On behalf of the Morgridge College of Education, I am pleased to welcome you to the 9th Annual Gifted Education Conference – Presented by the Office of the Daniel L. Ritchie Endowed Chair in Gifted Education. Our theme this year is Theory and Practice: Conceptual Foundations and Classroom Strategies in Gifted Education.

Designed for teacher leaders, building and district leaders, researchers, parents, mental health professionals, and education service providers, the conference is intended to provide specific topical information about selected areas in gifted education.

This year, we are planning another dynamic and informative Symposium and Conference that focuses on both leading edge research advances and practical classroom strategies. This year we are pleased to feature Named Endowed Chairs in Gifted Education from across the country as our keynote speakers.

Join us to learn theory and practical strategies to improve your own work in gifted education. Important policy issues and trends facing gifted education today will be highlighted and discussed during the Symposium. The Conference will join leading educators and researchers with participants to explore gifted education from multiple perspectives.

Past speakers have included: Dr. James Webb, Dr. Stephen Chou, Dr. Rena Subotnik, Dr. James Delisle, and Dr. Bertie Kingore. Please bookmark this page and check back often as we will continually update information as we finalize speakers and other important details about this exciting event. We look forward to having you join us in February 2019!


Norma Lu Hafenstein, Ph.D.
Daniel L. Ritchie Endowed Chair in Gifted Education
Clinical Professor, Curriculum Studies and Teaching
Morgridge College of Education


Wednesday, February 6th, 2019
4:30pm – 5:00pm: Reception
5:00pm – 6:30pm: Presentation Panel and Discussion

Thursday, February 7th, 2019
7:45am – 8:15am: Registration and Breakfast
8:15am – 8:30am: Welcome
8:30am – 9:40am: Keynote Presentations
9:45am – 10:40am: Breakout Sessions A
10:50am – 12:00pm: Keynote Presentations
12:00pm – 1:15pm: Lunch and Palmarium Presentation
1:15pm – 1:45pm: Poster Sessions
1:45pm – 2:40pm: Breakout Sessions B
2:45pm – 3:40pm: Breakout Sessions C
3:45pm – 4:55pm: Keynote Presentations
4:50pm – 5:00pm: Closing
5:00pm – 5:30pm: Reception


If you attend both days, you are eligible for 9 Professional Development Hours, issued by the Colorado Department of Education.



Announcing the 2019 Palmarium Award Recipient

Dr. Frank C. Worrell

Frank C. Worrell is a Professor in the Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Berkeley, 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.  He also holds an affiliate appointment in the Social and Personality Area in the Psychology Department, and was a Visiting Professor in the Faculty of Education and Social Work at the University of Auckland (2014–2017).  His areas of expertise include at-risk youth, cultural identities, gifted education/academic talent development, scale development and validation, teacher effectiveness, time perspective, and the translation of psychological research findings into school-based practice.  Dr. Worrell served as Co-Editor and Editor of Review of Educational Research from 2012 to 2016 and as a Member at Large (2016 – 2018) on the Board of Directors of the American Psychological Association (APA).  He is a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science, the American Educational Research Association, and five divisions of APA, and an elected member of the Society for the Study of School Psychology and the National Academy of Education.  Dr. Worrell is a recipient of UC Berkeley’s Chancellor’s Award for Advancing Institutional Excellence (2011), the Distinguished Scholar Award from the National Association for Gifted Children (2013), the Distinguished Contributions to Research Award from Division 45 (Society for the Psychological Study of Culture, Ethnicity, and Race) of APA (2015), and the Outstanding International Psychologist Award from Division 52 (International Psychology) of APA (2018).  Dr. Worrell has ongoing international collaborations in China Ethiopia, Germany, Iran, Israel, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Nigeria, Peru, Slovenia, Sweden, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.


This year’s keynote speakers will also be presenting during the Policy Symposium, moderated by Dr. Norma Hafenstein, University of Denver Morgridge College of Education Daniel L. Ritchie Endowed Chair in Gifted Education; Clinical Professor, Curriculum Studies and Teaching. Check out our past speakers here.

Dr. Susan Assouline

Dr. Susan G. Assouline is the director of the Belin-Blank Center, holds the Myron and Jacqueline N. Blank Endowed Chair in Gifted Education, and is a professor of school psychology at the University of Iowa.  Upon completion of her doctorate, she was awarded a two-year post-doctoral fellowship at the Study of Mathematically Precocious Youth (SMPY) at Johns Hopkins University. Throughout her career, she has been especially interested in identification of academic talent in elementary students, academic acceleration as an intervention for advanced students, and twice-exceptionality. She is co-developer (with Nicholas Colangelo and Ann Shoplik) of the Iowa Acceleration Scale, a tool designed to guide educators and parents through decisions about grade-skipping students.  In 2015, she co-edited with Nicholas Colangelo, Joyce Van Tassel-Baska, and Ann Lupkowski-Shoplik,  A Nation Empowered:  Evidence Trumps the Excuses Holding Back America’s Brightest Students.  She received the NAGC 2016 Distinguished Scholar Award.

Dr. Tracy L. Cross

Dr. Tracy L. Cross holds an endowed chair, the 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 at The College of William & Mary. He has published over 150 articles, book chapters, and columns, made over 300 presentations, and published ten books. He is the President Emeritus of the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) and is the current President of The Association for the Gifted (TAG). He has edited seven journals and is the current editor of the Journal for the Education of Gifted. For nine years, he served as the Executive Director of the Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics and Humanities; Indiana’s residential school for intellectually gifted adolescents. 

He received the Distinguished Service Award from TAG and NAGC, the Early Leader, Early Scholar and Distinguished Scholar Awards from NAGC, and in 2009 was given the Lifetime Achievement Award from the MENSA Education and Research Foundation. 


Dr. Jann Leppien

Dr. Jann Leppien is the Margo Long Endowed Chair in Gifted Education and Professor in the Graduate School of Education at Whitworth University. Whitworth’s Center for Gifted Education supports policies that encourage the diverse expressions of gifts and talents and offers a Gifted Education Specialty Endorsement and Master of Arts in Teaching: Emphasis in Gifted and Talented programs. She is the co-author of The Multiple Menu Model: A Practical Guide for Developing Differentiated Curriculum, and The Parallel Curriculum: A Design to Develop High Potential and Challenge High-Ability Students. She has served on the board of the National Association for Gifted Children and currently serves on the Gifted Advisory Board for Washington, the 2e Center for Research and Professional Development for 2e students. She is President of Edufest, a summer teaching and learning institute in gifted education. She provides professional development in the areas of identification, program services, and advanced curriculum design. 

Dr. Jonathan Plucker

Dr. Jonathan Plucker is the Julian C. Stanley Endowed Professor of Talent Development at Johns Hopkins University, where he works in the Center for Talented Youth and School of Education. Previously, he was Raymond Neag Endowed Professor of Education at the University of Connecticut and  Professor of Educational Psychology and Cognitive Science at Indiana University, where he was the founding director of the Center for Evaluation and Education Policy. He graduated with a B.S. in chemistry education and M.A. in educational psychology from the University of Connecticut, then after briefly teaching at an elementary school in New York, received his Ph.D. in educational psychology from the University of Virginia. His research examines talent development, educational psychology, and education policy, with over 300 publications to his credit and over $40 million in external funding to support his work. His recent books include Excellence Gaps in Education with Scott Peters (Harvard Ed Press) and Creativity and Innovation (Prufrock Press), both of which have received the NAGC Book Award. He is an APA, APS, AERA, and AAAS Fellow and recipient of the 2012 Arnheim Award for Outstanding Achievement from APA and 2013 Distinguished Scholar Award from the National Association for Gifted Children. He is president-elect of NAGC.

Dr. Joseph S. Renzulli

Dr. Renzulli is the Lynn and Ray Neag Chair for Gifted Education and Talent Development at the University of Connecticut, where he also serves as director of the Renzulli Center for Creativity, Gifted Education, and Talent Development. He is an international leader in gifted education and applying the pedagogy of gifted education teaching strategies to total school improvement.  His work on the The Schoolwide Enrichment Model, and the use of instructional technology to assess student strengths and match resources to students’ electronic profiles were pioneering efforts to make the field more flexible and to place the focus on talent development in all students.  He has obtained more than 50 million dollars in research grants and the American Psychological Association named him among the 25 most influential psychologists in the world.  In 2009 he received the Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Award for Innovation in Education and he was recently listed as one of the world’s top 30 international education professionals by the Global Guru Annual Survey. 


Implementation Components and Strategies

Common Sense About the Under-Representation Issue

The Renzulli Learning System; A Technology-Based Application of the SEM

Reexamining the role of gifted education and talent development for the 21st century

The Role of Blended Knowledge in the Development of Creative Productive Giftedness

Dr. Dorothy A. Sisk

Dorothy A. Sisk, Ed.D., Ph.D., is the C.W. and Dorothy Anne Conn Endowed Chair at Lamar University and directs the Gifted Child Center and the Center for Creativity, Innovation and Leadership. She specializes in the field of gifted education, focusing on creative behavior and leadership development.  Dr. Sisk has authored and coauthored numerous chapters, articles, papers, and books. She has served as the director of the U.S. Office of Gifted and Talented; president, vice president, and executive administrator of the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children; and president of The Association for the Gifted (TAG). She was the first president of The American Creativity Association (ACA) and currently serves on the board of directors. She also serves on the editorial boards of a number of journals including: Journal of Talent Development and CreativityJournal of Creative Education and Associate Editor of Gifted International

Copyright © 2018 University of Denver. | All rights reserved. | The University of Denver is an equal opportunity affirmative action institution