Tag Archives: belin-blank center

Professional Development That Fits Your Schedule

Thinking about professional development (or professional learning) for this spring?  The Belin-Blank Center will offer a variety of options, from three-semester-hour online classes to Webinars that include optional credit.  You can see the new schedule by October 31 at belinblank.org/educators/courses.

Oct14_PDMany of you are thinking about opportunities coming up in the summer.  We will offer online workshops from early June through July (some ending in early August).  As well, we will again feature two weeks of Chautauqua, offering six credits that can be applied to the endorsement in an accelerated format.  Chautauqua will begin on July 13, and continue through July 25, 2015, with workshops from the Psychology, Programming, and Administrative strands.  Practicum is available every semester, to facilitate completion of the endorsement.

Save The Date!

From July 26 – 28, the Belin-Blank Center plans to again host the Belin-Blank Advanced Leadership Institute, focusing on the important research available through  A Nation Empowered (follow #NationEmpowered on Twitter), the update of A Nation DeceivedWe look forward to having you join us!

A Fresh Perspective on the Center

Congratulations to Mark Tade for submitting this photograph of the Blank Honors Center to the American Society of Media Photographers.  Challenge Saturdays

Mr. Tade’s photography greatly enhanced the Belin-Blank Center’s 25th anniversary book.

Message from the Director: Remembering James Gallagher

Un seul être vous manque et tout est dépeuplé

(One single person is gone and the loss is collective)

Such is the case for professionals in the fields of gifted AND special education, as we acknowledge the passing of Professor James J. Gallagher, a world-renowned leader in both special education and gifted education, who passed away on the 17th of January.  His obituary addresses the highlights of Professor Gallagher’s legacy in special and gifted education and offers a personal and professional lesson in life for all of us.

In 2008, the Belin-Blank Center honored Professor Gallagher as the 4th Julian C. Stanley (JCS) Lecturer at the H.B. and Jocelyn Wallace International Research Symposium on Talent Development.  The 11th Wallace Symposium will take place March 23-25, in Washington, D.C.  Dean Nicholas Colangelo (Director Emeritus of the Belin-Blank Center) will deliver the JCS lecture this year on March 24, and we will honor Professor Gallagher’s legacy at that time.


Professor Gallagher also was a contributor to the watershed publication, A Nation Deceived: How Schools Hold Back America’s Brightest Students, which will celebrate its 10th anniversary in September 2014.  We are very busy preparing the next edition of the publication and hope to reveal additional details of the forthcoming publication at the Wallace Symposium.  We can tell you that the format will be similar (an edited volume that is comprised of updated and new chapters from experts across the field) and an abridged volume that is based upon the chapters in the edited volume.  Both volumes will be available electronically, just as Volume 1 of Nation Deceived is available – at no cost – through the iTunes store.

Speaking of digital resources, we have now published a revision of our Packet of Information for Professionals, which is an extensive resource for professionals and parents of gifted students with a disability (twice-exceptional because they have ADHD, or Specific Learning Disabilities, or Autism Spectrum Disorders).  These materials were originally developed to facilitate the efforts of Belin-Blank faculty and staff who work with twice-exceptional students.  We continue to update the materials so that we can provide the best service possible to all of our students.

Finally, please check out two recent special newsletters from the Belin-Blank Center:  the University Programs Newsletter and the SSTP Newsletter.  Both of these newsletters give you a glimpse into student life at the University of Iowa, and also demonstrate how the Belin-Blank faculty and staff work year round to provide programming for students. To see the smiling faces of those students, click here.

Improve Your Teaching Skills This Summer

Belin-Blank Chautauqua

This summer, the Belin-Blank Center is hosting its face-to-face professional development program over two weeks:  Chautauqua I (July 14-18) and Chautauqua II (July 21 – 26, including class on Saturday).  The Chautauqua movement in the late 19th Century and early 20th Century was all about adult education, as well as community.  Each of the two weeks will offer three separate workshops; limited housing will be available at Burge Residence Hall for those enrolling in all three workshops during either Chautauqua.  For those who enroll at the graduate level for all three workshops in either week—or both—the Belin-Blank Center will provide an automatic tuition scholarship for one of the three classes (three workshops for the cost of two).  In addition to the workshops each week, optional evening activities are available to Chautauqua participants:  movie night, creativity night, and downtown music in Iowa City.  More details will be available online in March.

As always, in addition to the face-to-face opportunities, the Center will provide seven online workshops throughout the summer.  If it’s been a year since you enrolled, be sure to complete the admission process as a Continuing Education student—not degree-seeking, and not completing a certificate (since that means something quite different than your endorsement).

We look forward to your being a part of the community, either in person on campus in July or through our online workshops.  Please share this information with colleagues who would benefit from professional development in gifted education.  All workshops apply to the State of Iowa Talented and Gifted Endorsement.  If you have questions, please contact Dr. Laurie Croft, Administrator, Professional Development, at laurie-croft@uiowa.edu.

Advanced Placement Teacher Training Institute

The Belin-Blank Center will be hosting the Advanced Placement Teacher Training Institute on the University of Iowa campus July 7 – 10, 2014.  The AP Teacher Training Institute is the only College Board certified training for AP courses in the state of Iowa.  This year the AP Teacher Training Institute will be offering training in AP Biology, AP Calculus AB, AP Chemistry, AP English Lanuage & Composition, AP English Literature & Composition, AP Environmental Science, AP U.S. Government & Politics, AP Physics 1, and AP U.S. History.  The training is available for both graduate and undergraduate credit through the University of Iowa.  Additionally, grants and scholarships are available through the Belin-Blank Center (Iowa teachers only) and through the AP Fellows and AP Rural Fellows program (College Board sponsored fellowships).  Learn more and register.

Belin-Blank Fellowship

Since 1980, the Belin-Blank Center at the University of Iowa has provided an intensive residential experience for general education teachers and other educators who have little or no previous background in gifted education.  All information about the Fellowship program is available online.  All applications will be accepted online. Each participant must have a school administrator submit a letter of support online.

The deadline to apply for the Fellowship program is March 3.  Twelve (12) applicants will be notified by e-mail of their acceptance to the program.

B-BC Clinic Seeking a Licensed Psychologist

The Belin-Blank Center is seeking to add a new licensed psychologist to the clinic staff. Please contact Alissa Doobay at alissa-doobay@uiowa.edu for information about the position and how to apply.

Message from the Director: Research in All of Its Forms

2013 is winding down, and we are gearing up for spring and summer 2014!  We are in the period known as the calm before the storm; nevertheless, a lot will occur before the spring semester begins, and you can read all about it in this issue of Vision.

Support for the Belin-Blank Center’s efforts in the STEM arena seems to be coming from multiple sources.  The December 2013 issue of the American Psychological Association (APA) Monitor (V.44, 1, p. 36-38) featured research conducted by several of our colleagues on the importance of specialized STEM experiences.  As stated on p. 36, “Among the study’s most significant findings: Students are more likely to stick with STEM education when they participate in research in high schools, get ongoing mentoring from STEM professionals, have a strong motivation for problem-solving or have a parent in a STEM field.”  The Belin-Blank Center is proud to support opportunities for these kinds of STEM experiences through the Secondary Student Training Program (SSTP) and the Junior Science and Humanities Symposium (JSHS). We were especially excited to see that the research featured in the Monitor’s article was conducted by our close colleague, Dr. Rena Subotnik, Director of APA’s Center for Gifted Education Policy, and funded by the National Science Foundation.

You can hear Dr. Subotnik and several other featured speakers – Chester Finn, president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, and Nick Colangelo, UI College of Education dean – at the 11th Wallace Research & Policy Symposium on Talent Development.  In total we will have seven keynote/featured speakers, nine invited presentations, and several dozen concurrent presentations.  The symposium, held in collaboration with the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC), will be especially practitioner-friendly this year, with single-day registration available as well as special sessions that focus on the interplay of research, policy, and best practice in gifted education.  We encourage you to register early for the symposium so that you can get the early-bird registration discount and be assured a sleeping room in the symposium hotel.

Just as I was putting the finishing touches on my “Director’s Message,” the editorial, “Even Gifted Students Can’t Keep Up” by the New York Times Editorial Board came across my email.  The editorial elevates many of the issues that confront gifted education and gifted students today including the impact of the absence of federal funding and leadership as well as inconsistencies of programming by states. While these are issues familiar to professionals in the field of gifted education, they are not commonly addressed by educators in general as well as the public.

Furthermore, the New York Times editorial specified the importance of special programming and interventions needed by gifted (advanced) students such as online AP classes for rural areas, college-level experiences while still in high school, and early entrance to college. The substance of the editorial aligns well with some of the programs already at the Belin-Blank Center. The Iowa Online Advanced Placement Academy was specifically developed to offer AP opportunities to the many rural schools in Iowa. SSTP provides very high-ability high school students with intense and high-level college experiences while they remain in high school. And the National Academy of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering (NAASE) is a successful early entrance program founded on the premise and research support that there are some students in our high schools that have the ability, motivation, and maturity to begin college (in this case, the University of Iowa) early rather than spending senior year symbolically treading water.

The New York Times editorial came just a few days after University of Iowa President Sally Mason presented her strategic initiatives as part of Governor Branstad’s open hearings at the capitol in Des Moines, IA.  As mentioned in the UI Hawkeye Caucus Newsletter, “the UI proposal would launch a STEM residential academy on campus that allows Iowa’s high-ability STEM students to complete their final two years of high school simultaneously in their first two years at the UI. This will allow these high achieving students the opportunity to graduate from the UI two years earlier while giving them a leg up on their future.”

As we wrap up 2013, I don’t want to lose sight of the fact that a full year has passed by since I became the director of the Belin-Blank Center.  What a wonderful privilege it is to work with the fantastic Center staff and faculty.  Each and every one of them makes a special contribution to the Center to ensure that the programs for students and teachers are top-notch. I also thank the University of Iowa’s central administration for their enduring support and commitment to the Center, as well as the members of our advisory board.  They are generous in their advice and private giving, and both groups are an inspiration. It was a great 2013 and 2014 holds much promise.  Stay tuned!

How Do You Warm Up When It’s Well Below Freezing Outside?

At the Belin-Blank Center, we think warm thoughts…and we get ready for summer classes!  Whether you’re looking to learn about genetics, writing, or even what it takes to pursue a research career, there’s something for everyone in our programs. And now 2013-2014 Belin-Blank Exceptional Student Talent Search (BESTS) participants receive an automatic $60 discount on one summer program.  Start planning your summer now!Summer