Principal Investigator (PI). Dr. Ann Robinson is Distinguished Professor at UA Little Rock and founding director of the Jodie Mahony Center for Gifted Education at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. She is past president of the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC), and has been honored by NAGC as Early Scholar, Early Leader, Distinguished Scholar, and for Distinguished Service. In 2021, Ann was presented with the A. Harry Passow International for Leadership Award from the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children (WCGTC). She developed five U.S. Department of Education projects including three STEM research and demonstration programs for elementary students and teachers in low-come schools. An internationally known scholar, she is the lead author on the best-selling Best Practices in Gifted Education: An Evidence-Based Guide and coeditor of A Century of Contributions to Gifted Education: Illuminating Lives. Her Blueprints for Biography curriculum guides provide teachers with enrichment strategies for using biographies to foster engagement.
Co-Principal Investigator (Co-PI). Dr. Jill L. Adelson is President and CEO of Adelson Research & Consulting, LLC, which provides statistical and educational consulting services. She has a doctorate in Educational Psychology with a joint emphasis in Measurement, Evaluation, and Assessment as well as Gifted Education from the University of Connecticut and holds a Certificate in Quantitative Research Methods in Psychology. Dr. Adelson brings both content expertise (elementary school gifted/mathematics education background) as well as methodological/statistical expertise. Her background as an elementary school teacher of a self contained gifted program along with her educational background in mathematics education is important to implementation issues in an effective STEM intervention in the elementary grades.
Curriculum Director (CD). Dr. Christine Deitz is the Associate Director for the Jodie Mahony Center for Gifted Education at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. She is a nationally recognized educator in gifted, creative, and talented education. During her 26 years of public school service, she was a College Board faculty consultant in social studies. Christine is a two time National Board Certified Teacher and is the director of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Teacher Academy at UA Little Rock. A recipient of multiple national educator and curriculum awards, Dr. Deitz was recognized as Doctoral Student of the Year and received the A. Harry Passow Classroom Teacher Award from the National Association for Gifted Children. She is the author of articles on gifted education and is a past president of the state’s advocacy association, Arkansans for Gifted and Talented Education. Dr. Deitz currently serves on the Board of Directors for the National Association of Gifted Children as State Representative.
Technical Assistance Director (TAD). Dr. Monica Meadows is the Research Associate for STEM+C2. Dr. Meadows has eighteen years of educational experience. She has served as both an elementary and a secondary Gifted and Talented Facilitator for the Pulaski County Special School District in Little Rock, AR and Jacksonville North Pulaski School District in Jacksonville, AR. She also has experience teaching various high school and middle school science classes and as an AP coordinator. She currently is an adjunct professor of early childhood science methods for the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and works closely with several of the summer programs offered at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Jodie Mahony Center for Gifted Education. Dr. Meadows also serves on the board of directors for the Arkansans for Gifted and Talented Education as the Parent Affiliate Director. She is the recipient of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock College of Education and Health Professions Outstanding Doctoral Student Award and the Arkansans for Gifted and Talented Education Educator Recognition Award.
Technical Assistance (TA). Kristy A Kidd spent six years as the STEM Starters+ Director, a Jacob K. Javits research and demonstration project, at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Kristy has 21 years of experience teaching elementary and middle school science. She has also served as a gifted and talented facilitator for the Little Rock Schools, as an adjunct professor of early childhood science methods for the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and as the k-12 math and science specialist for the eStem Public Charter Schools. Kristy is the recipient of the Milken National Educator Award which honors top educators around the country for their achievements in education.
Engineering Education Consultant (EEC). Dr. Christine Cunningham is a leading expert on science and engineering education. She received her doctorate in Science Education from Cornell and is currently a professor of education and engineering at The Pennsylvania State University. In 2017, she was awarded the prestigious Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Prize in Education which recognizes individuals who have made innovative and significant contributions to changes in P-12 Education.
School Support Assistant. Lori Delk has a B.A. in Dramatic Art from the University of North Carolina and an MEd in Gifted and Talented Education form UA Little Rock. She retired from teaching in 2022 and joined the staff of the Jodie Mahony Center for Gifted Education at UA Little Rock as the Coordinator for the Advanced Placement Summer Institutes. She came to this position after 27 years of teaching a variety of AP courses including AP Comparative Government, AP U.S. Government, AP Human Geography, AP World History and AP Seminar. In 2020 she was awarded the Arkansans for Gifted and Talented Education Educator Recognition Award. Before becoming an educator she had careers in Childrens’ Theatre and as a Travel Consultant.
Research Assistant. Keila Moreno Mugabo, originally from Mexico City, has been working at the Jodie Mahony Center for Gifted Education since 2015, managing research data for STEM Starters+, STEM+C2, and assisting in various gifted programs. Prior to this, she taught English in elementary schools in Mexico. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Teaching English as a Foreign Language from Universidad Cuauhtémoc Aguascalientes and a master’s degree in Gifted Education from UA Little Rock. The 2016 recipient of the NAGC Master’s and Specialist Award has presented at various conferences, including AGATE, NAGC, and the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children. She is currently a doctoral candidate who aspires to help improve gifted services by improving the identification of and services for high-ability Hispanic and immigrant students in the U.S.
Research Assistant. Merve Topak-Jamsran is a doctoral candidate at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, pursuing a degree in Educational Administration and Supervision concentrating on Gifted, Talented, and Creative Education. She completed her master’s degree in Gifted, Talented, and Creative Education at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and earned her bachelor’s degree in Classroom Teaching from Gazi University, Turkey. She is currently a research assistant at Jodie Mahony Center for Gifted Education. Her research interests include creativity, teacher creativity, underrepresented populations in gifted education services, and STEM teaching.