Working with my colleagues at the Center for Gifted Education has been quite an honor. The Directors at the Center (Drs. Lori Bland, Kim Chandler, Jennifer Cross, Miyheon Kim) are a very capable group with considerable expertise. I am happy to report that in addition to their director titles, The College of William and Mary has deemed it appropriate to offer each of them faculty status. This is an acknowledgement of their contributions and training. One advantage of this change is that our doctoral students now have four additional potential chairs and members of their dissertation committees. Congratulations to each of the directors.
A second very exciting event since the last newsletter is the recent funding of a summer residential camp for rising seventh grade high ability students from financially impoverished backgrounds. We are partnering with the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation to create this opportunity to improve the lives of these students by providing an intensive training for two weeks, with year-round interactions. The same group of 55 students from the first year will return for a second year along with a new group of students, bringing our total number of campers to 100 or so. This grant was written as a collaborative effort of all the directors. The program has been titled Camp Launch, as it has been designed to prepare these students for the future.
I am happy to report that the Center has a new scholarship in honor of Dawn Benson, a long-term employee who was often described as the heart and soul of the Center. The scholarship was created by Dawn’s parents to support academically distinguished graduate students enrolled in the Gifted Education program at the School of Education. Preference will be given to students with international experiences and/or backgrounds. If you would like to contribute to the Dawn Benson scholarship please email our office manager Laura Ionescu or contact her by phone at 757.221.2362.
Another new addition in our Center is the recent partnership with the faculty in the William & Mary School of Education School Psychology Program. Together, we have been offering psychoeducational assessments for a few months now, with fees for services on a sliding scale. Dr. Lea Theodore has done a masterful job coordinating the assessments. Laura Ionescu (Center Office Manager) is the point of contact and makes the arrangements for the assessments.
It has often been said that it takes about three years in a new role to fully grow into it. That seems fair in my case as well. Following Joyce at the Center, while daunting, could not have been a better experience for me. Our Dean is supportive of the Center and the future seems quite bright.
Please visit our website for additional details about the Center’s activities. Should you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact us.
Tracy L. Cross
Executive Director, Center for Gifted Education
Jody and Layton Smith Professor of Psychology and Gifted Education