Gifted Student Experiences and Role Model Influence in STEM Career Choices

Friday, November 10
8:00 AM - 9:00 AM
Location: 208 B

Why do gifted students choose to major in Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math? The experiences of gifted and talented students at a residential school with a STEM focus provide information on steps parents and educators can take to motivate students to choose STEM careers. In this session, we discuss the implications of parental involvement, adequate programming, and role models in gifted student career decision making. Student and parent stories reveal how early education and secondary school experiences may lead to academic, professional, and research pathways into STEM.

Nielsen Pereira

Assistant Professor
Purdue University

Nielsen Pereira is an Assistant Professor of Gifted, Creative, and Talented Studies at Purdue University. He received his Ph.D. in Gifted and Talented Education from Purdue University. His research interests include the design and assessment of learning in varied gifted and talented education contexts, understanding gifted and talented student experiences in talent development programs in and out of school, and conceptual and measurement issues in the identification of gifted and talented populations. He is a regular presenter in national and international conferences on educational research, gifted education, and STEM education and has published in peer-reviewed journals in the United States and in Brazil. He currently serves as Associate Editor for Gifted and Talented International.


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Fabio Andres Parra Martinez

Graduate Student, Research Assistant
Purdue University

I did my bachelor studies in English Philology and English Education between 2011 and 2015 at Universidad Nacional in Colombia. During my college years, I worked as a Spanish and English teacher and student assistant in my home University and the British Council. In 2015 I was selected to take part in the Undergraduate Research Experience Purdue- Colombia, UREP-C. In this program I had the opportunity to have my first study-abroad experience and got involved with the Gifted Education Resource Institute where I heard of Gifted Education for the very first time in my life. After six months of activities and after becoming familiar with the different programs offered by GERI, I grew passionate about the idea of permanently moving to Gifted Studies. Besides I developed a short term project within GERI and Colombian high ability students partaking in the summer residential programs. From these experiences and opportunities I felt motivated enough to apply to the doctoral program and moved to United States once graduated from College. Currently I am a Graduate assistant and Student at Purdue. My main research interests are analyzing the experiences of culturally and linguistically diverse students, Latin american Gifted Education and transference of positive practices from Gifted education into General Education. My educational interest is to create links between the US and Colombia to share pedagogical practices that contribute to talent development among disadvaged populations in both countries.


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Julia L. Roberts

Executive Director
The Center for Gifted Studies at Western Kentucky University

Julia LInk Roberts, Ed.D., is the Mahurin Professor of Gifted Education and Executive Director of The Center for Gifted Studies at Western Kentucky University and The Carol Martin Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science in Kentucky. Julia is past-president of The Association for the Gifted and a member of the Executive Committee of the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children. She participates on the board of directors of the Kentucky Association for Gifted Children and is a member of the Kentucky Advisory Council for Gifted and Talented Education. She has co-authored books with Tracy Inman, Julia Boggess, and Jennifer Jolly; written book chapters; and authored journal articles. Dr. Roberts was honored with the NAGC Distinguished Service Award, the Acorn Award as the outstanding professor at a Kentucky university, and the William T. Nallia Education Leadership Award by the Kentucky Association of School Administrators for her work in establishing and implementing the Gatton Academy. She enjoys directing summer and Saturday programming at Western Kentucky University. She speaks about differentiating, talent development, assessment, STEM curriculum, and advocacy at state and national meetings.


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Gifted Student Experiences and Role Model Influence in STEM Career Choices

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