Featured Speakers

IAG Conference 2018 / December 9th-11th


Susan Assouline

Susan G. Assouline is the director of the Belin-Blank Center, holds the Myron and Jacqueline N. Blank Endowed Chair in Gifted Education, and is a professor of school psychology. Upon completion of her doctorate, she was awarded a two-year post-doctoral fellowship at the Study of Mathematically Precocious Youth (SMPY) at Johns Hopkins University. Throughout her career, she has been especially interested in identification of academic talent in elementary students, academic acceleration as an intervention for advanced students, and twice-exceptionality. She is a co-developer (with Nicholas Colangelo and Ann Shoplik) of the Iowa Acceleration Scale, a tool designed to guide educators and parents through decisions about grade-skipping students. In 2015, she co-edited with Nicholas Colangelo, Joyce Van Tassel-Baska, and Ann Lupkowski-Shoplik, A Nation Empowered: Evidence Trumps the Excuses Holding Back America’s Brightest Students. She received the NAGC 2016 Distinguished Scholar Award.

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Heather Carmody

Heather Gramberg Carmody is a middle school mathematics teacher at a private school in Indianapolis. She teaches grade-level and advanced courses. She is in her 20th year of teaching, with earlier experience in public middle schools. Her Master’s degree is in Special Education. She earned her PhD from the Gifted Education Research Institute at Purdue University. Her dissertation research looked at students’ emotions and attitudes about mathematics. Dr. Carmody has been presented at conferences for the National Association for Gifted Children, the National Council for Teachers of Mathematics, and others. Her current research interests are how students’ attitudes about mathematics can be influenced positively influenced by their teachers and curriculum.

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Scott Chamberlin

Scott Chamberlin is a Mathematics Education Professor in the School of Teacher Education at the University of Wyoming. His teaching interests lie in preparing pre-service teachers to enter the classroom and engage elementary and middle grade students in learning episodes that help them make sense of mathematics. Regarding research interests, Scott investigates mathematical modeling, affect, and creativity. His most recent scholarly effort pertains to the relationship between creativity and affect. In analyzing this relationship, he has created a theory about how the likelihood of creative output can be enhanced relative to simply depending on serendipity. His most recent book is entitled, Affect in Mathematical Modeling (Springer), and in it, internationally renowned experts in mathematical modeling explicate relationships between feelings, emotions, and dispositions in mathematical modeling episodes.

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Mary Ruth Coleman

Dr. Coleman's research focuses on students with exceptional learning needs, in particular, students with learning disabilities and students with gifts. She has directed several FPG projects including Project U-STARS~PLUS (Using Science, Talents, and Abilities to Recognize Students ~ Promoting Learning for Under-Represented Students) and Project ACCESS (Achievement in Content and Curriculum for Every Student's Success). She was Co-Principal Investigator for the Early Learning Disabilities Initiative and, from 1994 to 1998, she Co-Directed North Carolina's Statewide Technical Assistance for Gifted Education Center. Prior to this she was Associate Director of the Gifted Education Policy Studies Program at the Frank Porter Graham Center. Dr. Coleman has numerous publications including the 13th edition of the seminal textbook, Educating Exceptional Children, with co-authors Samuel A. Kirk, James J. Gallagher, and Nicholas J. Anastasiow. Dr. Coleman served three terms on the Board of Directors for the Association for the Gifted (TAG), one of which she was President, and three terms on the Board of the National Association for Gifted Children. She also has served as President of the Council for Exceptional Children. Dr. Coleman began her career as a teacher in public and private elementary schools, with both regular classroom and special education assignments. from http://fpg.unc.edu/node/2209

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Laurie Croft

Laurie Croft, received her doctorate in educational leadership at the University of Tulsa. She has facilitated gifted education professional development around the world and coordinates the gifted/talented endorsement at the University of Iowa. Dr. Croft is a longtime volunteer at NAGC, particpating in the Professional Development Network, Global Awareness Network, and others. She served on the Standards Committee and participated in program reviews.

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Sally Dobyns

Dr. Sally Dobyns is a nationally regarded educator in the field of gifted education and talent development. Prior to earning a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Connecticut in 1992, she was a classroom teacher and an enrichment program teacher in Kentucky, South Carolina and Connecticut. Subsequent to completion of her doctoral degree, in more than 20 years at the University of Louisiana in Lafayette,Sally served as Professor of Gifted Education, Program Coordinator of the M. Ed. in Gifted Education, and Director of the Center for Gifted Education. Sally is noted for her contributions to teaching and learning through publications and teacher training on a variety of topics, including curriculum design, higher order thinking skills, using primary sources to promote historical research, differentiating curriculum and instruction, and talent development. She has served as a consultant to over 100 school districts in the United States and in Central and South America. Additionally, Dr. Dobyns lends her expertise to advocacy organizations such as the National Association for Gifted Children, for which she served multiple terms as Co-Chair of the Curriculum Studies. Upon retirement from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Dr. Dobyns enjoyed a unique faculty position and opportunity at her alma mater, UConn. Through the Institute for Teaching and Learning, she worked directly with teaching faculty and developed programs to enhance teaching and learning at the UConn. She is currently involved in the development of UConn's Teaching Exemplars Network, a teaching professional development program through which the university's junior faculty and doctoral teaching assistants improve their teaching through systematic observation of UConn's award-winning teaching faculty members. In her spare time, Sally enjoys spending time with her grown children and their families, as well as traveling, reading, birding and geocaching.

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Bronwyn MacFarlane

Bronwyn MacFarlane, Ph.D., professor of gifted education at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, has experience teaching; leading programs; designing and evaluating curriculum for advanced learners; and providing professional development. Dr. MacFarlane published four books including "Specialized Schools for High-Ability Learners" (2018) and "STEM Education for High-Ability Learners" (2016), the first book of its kind on the market to bring together a discussion of the critical elements needed for delivering comprehensive STEM educational programming to develop high-ability talent in the STEM fields. It was positively reviewed in Teachers College Record, National Science Teachers Association—NSTA Recommends, and Roeper Review, and translated into Arabic for worldwide readership. Her leadership roles included college associate dean; academic dean of the Summer Institute for Gifted at Princeton University; NAGC network chair of both the STEM and the Counseling & Guidance Networks; guest editor for Roeper Review; and columnist of “The Curriculum Corner” for Teaching for High Potential. She delivered more than 150 presentations and authored numerous articles and 20 book chapters. She earned her doctorate with dual specializations in gifted and K-12 education administration from the College of William and Mary. She received many awards for her service, scholarship, creative work, teaching, and educational leadership including the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) Early Leader Award and the Outstanding Doctoral Student Award. Follow Dr. Bronwyn on Twitter: @DrBMacFarlane

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Emily Mofield

Emily Mofield, Ed.D., is an Assistant Professor of Education at Lipscomb University. Her background includes 15 years experience teaching gifted students and leading gifted services. Emily currently serves as the NAGC Chair for Curriculum Studies. She is a National Board Certified Teacher in Language Arts and has been recognized as the Tennessee Association for Gifted Children Teacher of the Year. She has received four NAGC curriculum awards for co-authored units with Tamra Stambaugh (Space, Story, and Structure-2017, I, You, Me, We- 2016, Perspectives of Power- 2015, In the Mind’s Eye- 2012). As a researcher, she has published several research articles on the social-emotional needs of gifted students and is the co-recipient (with Megan Parker Peters) of the NAGC Hollingworth Award for her research on growth mindset, perfectionism, and underachievement. Emily regularly presents professional development addressing the social-emotional needs of gifted learners and implementing effective differentiation strategies for advanced learners for school districts and special groups.

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Paula M Olszewski-Kubilius

Dr. Paula Olszewski-Kubilius is the director of the Center for Talent Development at Northwestern University and a professor in the School of Education and Social Policy. Over the past 35 years, she has worked to create programs models to meet the need of diverse gifted learners including distance learning programs, summer, and weekend programs. She has written and published extensively about issues in gifted education, with a particular focus on talent development for under-served gifted students.. She has served as the editor of Gifted Child Quarterly, co-editor of the Journal of Secondary Gifted Education and on the editorial boards of Gifted and Talented International, Roeper Review, Journal for the Education of the Gifted, and Gifted Child Today. She currently is on the board of trustees of the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy and is president-elect of the Illinois Association for the Gifted. She also serves on that advisory boards for the Center for Gifted Education at the College of William and Mary and the Robinson Center for Young Scholars at the University of Washington. She is Past- President of the National Association for Gifted Children and received the Distinguished Scholar Award in 2009 from NAGC.

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Scott J. Peters

Scott J. Peters, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Educational Foundations and the Richard and Veronica Telfer Endowed Faculty Fellow at the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater where he teaches courses related to educational measurement and assessment, research methods, and gifted and talented education. His primary research area involves gifted and talented student identification and talent development with a focus on students from underrepresented populations. His scholarly work has appeared in the Australian Educational Researcher, Teaching for High Potential, Gifted Child Quarterly, the Journal of Advanced Academics, Gifted and Talented International, the Journal of Career and Technical Education Research, Ed Leadership, Gifted Child Today, and Pedagogies. He is the first author of Beyond Gifted Education: Designing and Implementing Advanced Academic Programs and Designing Gifted Education Programs and Services: From Purpose to Implementation, both from Prufrock Press, and the co-author (along with Jonathan Plucker) of Excellence Gaps in Education: Expanding Opportunities for Talented Students, published by Harvard Education Press.

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Susan Rakow

After teaching middle school and gifted students for 30 years, Susan worked for ten years as Clinical Associate Professor at Cleveland State University where she directed the graduate program in gifted education. Susan has presented at state and national conferences around the country and has been a consultant for many of Ohio's school districts as they strive to improve their gifted programming. She is the author of Educating Gifted Students in Middle School: A Practical Guide (Prufrock Press) and Teaching to the Top (NMSA) as well as numerous articles in professional journals. About 5 years ago, Susan earned a license as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor. She currently works as a counselor for gifted children and families through Dr. Sylvia Rimm’s Family Achievement Clinic. Susan also works at Menlo Park Academy for Gifted Children as a counselor. She and her husband raised two gifted children who grew into intelligent, accomplished, loving adults. She also has 4 delightful grandchildren who inspire her continued involvement in education.

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Michael Clay Thompson

Michael Clay Thompson has set the standard for curricula for gifted children with his highly regarded language arts curriculum that now extends to seven levels and more than 120 books. His workshops and conference presentations are always a treat. As well as being a former board member of the NAGC, he is a former president of the IAGC.

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