Curriculum Studies


Evidence-Based Enrichment for Gifted Students K-12

Friday, November 10
2:30 PM - 3:30 PM
Location: Exhibit Hall Roundtable 2

Are you looking for a way to engage your students in meaningful learning experiences that are simultaneously interesting, rigorous, and challenging? In this session, participants from all disciplines are introduced to a research-based enrichment model for gifted students in grades K-12 complete with a structured process that supports easy implementation. This enrichment practice can be infused into the regular education curriculum or used in a homogeneous gifted classroom setting to increase students’ enjoyment, engagement, and enthusiasm for learning. Online resources are shared.

Carla B. Brigandi

Assistant Professor of Special Education
West Virginia University

Carla Brigandi is an Assistant Professor of Special Education in the College of Education and Human Services at West Virginia University. She holds a Doctorate of Educational Psychology with a focus on Gifted Education and Talent Development from the University of Connecticut. In 2015, she received the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) Doctoral Student Award and in 2016, she received the NAGC Research and Evaluation Network’s Dissertation Award. Prior to earning her Ph.D., Carla was a classroom teacher for 15 years. She taught both mathematics and gifted education and in 2012, she was elected school educator of the year. She currently teaches undergraduate courses in special education and graduate courses in gifted education. Her research focus is on creating environments where children with gifts and talents thrive.


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Nicole S. Waicunas

The Schoolwide Enrichment Model Outreach Coordinator
University of Connecticut

Nicole Waicunas is the Schoolwide Enrichment Model Outreach Coordinator for the Neag Center for Creativity, Gifted Education, and Talent Development. Prior to her work with the university, she was a secondary English teacher for thirteen years, focusing on the implementation of the SEM in the regular classroom and she holds a Master’s Degree in Gifted Education from the University of Connecticut. Her undergraduate work in literature, with a Minor in Education was completed at Columbia University and Barnard College in New York. Now as the SEM Outreach Coordinator, she travels across the country and the world in order to work with administrators, teachers, and students to provide instruction regarding implementation of the SEM. Her work includes filming for AETN in Arkansas for their educational network with Joseph Renzulli et al. and her work with Carla Brigandi at the University of Santiago in Compostela in Spain training teachers to implement the SEM in their classrooms. Nicole is also an author, who is working on the publication of her first book, The Last Post, from which a chapter was published in the Connecticut Writer’s Magazine in 2012. An educator, writer, and true believer in the potential of every child, in every classroom, Nicole works to help teachers to see the light in every student, and make it shine brighter. Nicole was awarded the Stephen Sondheim Inspirational Teacher Award in 2012.


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Evidence-Based Enrichment for Gifted Students K-12


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