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Robinson Receives Ann F. Isaacs Founder’s Memorial Award from National Association for Gifted Children

Professor Ann Robinson speaks at the 2023 National Association for Gifted Children Conference.
Professor Ann Robinson speaks at the 2023 National Association for Gifted Children Conference.

A national leader in gifted and talented education from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock has been recognized for her lifetime of service and extraordinary contributions to the field.

The National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC), the nation’s leading organization focused on the needs of gifted and talented children, has awarded Dr. Ann Robinson, distinguished professor at UA Little Rock and founding director of the Jodie Mahony Center for Gifted Education, the 2023 NAGC Ann F. Isaacs Founder’s Memorial Award for her distinguished service to NAGC and gifted education.

“I grew up in NAGC, first attending as a doctoral student, so finding myself with the Ann Fabe Isaacs Founders Award is truly, truly humbling,” Robinson said. “Previous awardees were giants in the field; Mary Frasier, the first recipient, was someone under whose presidency I served on the NAGC Board, and the second recipient was my own Purdue mentor, John Feldhusen. Being honored among such a pantheon of Isaacs Award recipients is still not quite real for me.”

Robinson received the award during the 2023 NAGC conference held Nov. 9-12 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

“Ann is a natural recipient for the Founders Award as NAGC enters its 70th year. Her contributions to NAGC are many and varied, from serving as president to leading the Leadership and Development Committee,” NAGC Board President Shelagh Gallagher said. “She’s been active in Networks, served on numerous task force initiatives, and that’s just a start. Ann also cares about the history of this organization and knows the drive and determination that Ann Fabes Isaacs gave to the Association. Ann has demonstrated a similar commitment.”

At the Jodie Mahony Center for Gifted Education, Robinson specializes in developing talents within the school setting, evidence-based practices in gifted education, and biography as research and curricular intervention. She also founded the Arkansas Advanced Placement Teacher Professional Development Institute and currently serves on the Advisory Board of the Gifted Education Research and Resource Institute at Purdue University.

Over the course of her academic career, she has secured more than $30 million in external funding for research and service, including five federal Javits grants for demonstration projects in curriculum, instruction, and evaluation focused on talented children from low-income households.

“UA Little Rock has been so fortunate to have Ann Robinson on our faculty,” UA Little Rock Provost Ann Bain said. “ She is an exceptional professional, colleague, and leader. It is fitting that she has been selected for this prestigious award.”

Dedicating over 20 years of service to the NAGC Board of Directors, Robinson served as the association’s president from 2009-2011. In addition to her commitment to the board, Robinson was editor of NAGC’s peer-reviewed journal, “Gifted Child Quarterly,” and served on several networks and committees over the years, including her recently concluded term as chair of the Leadership Development Committee. Previously, NAGC has recognized Robinson with the Distinguished Scholar Award in 2012, the Distinguished Service Award in 2006, the Early Leader Award in 1990, and the Early Scholar Award in 1986.