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SENG’s Annual Conference features some of the world’s leading experts in the emotional and social aspects of giftedness.  This year we are pleased to pleased to welcome: 

Dr. Tracy Cross

From Underachievement to Suicide: How Students Cope with Being Gifted
Presenter: Dr. Tracy L. Cross
Date and Time: July 22, 2016 8.30-9.45 am 

 The lives of gifted students are complicated.  They receive mixed messages about the meaning and value of giftedness. Moreover, the adults they encounter have wide-ranging views about what giftedness is and how the students should behave. This session reveals the lived experience of gifted students and how they cope with being gifted. Developmental issues will be highlighted as will the research that reflects their developmental patterns.  School based experiences and behaviors will be used to illustrate their lives and how they cope with being gifted in American schools. 

Dr. Tracy L. Cross holds an endowed chair, Jody and Layton Smith Professor of Psychology and Gifted Education, and is the Executive Director of the Center for Gifted Education and the Institute for Research on the Suicide of Gifted Students. Previously he served Ball State University as the George and Frances Ball Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Gifted Studies, the founder and Executive Director of both the Center for Gifted Studies and Talent Development, and the Institute for Research on the Psychology of the Gifted Students. He has published over 200 articles, book chapters, and columns, made over 250 presentations at conferences, and has published nine books. He has edited five journals in the field of gifted studies (Gifted Child Quarterly, Roeper Review, Journal of Secondary Gifted Education, Research Briefs) and is the current editor of the Journal for the Education of the Gifted. He received the Distinguished Service Award from The Association for the Gifted (TAG) and the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC), the Early Leader and Early Scholar Awards from NAGC and in 2009 was given the Lifetime Achievement Award from the MENSA Education and Research Foundation, was named the Outstanding Researcher for Ball State University, and given the 2011 Distinguished Scholar award from NAGC. 


Collins_MSTprofilePicWait a SEC! Re-framing Our Present Approach to Gifted Education & Talent Development

Presenter: Dr. Kristina Henry Collins
Date and Time: Friday, July 22, 2016 at 12.30 – 1.45 pm

A comprehensive understanding of socio-emotional development and the ways in which culture and context shape such processes is critical. Recognizing the diversity in how this “looks” within home, school, and community settings is essential if we are to develop and demonstrate relevant and responsive approaches to meet the needs of all high performing and gifted students. Prioritizing social, emotional, and cultural (SEC) context enhances growth and development for educators, parents, and students, alike.
In this keynote presentation, Dr. Collins explores the intersections of SEC development and academic achievement. In a unique delivery style with attention to SEC insights and strategies, she guides the audience through a reflective journey of personal testimony and professional experience related to identity and talent development that challenges the current status quo. The role of SEC competence in addressing patterns of student (under)achievement and culturally (un)responsive environments is highlighted.

Dr. Kristina Henry Collins’ research focuses on STEM identity, STEM talent development, parent engagement, and multicultural gifted education.  She is a graduate of the The University of Georgia, where she earned a Ph.D. in educational psychology.  She also holds an Ed.S. in educational psychology from The University of Georgia, a M.S.Ed. in mathematics from Jacksonville State University, a B.S. in engineering from the University of Alabama, and a Military Science diploma in cryptology from the United States Navy.  Dr. Collins has many years of experience with STEM teaching and leading in Title I middle schools and high schools.  Her professional certifications include technology education, AP computer science, and educational leadership/administration.  At Texas State University, she teaches courses related to talent development and gifted education.  


Jim DeslilseSimply a horrible way to look at children: America’s animosity towards its giftedness.

Presenter: Jim Delisle
Date and Time: Saturday, July 23, 2016; 12.30-1.45 pm

Americans have always had a love-hate relationship with giftedness: they want the more capable students to achieve, but they want them to do so without being identified, labeled or served separately in schools.  This division in thought has become starkly obvious in relation to several recent publications about educating gifted children that have been criticized widely on social media.  This session will examine some possible causes for this animosity, as well as offer suggestions for “doubling down” on our advocacy efforts, in order that gifted children’s intellectual and emotional needs are served and not ignored any longer.  

Dr. James (Jim) Delisle has taught gifted children and those who work on their behalf for more than 38 years.  Jim retired from Kent State University in 2008 after 25 years of service there as a professor of special education.  Throughout his career, Jim has taken time away from college teaching to return to his “classroom roots”, volunteering as a 2nd, 4th, 5th and 8th grade teacher in 1991, 1997 and 2006.  Too, Jim taught gifted middle school students one day a week between 1998-2008 in the Twinsburg, Ohio Public Schools. 

Currently, Jim works part-time with highly-gifted 9th and 10th graders at the Scholars’ Academy in Conway, South Carolina.  The author of more than 250 articles and 19 books, Jim’s work has been translated into multiple languages and has been featured in both professional journals and in popular media, such as The New York Times, People Magazine, and on Oprah!  Jim’s newest book, Dumbing Down America: The War on our Nation’s Brightest Young Minds (and what we can do to fight back), was published in 2014. A frequent presenter throughout the U.S., Jim has also addressed audiences in nations as diverse as England, Greece, China, Oman, Turkey and Saudi Arabia. 
Creating Inclusive Communities
Panel Presentation: Dina Brulles, Ph.D., Donna Ford, Ph.D., and P.Susan Jackson
Date and Time: Sunday, July 24, 2016: 11.00 – 12.30PM

The cultural, linguistic and economic profile of the United States continues to evolve at rapid pace simultaneous to increased opportunities for global collaboration and innovation. More than twenty percent of children in the U.S. currently live in poverty. Diversity strengthens yet wars and oppression continue. Additionally, emotional intelligence is decreasing around the world with marked drops in the skill of empathy. SENG’s mission is to empower all gifted individuals, yet for more than twenty-five years, experts have known there is significant under representation of Black, Latino and low-income students in gifted programs. Society cannot teach children perspective taking in the absence of diversity. In this keynote, SENG is honored to welcome three gifted diversity scholars to discuss what they consider to be key elements of creating inclusive communities and what we as a field need to learn more about to continue to work in the direction of a more peaceful society. 

dina-brullesPresenter: Dina Brulles Ph.D. 

Dr. Brulles is the Director of Gifted Education at Paradise Valley Unified School District where she has developed a continuum of gifted education programs, preschool through high school. The programs and services Dina oversees incorporate innovative uses of technology, enfranchise underrepresented populations and provide extensive professional development opportunities. She is also the Graduate Gifted Program Coordinator at Arizona State University.  

Dina was elected to the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) Board of Directors in 2014 as the school district representative and is also a member of the NAGC Convention Committee. She received the inaugural 2014 NAGC Gifted Coordinator Award and also the first NAGC Professional Development Network Award in 2013. Dina has served as president of the Arizona Association for the Gifted and Talented, vice president of SENG, and on leadership teams of NAGC Networks.  

Dr. Brulles co-authored the books, The Cluster Grouping Handbook: How to Challenge Gifted Students and Improve Achievement For All, Teaching Gifted Kids in Today’s Classrooms, and Helping All Gifted Children Learn, along with other publications and teacher training courses. Dina assists school districts in developing, supporting, and evaluating gifted programs with an emphasis on integrating current educational initiatives. She has implemented and supervised the Schoolwide Cluster Grouping Model and has become a recognized expert in that practice.  

Donna Ford VanderbiltPresenter: Donna Y. Ford Ph.D. 

Donna Y. Ford, Ph.D., is Professor of Education and Human Development at Vanderbilt University. She teaches in the Department of Special Education and holds a joint appointment in the Department of Teaching and Learning. Dr. Ford has been a Professor of Special Education at Ohio State University, an Associate Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Virginia, and a researcher with the National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented. She also taught at the University of Kentucky.

Professor Ford conducts research primarily in gifted education and multicultural/urban education. Specifically, her work focuses on: (1) recruiting and retaining culturally different students in gifted education; (2) multicultural and urban education; (3) achievement gaps; (4) minority student achievement and underachievement; and (5) family involvement. She consults with school districts, educational, and legal organizations in the areas of gifted education. 

She is the author/co-author of several books, including Recruiting and Retaining Culturally Different Students in Gifted Education (2013), Reversing Underachievement Among Gifted Black Students (1996, 2010) Multicultural Gifted Education (1999, 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).  

P. Susan JacksonPresenter: P. Susan Jackson
Date and Time: Sunday, July 24, 2016; 11.00 – 12.30pm

P. Susan Jackson, M.A., R.C.C., is the Founder and Therapeutic Director of The Daimon Institute for the Highly Gifted in White Rock, British Columbia, Canada. Sue has extensive clinical and developmental expertise, including over thirty thousand hours of psychotherapy supporting highly and profoundly gifted persons of all ages. She also has nine-years experience as a Gifted and Talented support coordinator within the public school system.

In addition to numerous academic publications, Sue is a contributing author of several books, including Special Populations in Gifted Education: Understanding our Most Able Students from Diverse Backgrounds, Living with Intensity, and The International Handbook of the Gifted.

Sue is a Network Communication Committee Officer of the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) and former chair of the NAGC Counselling and Guidance Network (Social and Psychological Support).



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