SENG Annual Conference 2016 - GIFTED: Our Past and Our Future

Williamsburg VA

Jul 21 - 24, 2016

SENG's 33rd Annual Conference prioritize recognition, understanding, and acceptance of the social and emotional needs of the gifted population. At the conference, SENG provides a wholly original forum to empower, support, and connect gifted individuals as well as teachers, parents, and counselors. Our 2016 theme is GIFTED: Our Past and Our Future.

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Abigail Priest

GT Academy Coordinator, Education

Bio: Abigail Priest is the Coordinator of a GT Academy in Texas. This public school serves almost 600 gifted middle school students (grades 6-8) in a school-within-a-school environment and emphasizes concept-based learning.

Akkelijn Elshof

MSc, Radboud University

Bio: Akkelijn Elshof recently graduated from the Radboud University (The Netherlands). She studied Business Administration, with a major in Strategic Human Resource Management. This major gives its students theoretical insights about the added (strategic) value of employees in the organization. The gifted adults and burnout research has been used for her graduation at the Radboud University in collaboration with Dr. Noks Nauta from the Gifted Adults Foundation.

Alan D. Thompson

Life Architect, Life Architect Coaching

Bio: Alan D. Thompson. Alan is the Director of Life Architect in Australia. He is an Associate Certified Coach with the International Coach Federation (ICF). Along with Professor Mark C. Williams, he is a founder of the Australia-Asia Positive Psychology Institute. Alan is the National Gifted Children’s Coordinator for Australian Mensa. More info:

Bronwyn MacFarlane

Professor of Gifted Education, University of Arkansas at Little Rock

Bio: Bronwyn MacFarlane, Ph.D., is professor of gi ed educa on at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. She earned her doctorate from the College of William and Mary. She writes the curriculum column in Teaching for High Potential and edited two books: “STEM Education for High-Ability Learners” (2016) and “Leading Change in Gifted Education: The Festschrift of Dr. Joyce VanTassel-Baska” (2009). She has served as college associate dean and chair of the NAGC Counseling Network. Follow Dr. Bronwyn on Twitter: @DrBMacFarlane.

Cam Werley-Gonzales

Asst. Head of School, Alverno Heights Academy

Bio: Cam Gonzales is the Assistant Head at Alverno High, a private girls school in Southern California. Alverno has a radical acceleration program which allows girls as young as 11 to begin high school full time. Girls can also self-pace, finishing in 2 years, or taking time to explore their passions.

Carol Raymond

Director of Assessment & Special Programs, STEM Educator, EA Young Academy

Bio: Carol Raymond, TAGT 2015 Educator of the Gifted, serves as Director of Assessment & Special Programs and as STEM educator at EA Young Academy for gifted, talented and high ability scholars. Her educational ambitions focus on implementing methods that meet the social and emotional needs of students through authentically challenging academic pursuits.

Carolyn K.

Founder and Director, Hoagies' Gifted, Inc.

Bio: Carolyn Kottmeyer is the founder and director of Hoagies’ Gifted, Inc., a 501(c)3 non-profit including Hoagies' Gifted Education Page and ~35,000 member social media communities on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest.

Colleen Kessler

Blogger & Gifted Education Specialist, www.RaisingLifelongLearners

Bio: Colleen is a gifted specialist who never planned to leave teaching. Since things don’t always go as planned, she now works from home while homeschooling her own gifted kids. Between book projects and speaking engagements, she tries to stay one step ahead of her children while sharing adventures on

Dianne Allen

Skilled Mentor for Professionals, Visions Applied

Bio: Dr. Dianne Allen is a dynamic mentor for gifted individuals and families. Dianne’s 30 years working with gifted and talented includes counseling, mentoring, writing and speaking. She has been featured on CNN and the Discovery Channel. She authored: How to Quit Anything in 5 Simple Steps and The Loneliness Cure.

Diane Kennedy

Co - Founder, Director of Programs and Education, Bright Not Broken-The Lorna Wing Institute of America

Bio: Diane M. Kennedy is co-author of two nationally acclaimed books, The ADHD-Autism Connection (2002) and Bright Not Broken: Gifted Kids, ADHD, and Autism (2011). A mother of three twice-exceptional sons, Diane has worked diligently for the past 15 years to find the best answers to help her own children and to share these answers with other parents facing the same struggles. As a founder of the Bright Not Broken Lorna Wing Institute of America, Diane now works to bring together the fields of giftedness and disabilities in order to promote a whole-child approach to diagnosis and intervention. A national speaker in areas of giftedness, mental health, and education.

Dina Brulles

President, Gifted Education Consultants

Bio: Dr. Brulles is the Director of Gifted Education at Paradise Valley United 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 Gi ed and Talented, vice president of SENG, and on leadership teams of NAGC Networks.

Donna Y. Ford

Professor of Education and Human Development , Vanderbilt University

Bio: 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) multi-cultural 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.

Katy Dorendorf, Psy.D

Clinical Director, Bright Not Broken: The Lorna Wing Institute of America

Bio: Psychologist and Clinical Director, Bright Not Broken: The Lorna Wing Institute of America

Elizabeth Jones

President, Institute for Educational Advancement

Bio: Ms. Jones has been an educator, researcher and administrator of educational programs for over 20 years. Ms. Jones served as the Associate Director of The Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth and the Director of the Western Region for ten years prior to founding the Institute for Educational Advancement in 1998.

Dr. Ellen D. Fiedler

Professor Emerita, Northeastern Illinois University

Bio: Dr. Ellen D. Fiedler, Professor Emerita from the Master in Arts in Gifted Education (M.A.G.E.) program at Northeastern Illinois University, is currently a private educational consultant. She regularly provides professional development for school districts and other educational agencies, presentations for parents, and a wide range of consultation services related to gifted students and their education. Her Ph.D. in Counseling and Guidance came from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and she worked at the Guidance Institute for Talented Students there as a Research Assistant to the director. Her Masters degree was in elementary education with an emphasis on gifted children

Emily Cohen

Creativity Guidess, Carleton College

Bio: This is my first Seng! Testing the waters for myself -- and a few far flung friends who are eagerly anticipating a report. I'm a fictionalist and poet who plays music, so it's my treat to explore giftedness and soothe its tensions through different modes of deep play. I've kept journals all my life and started practicing the Creative Journey Method under the guidance of Lisa Sonora in 2012. I finished my facilitator/guidess apprenticeship last summer. For more deets on the thoughts behind the practice and its impact bop over to <3

Folly Jee Ligh

Parent - Board of Directors, Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented

Bio: Folly Jee Ligh is the Parent Representative on the Board of Directors of the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented (TAGT). She advocates for the gifted, volunteers in the community and school parent groups, and enjoys the challenging journey of raising two amazing children.

Gurpreet Kaur

Owner & President, Living Excellence Today

Bio: Dr. Gurpreet Kaur is a Licensed Counselor, a Private Coach, and a Speaker. Dr. Kaur is very interested and passionate about self-development, spirituality, wellness, self-actualization, reaching the highest potential, and applying quantum mechanics principles to life. She has presented on these topics at national, state, and local conferences and venues. Her specialty is serving the social and emotional needs of the highly intellectual adolescents and adults, who feel lost in the mundane details and complexity of this world. She helps them with the flooding of emotions, overwhelming need to do the right thing all the time, difficulty in decision-making, over-analyzation, and feelings of not good enough at times. When these clients work with her they feel more control, grounded, and whole. With Dr. Kaur’s guidance on their existential quest, they learn how to align with the internal Self and to positively channel their emotional intensity.

Juan Cristóbal-Didier

Psicólogo, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

Bio: Juan Cristóbal-Didier, Psychologist, graduated from Pontifical Catholic University of Chile. 5 years of experience working as student counselor of gifted children, and several years of experience as clinical therapist with adolescents and adults.

Julie Skolnick

Supporting Parents of Gifted and Distractible Children, With Understanding Comes Calm

Bio: Julie Skolnick, M.A., J.D., supports parents of gifted and distractible children through With Understanding Comes Calm, LLC. Mother of three 2e children, SMPG facilitator, NAGC proposal reviewer, and NAGC 2e COP member, Julie collaborates with educators and clinicians on strategies bringing out the best in exceptional children.

Kathleen Landers

Owner, Director, Therapist, Sequence Counseling and Consulting Services

Bio: Kathleen Landers LCSW-C is a clinical social worker and the director of Sequence Counseling and Consulting Services, and multi-disciplinary group practice serving adults in the Greater Washington Metropolitan area. Ms. Landers has worked with children, adolescents and adults across a range of settings. While the director of a special education high school for students with anxiety and depression, she developed an awareness for the profile of the gifted and twice gifted student. Now 18 years later, and with significant train- ing in the fields of psychotherapy and neuroscience, she has developed a protocol for addressing the needs of the gifted adults she frequently treats in her adult therapy practice.

Ken Dickson

Lead Consultant, Educational Support & Consulting Network

Bio: Ken has been involved in the area of exceptional needs learners for over 40 years as a public school administrator and member of numerous local, state and national Boards and committees that support exceptional needs learners. He is a frequent contributor to various publications with articles on gifted education, equity and diversity.

Kristina Henry Collins

Assistant Professor of Talent Development, Texas State University

Bio: 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.

Leslie Hosey

Lower School Director, Roeper School

Bio: Leslie is the Lower School Director of the Roeper School in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. With over 20 years of experience in the eld of education, Leslie is currently a School and Clinical Psychologist in the Waterford School District, where she develops differentiated instrutional strategies at the elementary and secondary levels, develops and assists with the implementation of Positive Behavior Intervention Supports, is a member of the Staff Development committee, and participates in school improvement planning and data evaluation. Leslie has also worked as a Clinical Psychologist in a private clinical setting and has served on the Adjunct Faculty at the University of Detroit, Mercy.

Lisa Conrad

Moderator #gtchat, Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented

Bio: Lisa Conrad is the moderator of Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT on Twitter. She is the owner of Gifted Parenting Support; a blog and online community. Lisa has been an advocate for gifted children for 15 years. She is the mother of two gifted young adults and lives near Pittsburgh with her husband.

Fiona Smith

Psychologist, Gifted Minds Pty

Bio: Fiona Smith is Director of Gifted Minds Pty Ltd based in Sydney, Australia. She is a psychologist and counsellor who has worked with gifted children and adults since 1998.

Alessa Giampaolo Keener

Hand in Hand Education

Bio: Alessa Giampaolo Keener, M.Ed. homeschooled her gifted children into early college using a child-led learning approach. In addition to being a professional curriculum developer, Alessa works with families across the country in developing individualized learning plans.

Ann Rowe

Kingsbury Center

Bio: I am a clinical psychologist at the Kingsbury Center in Washington D.C where I conduct neuropsychological testing and provide individual and group psychotherapy. I have conducted action research on higher order thinking skills in GTLD students. I am currently working on research on writing and spelling errors in dyslexia. I am co-author of the book Creating Effective Programs for Gifted Children with Learning Disabilities.

Arlene DeVries

Drake University

Bio: Arlene DeVries, previously board member of SENG and NAGC, is co-author of "Gifted Parent Groups, the SENG Model, 2nd Edition," and "Parents' Guide to Gifted Children." Retired from the Des Moines Schools gifted program, she currently teaches online, "Social Emotional Needs of Gifted," for Drake University.

Audrey Davis

EA Young Academy

Bio: Lindsey Gorman and Audrey Davis are entering ninth grade in their third year at EA Young Academy for gifted, talented, and high ability scholars. They are founding directors of the incorporated non profit, Aphelion; a business dedicated to providing education for girls in the Maasai tribe of Kenya. Alongside their passion for helping others, both are active MENSA members, Duke TIP State honorees, and dog enthusiasts. This will be their third conference to present at this year.

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