Marcia Gentry Receives 2018 Palmarium Award at Conference Presented Through the Daniel L. Ritchie Endowed Chair in Gifted Education

Jordan Kellerman

On February 7 and 8, the University of Denver Morgridge College of Education held the 8th Annual Gifted Conference and Symposium. The annual event was hosted by the Office of the Daniel L. Ritchie Endowed Chair in Gifted Education at Morgridge, Dr. Norma Hafenstein. The sold-out conference, with over 130 in attendance, focused on diversity and equity in gifted education.

MarciaGentry.jpgThe vision of the Daniel L. Ritchie Endowed Chair in Gifted Education is a future in which giftedness will be understood, embraced, and systemically nurtured.  The 2018 Palmarium Award, given annually to an individual who most exemplifies this vision, was presented at the conference to Dr. Marcia Gentry, Professor of Educational Studies and Director of the Gifted Education Resource Institute at Purdue University. Dr. Gentry’s research interests include student attitudes toward school and the connection of these attitudes toward learning and motivation; the use of cluster-grouping and differentiation to meet the needs of students with gifts and talents while helping all students achieve at high levels; the use of non-traditional settings for talent development; the development and recognition of talent among underserved populations including students with diverse cultural backgrounds including Native American youth, and children who live in poverty. She actively participates in NAGC and AERA, frequently contributes to the gifted education literature, and regularly serves as a speaker and consultant. Dr. Gentry was the 2014 recipient of the prestigious NAGC Distinguished Scholar Award and has received multiple grants worth several million dollars in support of her work with programming practices and underrepresented populations in gifted education.

The conference and symposium also hosted notable names in gifted education, including Dr. Dina Brulles, Paradise Valley Unified School District; Dr. James T. Webb, 2017 Palarium Award Recipient; Dr. Judy Kiyama, University of Denver; and Dr. Stephen H. Chou, The Summit Center. Open to all, including parents, teachers, and professors, the conference offered a wealth of knowledge and expertise for individuals connected to the gifted education sphere.

Dr. Dennis Corash, a presenter at the conference and Founding Governor of the Colorado Academy for Gifted, Talented, and Creative, said, "It was one of the most powerful conferences I have been to.” The 9th annual Gifted Conference and Symposium will be held at the University of Denver, February 6-7, 2019.

Jordan Kellerman is a Marketing Specialist at Morgridge College of Education, University of Denver.