Donna Y. Ford

Vanderbilt University

Donna Y Ford, PhD., is a professor at Vanderbilt University and one of the leading experts/authorities on gifted Black students. She is the author/co-author Recruiting and Retaining Culturally Different Students in Gifted Education (2013), Reversing Underachievement Among Gifted Black Students (1996, 2010), Multicultural Gifted Education (1999, 2011), Gifted and Advanced Black Students in School: An Anthology of Critical Works (2011), In Search of the Dream: Designing Schools and Classrooms that Work for High Potential Students from Diverse Cultural Backgrounds (2004), Diverse Learners with Exceptionalities: Culturally Responsive Teaching in the Inclusive classroom (2008), and Teaching Culturally Diverse Gifted Students (2005). Professor Ford has written over 150 articles and book chapters; she has made over a 1,000 presentations at professional conferences and organizations, and in school districts. She has been on the NAGC Board member (two terms) and consults nationally to recruit and retain Black students and Hispanic students in gifted education.

Dr. Ford’s work has been recognized by various professional organizations: Research Award from the Shannon Center for Advanced Studies; the Early Career Award and the Career Award from The American Educational Research Association; Senior Scholar Award and Early Scholar Award from The National Association for Gifted Children; the Esteemed Scholarship Award from The National Association of Black Psychologists; the Outstanding Service Award from the Council for Exceptional Children-The Association for the Gifted. She is the Vanderbilt University SEC Faculty Award recipient (2013). Professor Ford is even more proud and humbled by awards received from student organizations (Black Student Alliance Distinguished Faulty Award, and Jimmie Franklin Outstanding Vanderbilt Faculty Award).

Speaker Topics:

  • Under-representation of Black and Hispanic students in gifted education and advanced classes and programs (e.g., AP)
  • Recruiting and retaining Black students in gifted education and AP
  • Closing the achievement gap with Black students
  • Increasing equity in gifted education for Black and Hispanic students
  • Reversing underachievement among gifted Black students (males and/or females)
  • Test bias and gifted education identification; non-verbal tests and gifted Black students
  • Multicultural Curriculum/Culturally Responsive Education for gifted students
  • Multicultural Counseling for gifted Black students
  • Working with Black families to increase school involvement