Events from the Center

Graphic for Professional Learning Online

If you have questions about these events, please contact us at renzullicenter@uconn.edu

Free Online Course

Our next free Schoolwide Enrichment Model course starts October 10 and ends December 2. Click here for more information.

Free Webinars

The University of Connecticut's Renzulli Center for Creativity, Gifted Education, and Talent Development will offer free webinars in 2022-23 for parents and educators. Don't miss this opportunity to interact with recognized gifted education leaders and scholars online. 

Educator Webinars

Thursday, October 27, 2022
8 pm to 9 pm Eastern
An Important Tool in the Toolkit: Academic Acceleration
Ann Lupkowski-Shoplik
University of Iowa Belin-Blank Center

Description: Educators are sometimes reluctant to use acceleration for their academically talented students because they have had little experience with it. This introductory session will provide an overview of the research supporting acceleration as well as the tools developed to help make informed, objective decisions. Acceleration comes in many forms, including grade-skipping, subject acceleration, dual enrollment, and advanced placement courses. Seventy years of research inform us that acceleration is a success story both in the short term and in the long term, and students do well both academically and socially. Learn about the Iowa Acceleration Scale, Integrated Acceleration System, above-level testing, acceleration policies, and the resources available on the Acceleration Institute website.

Speaker Bio: Ann Lupkowski-Shoplik, Ph.D. is Administrator, Acceleration Institute and Research at the University of Iowa Belin-Blank Center. Previously, she founded and directed the Carnegie Mellon Institute for Talented Elementary Students (C-MITES) at Carnegie Mellon University. She co-authored Developing Math Talent (2nd ed.), Developing Academic Acceleration Policies, and the Iowa Acceleration Scale, and co-edited A Nation Empowered: Evidence Trumps the Excuses Holding Back America’s Brightest Students.  She is also co-developer of the online Integrated Acceleration System, which guides educators and families through the decision-making process about grade-skipping, early entrance to kindergarten, subject acceleration, and early entrance to college.

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Saturday, November 12, 2022
11 am to noon Eastern
Kathy Gavin

(Title and Description Coming Soon)

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Saturday, January 21, 2023
11 am to noon Eastern
Joyce VanTassel-Baska, Catherine Little, Debbie Dailey, Steve Coxon, and Cara Bernard

(Title and Description Coming Soon)

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Saturday, February 11, 2023
11 am to noon Eastern
Vertical Differentiation: Scaffolded Supports to Stretch Student Thinking
Emily Mofield
Lipscomb University

Description: Learn strategies to stretch student thinking, promote deep learning, and provide layers of challenge for high-potential students. These strategies build schema, academic language, and provide scaffolds to intentionally foster gifts and talents of students from underrepresented groups. Leave with concrete examples to support and extend student thinking across content areas.

Speaker Bio: Emily Mofield, Ed.D., is an Assistant Professor at Lipscomb University, teaching courses in the Gifted Education and Advanced Academics Program and the Ed.D. Program for Learning Organizations and Strategic Change. She has over 20 years of experience in gifted education as a teacher, district leader, and now assistant professor. Her work focuses on curriculum for gifted/high-potential students, differentiation, achievement motivation, and most recently, collaborative teaching practices for promoting access and equity in gifted education. Her most recent books include Vertical Differentiation for Gifted, Advanced, and High-Potential Students: 25 Strategies to Stretch Student Thinking and Advanced Content Models for Differentiating Curriculum for Gifted Learners (with Tamra Stambaugh).

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Saturday, March 11, 2023
11 am to noon Eastern
Rebecca O’Brien
Whitworth University

(Title and Description Coming Soon)

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Saturday, April 22, 2023
11 am to noon Eastern
Strategies and Resources for Families to Promote Racial Pride and Achievement Among Their Children of Color
Donna Ford
The Ohio State University

Description: All students share the reality that self-perception (e.g., self-esteem and self-concept) significantly influences school performance. Students of color have an additional view of self that families and caregivers need to understand – racial identity development. Theories of racial identity are described, along with recommendations and resources to promote racial pride.

Speaker Bio: Donna Y. Ford, PhD, is a Distinguished Professor in the College of Education and Human Ecology at The Ohio State University. She is also a Faculty Affiliate with the Kirwan Institute and the Center for Latin American Studies. Professor Ford conducts research primarily in gifted education and culturally responsive/multicultural/urban education. She has written over 300 articles and book chapters; she has made over 2,000 presentations at professional conferences and organizations, and in school districts.

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Saturday, May 13, 2023
11 am to noon Eastern
Dornswalo Wilkins-McCorey
Virginia Beach City Public Schools

(Title and Description Coming)

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Parent Webinars

Thursday, October 13, 2022
8 to 8:30 pm Eastern
What Parents of Smart Students (and their students) Need to Know about College Admissions
Sally M. Reis
University of Connecticut

Description: What are the key points that parents of academically talented students need to know about college admissions? In this workshop, a university professor, parent, and college admissions advocate for talented students shares two decades worth of advice and experience for your current and future planning about colleges and universities for your talented son or daughter.

Speaker Bio:

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Thursday, November 10, 2022
8 to 8:30 pm Eastern
What Parents Need to Know about Testing
Nick Gelbar
University of Connecticut

Description: This presentation will provide a parent-friendly overview of the testing that is used to determine if a child is gifted and talented.  It will discuss how the testing works so parents can better understand the results.  Considerations for testing children who are 2e will also briefly be discussed.

Speaker Bio: Dr. Gelbar is an Associate Research Professor at the University of Connecticut in the Department of Educational Psychology.  Previously, he was an assistant professor at the University of Connecticut Health Center (School of Medicine) and the research director for the UConn University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities. He earned his Ph. D. in Educational Psychology (with concentrations in School Psychology, Special Education, and Gifted/Talented Education) from the University of Connecticut in 2013. He is a licensed psychologist, a national certified school psychologist, and a board-certified behavior analyst at the doctoral level.

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Thursday, January 19, 2023
8 to 8:30 pm Eastern
Born to Draw: The Development of Artistically Gifted Children
Jennifer Drake
Brooklyn College, CUNY

Description: Some young children are able to create stunningly realistic drawings that resemble those of adult artists. In this talk, I will present research examining the perceptual and cognitive skills that underlie this talent in children. I will consider three pieces of evidence for their innate talent. First, the drawings of these children are advanced from the start before they have been given any formal drawing instruction. Second, these children are not just advanced but are also different: they have superior visual memory, mental rotation, and visual imagery skills. Most importantly, these children show a “rage to master” in the domain of drawing—a strong drive to figure out the rules of graphic representation. Finally, I present research suggesting that artistic brilliance in children may not be limited to drawing realistically and may be found children who are gifted in abstract expressionist art. Thus, there may be two routes that gifted child artists follow – one the early representational/realism route and the other the early abstraction route.

Speaker Bio: Jennifer Drake is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Brooklyn College and The Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Her research program focuses on the psychology of the visual arts. In one line of research, she examines the emotion regulation benefits of engaging in drawing for children and adults. In a second line of research, she studies the cognitive and perceptual processes underlying graphic representation skills in autistic, non-autistic, and gifted children. Her research has been funded by grants from the National Endowment of the Arts, the Imagination Institute supported by the John Templeton Foundation, and PSC-CUNY. Her research has been featured in Scientific American Mind, The Atlantic, The Wall Street Journal, National Geographic, The New York Times, and on National Public Radio. She was named a 2015 “Rising Star” by the Association for Psychological Science and an outstanding early career scholar in 2018 by the American Psychological Association for her work on the emotion regulation benefits of everyday art-making.

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Thursday, February 9, 2023
8 to 8:30 pm Eastern

(Speaker and Presentation Information Coming)

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Thursday, March 9, 2023
8 to 8:30 pm Eastern

(Speaker and Presentation Information Coming)

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Thursday, April 20, 2023
8 to 8:30 pm Eastern
What do Parents Need to Know About Academic Acceleration?
Ann Lupkowski-Shoplik
University of Iowa Belin-Blank Center

Description: Acceleration is the best-researched option for academically talented students, yet educators and families may be hesitant to use it. Forms of acceleration include grade-skipping, subject acceleration, AP courses, honors courses, dual enrollment, and early entrance to college. Research indicates that accelerated students perform well academically in the short- and long-term; additionally, they do well socially. Tools are available to help inform decisions about acceleration, including the Iowa Acceleration Scale, Integrated Acceleration System, and above-Level testing. Some states and school districts have well-developed acceleration policies that guide decision-making. Learn about the many resources available to support families seeking additional challenges for their students.

Speaker Bio: Ann Lupkowski-Shoplik, Ph.D. is Administrator, Acceleration Institute and Research at the University of Iowa Belin-Blank Center. Previously, she founded and directed the Carnegie Mellon Institute for Talented Elementary Students (C-MITES) at Carnegie Mellon University. She co-authored Developing Math Talent (2nd ed.), Developing Academic Acceleration Policies, and the Iowa Acceleration Scale, and co-edited A Nation Empowered: Evidence Trumps the Excuses Holding Back America’s Brightest Students.  She is also co-developer of the online Integrated Acceleration System, which guides educators and families through the decision-making process about grade-skipping, early entrance to kindergarten, subject acceleration, and early entrance to college.

 

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