Signature Series

Signature Session

Addressing the Needs of Today’s Gifted Students: Putting Research Into Practice

Saturday, November 11
9:15 AM - 10:15 AM
Location: 208 A

This session is designed specifically to address the need for research to inform practice. For teachers and researchers who are mutually interested in the evolving field of gifted education, this research-to-practice session seeks to combine scholarly discussions of current research with practical classroom applications. Ultimately, research is only as good as the practitioners’ implementation; this session offers a unique opportunity for both researchers and practitioners to discuss real-world implications of theory into practice in a roundtable format. Practitioners interact with scholars in small groups discussing a variety of topics including creativity and arts education, underserved populations, and program evaluation.

Matthew C. Makel

Director of Research
Duke University TIP

Matthew C. Makel is the Director of Research for Duke University’s Talent Identification Program. His research focuses on research methods and academic talent development. Matt earned his PhD in Educational Psychology from Indiana University, an MA in Developmental Psychology from Cornell University, and his BA in Psychology from Duke University, where he first started working with academically talented students while an undergraduate.


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Sue Hyeon Paek

Ph.D. Student
The University of Georgia


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E. Jean Gubbins

University of Connecticut

Dr. E. Jean Gubbins is Professor in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Connecticut. Through grant funding from the United States Department of Education for The National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented (NRC/GT), Dr. Gubbins implemented research studies focusing on the curricular strategies and practices in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) high schools, reading and mathematics education in elementary schools, professional development, and gifted education pedagogy for all students. Currently, she is the Associate Director and co-Principal Investigator for our grant funded center from the United States Department of Education entitled the National Center for Research on Gifted Education. The Center’s research focuses on exemplary practices in identification and programming for gifted and talented students as well as identification practices of gifted and talented English learners.

Dr. Gubbins has conducted over 50 program evaluations for school districts around the country and implemented literacy and arts-integrated evaluations for non-profit organizations. Her research, evaluation, and teaching interests stem from prior experiences as a classroom teacher, teacher of gifted and talented students, evaluation consultant, and professional developer. She teaches graduate courses in gifted education and talent development related to identification, programming, curriculum development, and program evaluation.


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Julie Dingle Swanson

College of Charleston


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Kate Snyder

Assistant Profess of Educational Psychology, Measurement, & Evaluation
University of Louisville

Kate Snyder is an assistant professor of Educational Psychology, Measurement, & Evaluation in the Department of Educational and Counseling Psychology, Counseling, and College Student Personnel at the University of Louisville. Her research interests include understanding the role of achievement motivation in the development of academic underachievement, particularly among gifted students.


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Thomas P. Hébert

University of South Carolina

Thomas P. Hébert, Ph.D., is Professor of Gifted and Talented Education in the College of Education at the University of South Carolina. Dr. Hébert has more than a decade of K-12 classroom experience working with gifted students and 20 years in higher education training graduate students and educators in gifted education. He has also conducted research for the National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented (NRC/GT). He served on the Board of Directors of the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC). Hébert is the author of Understanding the Social and Emotional Lives of Gifted Students.


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Amy Gaesser

Assistant Professor
Purdue University

Amy H. Gaesser is currently an Assistant Professor of School Counseling at Purdue University. She received her PhD in Educational Psychology with concentrations in Counselor and Gifted Education from the University of Connecticut, her Masters in Counselor Education from SUNY Brockport, and her Bachelor of Science in Social Work with a minor in Religious Studies from Nazareth College of Rochester. She is a certified New York State School Counselor and a Nationally Certified Counselor with 20+ years experience in mental health and academia. Populations she has worked with include adult clients challenged with chronic mental health concerns and school-based adolescents and their families dealing with a variety of developmental, social, and emotional issues, with a special focus on high-ability youth. Her research interests include the social and emotional well being of gifted students and interventions blending Eastern, Western, and Energy Psychology to assist clients and students in overcoming challenges and reaching their greatest potentials. Her present research examines anxiety in gifted students and the efficacy of Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) for child and adolescent anxiety. She is a member of ACA, NAGC, NARACES, and ISCA.


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Frank C. Worrell

Graduate School of Education, University of California, Berkeley

Frank C. Worrell is a Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, where he serves as Faculty Director of the Academic Talent Development Program, the California College Preparatory Academy, and the School Psychology program. His areas of expertise include academic talent development, at-risk youth, sociocultural factors related to educational and psychological functioning, scale development, teacher effectiveness, and the translation of research findings into school-based practice. Dr. Worrell is a past Editor of Review of Educational Research. He is a Fellow in five divisions of the American Psychological Association (APA), a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science, and an elected member in the Society for the Study of School Psychology. In 2013, he received the Distinguished Scholar Award from the National Association for Gifted Children and in 2015, the Distinguished Contributions to Research Award from Division 45 of APA, the Society for the Psychological Study of Culture, Ethnicity, and Race.


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Jean S. Peterson

professor emerita
Purdue University

Jean Peterson, Ph.D., professor emerita, Purdue University, has focused most of her research on gifted youth, often exploring their development longitudinally and qualitatively. She received 12 awards at Purdue, equally divided among research, teaching, and service, as well as nine national awards. She consults nationally and internationally, served two terms on the NAGC Board, and has authored well over 100 books, refereed articles, and invited chapters in her post-K12 second career, in addition to a multitude of nonrefereed, electronic, reprinted, or translated articles for professional organizations. She is a licensed school and mental health counselor, with considerable experience with gifted youth and their families.


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Todd Kettler

Assistant Professor
University of North Texas

Todd Kettler is assistant professor at the University of North Texas where he teaches courses in gifted education, creativity, and development. Kettler was recently co-author of A Teachers' Guide to Differentiating the Common Core Language Arts for Gifted and Advanced Learners (2014) and editor of Modern Curriculum for Advanced Academic Students (2016). He earned his Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from Baylor University.


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Addressing the Needs of Today’s Gifted Students: Putting Research Into Practice

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