by Dr. Megan Foley-Nicpon, Belin-Blank Center Director
August is synonymous with new beginnings for many of us.
Kids are heading back to school – it is my favorite time to check social media feeds to see friends post first-day-of-school pictures. On campus, we welcomed new students from across the globe, including new arrivals to our Bucksbaum Early Entrance and Twice-Exceptional Academies. Over the weekend, thousands of students met new friends, ate ice cream on the University of Iowa’s President’s lawn, and learned the Iowa fight song.
It’s a great time to be a Hawkeye!
New beginnings are also happening at the Belin-Blank Center – I started as Director on August 1st.
I am not new to Iowa or the Center, however. I arrived in January 2004 as a postdoctoral scholar in the Center’s Assessment and Counseling Clinic. I later became a licensed psychologist, focusing mainly on assessment and intervention with twice-exceptional youth. In 2008, I joined the UI Counseling Psychology faculty.
There, I have had the honor of training future child psychologists, researching talent development among underrepresented groups, and serving the college, University, and Iowa community.
In the Belin-Blank Center’s 34-year history, there have been only two directors before me: Nicholas Colangelo and Susan Assouline. Both are giants in the field known internationally for their development of the Center, love for and dedication to talented youth, and commitment to creating best practices for acceleration and twice-exceptional intervention. I am honored to continue their legacy and the legacy of the Center.
I know these are big shoes to fill.
However, I join a dedicated staff and faculty who care deeply about the Center and its mission. I am certain we will continue to do great things. We seek to be the leaders in talent development for elementary through university-aged students; diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts in gifted education; research and discovery for high ability and twice-exceptional youth; and collaboration and outreach both within and outside the University.
Together, we will embrace this new beginning and continue the Belin-Blank Center’s impact far into the future.