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Presenters at National Research Summit May 2012

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Presenter Biographies from National Summit on Low-Income, High Ability Learners 

Jaime A. Castellano received his Ed.D. in Educational Administration and Supervision from Northern Illinois University.  He is the principal of the Ganado Intermediate School and the director of gifted education on the Navajo Nation in Ganado, Ariz.  Building upon a long career as a teacher, administrator and state department of education official, he continues to consult with school district across the country on the inclusion of low income, culturally and linguistically diverse students in gifted education. He has particular expertise and success in working with school districts to increase the number of Hispanic/Latino students, as well as English language learners in gifted education programs. Jaime has edited multiple books on understanding our most able students from diverse backgrounds, written or edited chapters, articles, and monographs in the field, and serves as a reviewer for several gifted education journals.



Tracy L. Cross
is the executive director of the Center for Gifted Education at the College of William & Mary and the Jody and Layton Smith Professor of Psychology and Gifted Education. In 2009, Dr. Cross received the Mensa Education and Research Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement award for his contributions to the field of giftedness and has received the NAGC Distinguished Service and Distinguished Scholar awards . Previously he was at Ball State University where he was a professor of psychology at the school’s Teacher’s College. Dr. Cross also created and served as director of the doctoral program in educational psychology, was executive director of the Institute for Research on the psychology of Gifted Students, and associate dean for graduate studies, research, and assessment. While at Ball State, Dr. Cross served as the executive director of the Indiana Academy for Graduate Sciences, Mathematics, and Humanities - a state supported residential school for academically gifted adolescents. He has published extensively and has edited a number of journals in the field of gifted studies.  He is president-elect of NAGC.


Angela Lee Duckworth
 received a BA in Neurobiology from Harvard in 1992 and, as a Marshall Scholar, a Masters in Neuroscience from Oxford. She completed her Ph.D. in psychology at the University of Pennsylvania where she is an assistant professor of psychology. Dr. Duckworth studies non-IQ competencies that predict success both academically and professionally. Her research populations have included West Point cadets, National Spelling Bee finalists, novice teachers, salespeople, and students. Prior to her career in research, she founded a non-profit summer school for low-income children that won the Better Government Award for the state of Massachusetts and was profiled as a Harvard Kennedy School case study. Dr. Duckworth has also been a McKinsey management consultant and a math teacher in the public schools of San Francisco, Philadelphia, and New York City.

Chester E. Finn, Jr.
received his Ed.D.in Education Policy from Harvard University and is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and chairman of the Koret Task Force on K–12 Education. He is also president and trustee of the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation. Previously, he was professor of education and public policy at Vanderbilt University, senior fellow of the Hudson Institute, founding partner with the Edison Project and legislative director for Senator Daniel P. Moynihan. He served as assistant U.S. education secretary for research and improvement from 1985 to 1988. Author of more than 400 articles and 18 books, Dr. Finn's most recent book s are Reroute the Preschool Juggernaut and Troublemaker: A Personal History of School Reform since Sputnik.

Joy Davis received her Doctorate and Masters degrees in Gifted Education from the College of William and Mary.  Dr. Davis is an assistant Professor of Education and Director of the Center for Gifted Education at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette where she teachers undergraduate and graduate courses in diversity Eeucation and gifted education.  She is a career educator, having been a teacher, local school district coordinator for gifted education, principal at a specialized high school for gifted learners and State Specialist for Gifted Programs, K-12.  Dr. Davis currently serves as Co-Chair of the NAGC’s Diversity & Equity Committee and recently led a small team of colleagues in the writing of an NAGC position paper on Identifying and Serving Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Gifted Learners.  She is the author of numerous publications and author of the award winning book Bright, Talented & Black: A Guide for Families of African American Gifted Learners.


Donna Y. Ford earned her Doctor of Philosophy degree in Urban Education (educational psychology) from Cleveland State University.  She is Professor of Education and Human Development at Vanderbilt University where she teaches in the Department of Special Education.  Previously Dr. Ford worked as a researcher with the National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented.  Professor Ford conducts research primarily in gifted education and multicultural/urban education and consults with school districts, educational, and legal organizations in the areas of gifted education and Advanced Placement.  She is the author/co-author of several books and more than 120 articles and book chapters.  Dr. Ford has been recognized by various professional organizations and has won multiple awards for her work, including the Senior Scholar and Early Scholar awards from NAGC. Dr. Ford is co-founder of the Scholar Identity Institute for Black Males (SIM) with Dr. Gilman Whiting, and creator of The Female Achievement Model of Excellence (FAME), and is a two-time board member of NAGC.


Tiombe-Bisa Kendrick earned her B.S. degree in Psychology from Florida State University and her M.S. in Psychology from Barry University in Miami Florida.  She is a school psychologist in the Miami-Dade County Public Schools and also has a small private practice that focuses on serving gifted students and their families.  Ms. Kendrick currently serves on the board of directors for the organization Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted (SENG) and is a member of NAGC’s Diversity/Equity Committee. Ms. Kendrick is a recipient of the first class of NAGC’s Frasier Scholars. She is a member of the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), where she created the Gifted/Talented special interest group.  Ms. Kendrick has presented on the topics related to culturally and linguistically diverse gifted students at both regional and national conferences. 


Paula Olszewski-Kubilius earned her Master's and Doctorate degrees in Educational Psychology from Northwestern University .  She is director of Northwestern University’s Center for Talent Development (CTD) and a professor in the School of Education and Social Policy. She has published more than 80 articles and book chapters on talent development issues, particularly the effects of accelerated educational programs and the needs of special populations of gifted children.  Dr. Olszewski-Kubilius received NAGC’s Distinguished Scholar Award in 2009.  Dr. Olszewski-Kubilius currently serves as president of NAGC, is a member of the board of the Illinois Association for Gifted Children and is a trustee of the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy. She has edited, co-edited and served as consulting editor and editorial advisory board member on numerous gifted education publications.



Jonathan Plucker received his doctorate in educational psychology from the University of Virginia.  He is a professor of educational psychology and cognitive science at Indiana University, where he currently directs the Center for Evaluation and Education Policy and previously directed the Consortium for Education and Social Science Research. He is the author of more than 100 papers and editor of two books. Dr. Plucker also led the development of a popular web site on human intelligence, and directed the Consortium for Education and Social Science Research from 2009 – 2012. He was the 2007-2008 president of the American Psychological Association's Society for the Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts (Division 10).  He has taught at both elementary schools and colleges. Dr. Plucker has received numerous honors for his work including the 2007 E. Paul Torrance Award for creativity research from the National Association of Gifted Children and the NAGC Early Scholar Award (1998).


Del Siegle earned his Ph.D. in Special Education (gifted & talented/educational psychology) from the University of Connecticut where he is now is a professor and chair of the educational psychology department in the Neag School of Education. Dr. Siegle worked as a gifted and talented coordinator in Montana, is a past president of the National Association of Gifted Children, and serves on the board of directors of The Association for the Gifted (CEC-TAG). He authors a technology column for Gifted Child Today and is the incoming co-editor of Gifted Child Quarterly.  He received the NAGC Distinguished Service Award in 2011.  Del joined Gary Davis and Sylvia Rimm as authors of the sixth edition of the popular textbook, Education of the Gifted and Talented.


Tamra Stambaugh received her Ph.D. in Educational Planning, Policy, and Leadership with an emphasis in gifted education and supervision at the College of William and Mary.  Dr. Stambaughis a research assistant professor of special education and director of Programs for Talented Youth at Vanderbilt University where she directs day and residential talent development programs for more than 1,000 gifted students each year in grades kindergarten through high school. She has co-authored and co-edited several books on curriculum and education for gifted learners, along with journal articles and book chapters on a variety of topics focusing on curriculum, instruction and leadership.  Dr. Stambaugh also designs and leads research projects, provides professional development opportunities for teachers, and consults about gifted education with educators, parents, and community members.


Rena F. Subotnik received her Ph.D. in Education/Gifted from the University of Washington.  Dr. Subotnik is Director of the Center for Gifted Education Policy at the American Psychological Association. Her recent publications reflect her scholarship on applications of psychological science to gifted education, talent development in specific domains, and psychological strength training for academically gifted children and youth.  Dr. Subotnik was Professor of Education at Hunter College, where she coordinated the secondary education program and served as research and curriculum liaison to the Hunter College laboratory schools (grades PK-12). Dr. Subotnik has been awarded multiple grants and honors, including the NAGC Distinguished Scholar award in 2002.  She is co-author (with Paula Olszewski-Kubilius and Frank Worrell) of “Rethinking Giftedness and Gifted Education: A Proposed Direction Forward Based on Psychological Science” in Psychological Science in the Public Interest,and is the author of multiple books and articles.


Joyce VanTassel-Baska is Professor Emerita at the College of William and Mary, where she founded the Center for Gifted Education. Formerly she initiated and directed the Center for Talent Development at Northwestern University. Joyce also served as state director of gifted programs in Illinois, a regional director, a local coordinator of gifted programs, and a teacher of gifted high school students. She is a recognized expert in curriculum development and the author of more than 500 publications on gifted education. Dr. VanTassel-Baska has received numerous awards for her contributions to the field, including the NAGC Distinguished Scholar Award (1997)and the Distinguished Service Award (2010) as well as the Mensa Education and Research Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement award.  She is a past president of NAGC.


Frank C. Worrell received a BA and a Masters in Psychology at the University of Western Ontario and a Ph.D. in school psychology at the University of California. Currently, he is a Professor in the Graduate School of Education at the University of California, where he serves as Director of the School Psychology program, Faculty Director of the Academic Talent Development Program, and Faculty Director of the California College Preparatory Academy. His areas of expertise include academic talent development, at-risk youth, scale development and validation, teacher effectiveness, and the translation of research findings into school-based practice. Dr. Worrell is co-editor of the Review of Educational Research for a term beginning in 2012 and is a member of the editorial boards of several journals. He is also a Fellow in Divisions 5 (Evaluation, Measurement, and Statistics), 16 (School Psychology), and 52 (International Psychology) of the American Psychological Association, a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science, and an elected member in the Society for the Study of School Psychology.


Joshua Wyner is a graduate of Vassar College, holds a Master's in Public Administration from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University, and is a cum laude graduate of New York University School of Law.  Josh is the Executive Director of the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program. From 2001-2009, Josh led the design and implementation of programs as Executive Vice President of the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation. There, he established national scholarship and grant-making programs for - and conducted original research about - high-achieving low-income students from elementary through graduate school. From 1995 to 2001, Josh was founding Executive Director of the DC Appleseed Center, which analyzes and actively seeks to resolve problems affecting the daily lives of those who live and work in the Washington, DC area. Josh spent his early career working in a non-governmental policy organization, as a government program evaluator and as an attorney in the private sector.