s 65th annual convention.

“It was definitely a thrill,” said Bronwyn MacFarlane. “I took my family with me to accept the award in Minneapolis.”

She also was notified March 7 she will receive the Faculty Excellence Award in Research and Creative Endeavors on April 5 from the university’s College of Education and Health Professions.

MacFarlane is the editor and writer of four books about educational processes for high-ability learners. She has also served as guest editor of Roeper Review, a journal on gifted education.

“The awards program shines a light on those who are making a difference in supporting gifted children as they reach to achieve their personal best,” said M. René Islas, past association executive director, in a news release. “Dr. MacFarlane is an accomplished author and speaker who is guiding work at the local, state, and national level.”

MacFarlane also is a national education columnist behind “The Curriculum Corner.” A recent book she wrote was about gifted students and Science, Technology, Engineering and Math education.

“STEM education has been a hot topic for 12 to 15 years now,” MacFarlane said in a university news release. “Some teachers may find themselves tasked with starting a STEM program. There is a lot to think about. How do I begin? What are the materials to use? To offer STEM programs is important, but you want to deliver high-quality STEM programs that will offer students an advanced understanding in STEM topics.”

Gifted education lays the groundwork for ways to deliver the curriculum of the program, along with how to provide instruction and best-practice strategies, she said.

MacFarlane began teaching students in Columbia and Hallsville before joining the staff of the College of William and Mary Center for Gifted Education in Virginia as a research associate to the executive director while she did her doctoral studies in educational policy, planning and leadership with dual specializations in gifted education program administration and K-12 school administration. She later joined the faculty of the University of Arkansas, eventually becoming associate dean of the education college.