Davidson Institute - 2008 Annual Report


This is a report of the progress made in 2008 toward achieving the Davidson Institute's mission to recognize, nurture and support profoundly intelligent young people and to provide opportunities for them to develop their talents to make a positive difference. In pursuit of this mission, the Institute delivered the following programs, services and publications:

Davidson Young Scholars
Davidson Fellows Awards
THINK Summer Institute
Educators Guild
Davidson Gifted Database
Publications
Newsletters
Conclusion


Davidson Young Scholars

An individualized program aimed at nurturing intelligent young people.

Number of Young Scholars Selected in 2008
307 Davidson Young Scholars were selected and enrolled in the program.
44 Davidson Young Scholars turned 18 in 2008 and became Young Scholar Alumni, bringing the total number of Alumni to 105.

Total Number of Young Scholars Enrolled as of December 31, 2008
1361 Davidson Young Scholars from 48 states as well as the Virgin Islands and Armed Forces Europe and Pacific. The total number of YS represents a variety of economic, racial and ethnic groups.

Types of Services Provided
The services provided to the Davidson Young Scholar family included:

  • Free consulting services with each Davidson Young Scholar family
  • Assistance with locating appropriate educational settings and materials, advocates, counselors, and mentors
  • Access to professionals in areas such as parenting, schooling, talent development, assessment, twice exception issues, etc.
  • Connections with peers for Davidson Young Scholars and their parents
  • Connections with adults who have developed their talents to make a positive contribution to society
  • Group and topic specific electronic mailing lists for Davidson Young Scholars and their parents
  • Financial Assistance (based upon need) to help meet the unique educational and talent development needs of each Davidson Young Scholar

Online seminar topics for Davidson Young Scholars:

  • Jim Delisle - Getting Beyond 'No':  Taking Charge of Your Own Education
  • Jeffrey DeShell - Writing Fiction
  • Kenneth Rubin - Living With Volcanoes
  • Tonya Witherspoon - Digital Citizenship:  The Rights and Responsibilities of Growing Up in the Digital World
  • Thomas Phillips - Extraterrestrial Weather
  • Bryan Bates - Human Populations and Environmental Carrying Capacity
  • Jeremy Smith - Introduction to tree Ring Methods
  • Steve Witherspoon - History vs. Hollywood: What Does Based on a True Story Mean
  • Diane Stanitski - Explore the World of Ice Research and Life at the Poles!
  • Paige Johnson - Nanotechnology: The Science of Small Things
  • T.J. Walker - Media Wizardry: Secrets of World Famous Leaders...
  • Susan Palwick - Six Days in Middle Earth: A Close Reading of Tolkien's...
  • Pamela Gay - Mapping Atoms
  • Paige Johnson - So You're Interested in Both Science and Art?
  • Glen Finneman - End of an Era?: Is It Time for the Space Shuttle to Become a Museum Piece?
  • Frank Hartigan - Medieval History
  • Laurens Gunnarsen - Fermat's Other Enigmas:  Gems from the Early History of Number Theory
  • Mike Branch - American Nature Writing
  • Steve Witherspoon - Can Anyone Become President of the United States?
  • Donica Mensing - Mainstream Media, Citizen Journalism, and You Tube:  The Role of Journalism in the 2008 Presidential Election
  • Roxane Wilson - Perspective Drawing
  • Stephen Balzac - Cartesian Splits and Chinese Splits: Gifted Kids and Sports
  • John Sagebiel - Living Green and Understanding What That Means
  • Thomas Phillips - The World through a Robot's Eyes: Exploring the Extremes No Human Can Reach
  • Diane Stanitski - Rainbows, Halos, and Mirages: The Science Behind Atmospheric Optics
  • Bruce Betts - The Worlds of Star Wars: How Much Fact, How Much Fiction?
  • Patricia Gatto-Walden - Choosing Health and Well-being through Balance

 

Online seminar topics for parents:

  • Sharon Lind - Parenting Emotionally Intense Children
  • Ann Shoplik - Parenting Math-Talented Students
  • Esther Sinclair - Unique Learners: Twice-Exceptional
  • Francoys Gagne - Exploring Talent Development with Gagne's DMGT
  • Sylvia Rimm - What to Do if and When Your Gifted Children Underachieve
  • Nadia Webb - Homeschooling Moms
  • Aimee Yermish - Teaching Cheetahs to Hunt: Practical Advice for Teaching...
  • Nadia Webb - Hygiene, Hormones, and Happiness
  • Tracy Cross - Gifted Adolescents and Depression
  • Sylvia Rimm - How Gifted Children Impact the Family
  • Michelle Muratori - Making Decisions About Early College Entrance
  • Nadia Webb - Social and Emotional Development in Gifted Children
  • Beth Houskamp - Sensory Issues in Gifted Kids:  A Developmental Overview...
  • Aimee Yermish - Executive Functioning at Home and at School
  • Sylvia Rimm - Raising Girls for Resilience and Optimism
  • Megan Foley Nicpon - Parenting Your Gifted Child with ADHD
  • Wes Beach - Creative Paths to College Admission
  • Gwen Hullman - Helping Your Children Develop Communication Competence
  • Stephen Balzac - Cartesian Splits and Chinese Splits: Gifted Kids and Sports
  • Jamie Hullman - Budgeting for Your Child's Future
  • Ann Shoplik - Acceleration for Students in 8th Grade and Younger
  • Kara McGoey - Collaborating for Success:  Working with School Professionals
  • Patricia Gatto-Walden - Attaining Health and Wellbeing through Balance
  • Thomas Greenspon - Human Beings and Human 'Doings': Considering the Impact of Parenting on Talent Development
  • Garry Rubinstein - What’s a Parent to Do? (Dealing with Potential Social/Community Risks)
  • Mary-Elaine Jacobsen - Helping Gifted Teens and Post-High School Students Aim for the Right Career Domain
  • Mary Rizza - Assessment Testing and Interpretation of Results
  • Melanie Crawford - Understanding ADHD and Learning Disabilities: Diagnosis and Treatment
  • Michael Piechowski - Emotional and Spiritual Growth
  • Paul Beljan & Alison Reuter - An Overview of Language and Non Language based Dysgraphia: From Development to Evaluation and Treatment

 

Online seminar topics for Young Scholars Ambassador Program:

  • Rod Seba - Business Proposals/Goal Setting
  • Gwen Hullman - Interpersonal Communication
  • Jim Sundali - Leadership Insights from Ghandi
  • Brett Simmons - Leadership Metanoia
  • Sal Alaimo - Philanthropy: An Important Opportunity to Give to Others…

 

A Young Scholar Summit was held in Baltimore, Maryland in June, on the campus of Johns Hopkins University.  During the three day event, Young Scholars and their parents visited the National Security Agency, George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs, Steve F. Udvar Hazy Center, RAND Corporation and the National Aquarium in Baltimore.

Young Scholars Program Results Achieved
An annual evaluation of the Davidson Young Scholars program was conducted in October; 646 surveys were received representing 732 Young Scholars. Young Scholar families rated the following major program components for their effectiveness:

  • The Family Consultant Team as a knowledgeable, supportive sounding board – 98% rated as Effective
  • The Family Consultant Team's ability to provide assistance in a prompt and courteous manner – 98% rated as Effective
  • The Family Consultant Team's ability to provide assistance with the location of resources – 97% rated as Effective
  • Electronic Mailing Lists and Broadcasts as a medium for receiving program updates and information – 99% rated as Effective
  • Electronic Mailing Lists and Broadcasts as a medium for connecting and sharing information and experiences with other Young Scholar families – 98% rated as Effective
  • Young Scholars Parent Bulletin Board as a way to connect with other Young Scholar parents – 73% rated as Effective
  • Private Website as a way to receive program updates and information – 92% rated as Effective
  • Private Website as a way to connect with and learn about other program participants – 90% rated as Effective
  • Online Seminars as an opportunity to learn valuable information – 95% rated as Effective
  • Online Seminars as an opportunity to connect with experts in the field – 93% rated as Effective
  • Young Scholar Seminars as an opportunity to learn interesting information – 95% rated as Effective
  • Young Scholar Seminars as an opportunity to connect with a knowledgeable adult in a specific field – 94% rated as Effective
  • Young Scholar Seminars as a way to connect with other Young Scholars – 76% rated as Effective

 

The program participants indicated their level of agreement with the following benefit statements:

As a result of participation in the Davidson Young Scholars program, my child...

  • Is now in an academic environment that is better suited to his/her abilities – 95% agree
  • Has an improved level of self-confidence – 94% agreed
  • Is now working to develop his/her interests/talents – 90% agreed
  • Has developed at least one friendship with another Young Scholar – 80% agreed
  • Has shown an interest in using his/her abilities to make a positive difference – 87% agreed

 

As a result of participation as a Young Scholar parent, I feel more confident in my ability to:

  • Advocate for my child – 97% agreed
  • Parent my child – 96% agreed
  • Locate resources for my child – 97% agreed
  • Identify and address my child's strengths and needs – 95% agreed

 

Areas or Service
The following information was gathered from our Family Consultants and indicates the number of requests made by Young Scholar families for assistance in the following areas:

  • Educational Advocacy: 517
  • Social/Emotional Support: 240
  • Talent Development & Academic Enrichment: 223
  • Home Schooling Support: 104
  • Assessment Consultation & Assistance: 58
  • Early College Assistance/College Planning: 128

Financial Assistance was provided to 188 Davidson Young Scholars.

Davidson Fellows Awards

Recognizes the outstanding achievements of highly gifted young people and awards scholarships annually to students up to age 18.

Application
Any young person, under the age of 18, may apply who has created a significant piece of work in the areas of Science, Technology, Mathematics, Music, Literature, Philosophy or Outside the Box.

Selection
Judges, with high levels of expertise in the domain areas of the works submitted, carefully reviewed the qualified applications and selected 20 recipients; 5 Davidson Fellow Laureates each receiving a $50,000 scholarship, 8 Davidson Fellows each receiving a $25,000 scholarship, and 7 Davidson Fellows each receiving a $10,000 scholarship.

Results

The following young people were named as Davidson Fellow Laureates and each received a $50,000 scholarship:

  • Akhil Mathew, a 16-year-old from Madison, New Jersey whose Mathematics submission was titled, “Translation - Invariant Binary Representations.”
  • Sikandar Porter-Gill, a 17-year-old from Gaithersburg, Maryland whose Science submission was titled, “The Production of Methane in a Two-Chamber Bio-Catalyzed Microbial Fuel Cell Utilizing Methanosarcina barkeri.”
  • Christine Shrock, a 17-year-old from Setauket, New York whose Science submission was titled, “Investigating an Allosteric Binding Site for a New Class of HIV-1 Protease Inhibitors.”
  • Philip Streich, a 17-year-old from Platteville, Wisconsin whose Science submission was titled, “Determining Carbon Nanotube Thermodynamic Solubility: The Missing Link to a Practical Supermaterial?”
  • Conrad Tao, a 14-year-old from New York, New York whose Music submission was titled, “Bridging Classical Music from the Past to the Future as Pianist and Composer.”
The following young people were named as Davidson Fellows and each received a $25,000 scholarship:

  • Michael Cherkassky, a 16-year-old from Minneapolis, Minnesota whose Technology submission was titled, “Application of Machine Learning Methods to Medical Diagnosis.”
  • Hilda Huang, a 12-year-old from Palo Alto, California whose Music submission was titled, “I Love Bach.”
  • Jasmine Miller, a 17-year-old from Nashville, Tennessee whose Literature submission was titled, “The Digital Identity of Contradiction.”
  • Saraswathi Shukla, a 17-year-old from Princeton, New Jersey whose Outside the Box submission was titled, “Mesmerizing Music: Sound, Imagination, and Communication in the Mesmeric Seance.”
  • August Siena Thomas, a 17-year-old from Montague, Massachusetts whose Literature submission was titled, “Rewriting History.”
  • Vijay Venkatesh, a 17-year-old from Laguna Niguel, California whose Music submission was titled, “Magic through Music.”
  • William Yuan, a 12-year-old from Beaverton, Oregon whose Science submission was titled, “High Efficient 3-Dimensional Nanotube Solar Cell for Visible and UV Light.”
  • Charles Zhang, a 17-year-old from Rochester, Michigan whose Science submission was titled, “Development of a Vibration Energy Harvesting Device Based on an Asymmetric Air-spaced Cantilever.”
The following young people were named as Davidson Fellows and each received a $10,000 scholarship:

  • Nathan Georgette, a 17-year-old from Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida whose Science submission was titled, “Novel Herd Immunity Threshold Analysis Incorporating Population Dynamics and Gradual Immunization.”
  • Molly Hensley-Clancy, a 16-year-old from Minneapolis, Minnesota whose Literature submission was titled, “Seized as Beauty.”
  • Kyle Hutzler, a 16-year-old from Huntingtown, Maryland whose Outside the Box submission was titled, “Kansas: American Education.”
  • Michael Leap, a 17-year-old from Okemos, Michigan whose Philosophy submission was titled, “The Ontology of Science: A Critical Perspective.”
  • Divya Nag, a 17-year-old from El Dorado Hills, California whose Science submission was titled, “Thermal Analysis and Thermogravimetry Techniques to Quantify and Prevent Forest Fires.”
  • Avanthi Raghavan, a 17-year-old from Orlando, Florida whose Science submission was titled, “Characterization of Novel Protein Trafficking Pathways in Plasmodium falciparum.”
  • Sarah Waliany, a 16-year-old from Arcadia, California whose Science submission was titled, “Role of t-Darpp in P13K/AKt/Bcl-2 Pathway in Causing Resistance in Herceptin-Sensitive Breast Tumors."
The Davidson Fellows were recognized at a special awards ceremony held in Washington, D.C. on September 24, 2008. The ceremony, held at the Library of Congress, was co-sponsored by Senator Harry Reid from Nevada and Senator Chuck Grassley from Iowa.

 

THINK Summer Institute
Three-week residential summer program on the campus of University of Nevada, Reno, where students can earn up to seven transferable college credits.

Application
Applicants must demonstrate both exceptional ability and the potential to benefit from the course offerings, as well as the social and emotional maturity to thrive in this three-week residential environment.

Selection
To be eligible for the THINK Summer Institute, applicants must be 13-16 years old and be a U.S. citizen or permanent U.S. resident living in the United States. Applicants must also submit a qualifying score on the SAT or ACT.

Results
Thirty-six students attended in 2008 and had the choice of taking Computer Science 105, Economics 220 or English 223 in the morning and Geology 101, Math 120 or Psychology 101 in the afternoon. The average GPA was 3.73.

Evaluations for THINK Summer Institute 2008

Course & Professor Evaluation

Comp. Science

7 of 9 students     responded

Economics

16 of 16 students              responded

English

9 of 11 students         responded

Geology

6 of 7 student  responded

Math

9 of 9 students       responded

Psychology

14 of 20 students responded

In general, I enjoyed this course

100%

94%

100%

100%

100%

64%

I gained a lot from interacting with the professor

100%

75%

100%

100%

100%

50%

The professor’s teaching styles were a good match for the way I like to learn

100%

88%

100%

83%

90%

43%

The labs enhanced what I learned in class

100%

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

The professor made the class interesting

100%

81%

100%

100%

100%

79%

 

Overall Experience

Yes

I enjoyed living on campus

100%

The THINK experience helped me develop a clearer understanding of what to expect in college

94%

Were you able to interact with your professors on a one-on-one basis?

97%

The THINK experience helped me feel more confident as a student

84%

I formed a friendship with at least one fellow THINKer

100%

I enjoyed the extracurricular events at THINK
(Donner Lake, National Automobile Museum, Mt. Rose Hike, Farewell BBQ)

94%

My overall experience with the THINK Summer Institute was a positive one

100%

Would you recommend THINK to others?

97%

Would you like to return to the THINK Summer Institute next year?

94%


Educator's Guild
Educators Guild is comprised of educators and other professionals who are interested in connecting with colleagues to locate resources and discuss strategies for identifying and serving highly gifted students. Members of the Educators Guild have access to an electronic mailing list and to the Davidson Institute for Talent Development’s team of consultants, who are available to assist with resource location, planning, individualizing curriculum, differentiation strategies, staff development, and more. Members receive two newsletters, one in the fall and one in the spring, with a wealth of information about meeting the needs of gifted learners. In addition members can look forward to monthly e-mail posts with resources, strategies and classroom ideas.
1,299 teachers, school counselors and school/district administrators are members of the Educators Guild Broadcast list, and 529 are members of the Educators Guild discussion list.

Davidson Gifted Database
Your gateway to gifted resources in a free online, searchable database providing the latest information for and about profoundly intelligent young people - www.DavidsonGifted.org/DB

Results Achieved
At the conclusion of 2008, the database contained:

  • 4050 resources covering support and assessment organizations, schools, summer programs, printed material, web and media tools
  • 538 full-text research and informational articles on or about identification, gifted education, development and parenting

Publications
In 2008, the Davidson Institute produced the following publications:

  • Scala, J., Tips for Parents: Real Life Habits for Success: The Way to Set & Achieve Your Goals 
  • Lind, S., Tips for Parents: Nurturing Yourself - Developing a Personal Survival Kit 
  • Shoplik, A., Tips for Parents: Parenting Math-Talented Students
  • Sinclair, E., Tips for Parents - Twice Exceptional
  • Gagne, F., TIPS for Parents: Exploring Talent Development with Gagne's DMGT 
  • Rimm, S., Tips for Parents: Parenting for High Achievement and Avoiding Underachievement
  • Webb, N., Tips for Parents: Homeschooling Moms
  • Yermish, A., Tips for Parents: Teaching Cheetahs to Hunt: Practical strategies for teaching executive functioning and academic skills for gifted and twice-exceptional kids
  • Webb, N., Tips for Parents: Hygiene, Hormones and Happiness
  • Cross, T., Tips for Parents: Gifted Adolescents and Depression
  • Rimm, S., Tips for Parents: How Gifted Children Impact the Family
  • Muratori, M., Tips for Parents: Making Decisions about Early Entrance to College
  • Webb, N., Tips for Parents: Social and Emotional Development in Gifted Children
  • Houskamp, B., Tips for Parents: Sensory Issues in Gifted Kids: A Developmental Overview and Recommendations for Parenting
  • Yermish, A., Tips for Parents: Executive Functioning at Home and School
  • Rimm, S., Tips for Parents: Raising Girls for Resilience and Optimism
  • Foley Nicpon, M., Tips for Parents: Parenting your Gifted Child with ADHD
  • Beach, W., Tips for Parents: Some Thoughts about College Admission
  • Hullman, G., Tips for Parents: Helping your Child Develop Communication Competence
  • Balzac, S., TIPS for Parents: Cartesian Splits and Chinese Splits
  • Hullman, J., Tips for Parents: Budgeting for your child’s future
  • Shoplik, A., Tips for Parents: Acceleration (8th Grade & Younger)
  • McGoey, K., Tips for Parents: Collaborating with School Personnel: Strategies for Successful Partnering
  • Gatto-Walden, P., Tips for Parents: Attaining Health and Well-being Through Balance
  • Greenspon, T., Tips for Parents: Human Beings and Human 'Doings' - Considering the Impact of Parenting on Talent Development
  • Jacobsen, M.E., Tips for Parents: Helping Gifted Teens and Post-High School Students Aim for the Right Career Domain
  • Rizza, M., Tips for Parents: Assessment, Testing and Interpretation of Results
  • Crawford, M., Tips for Parents: Understanding ADHD and Learning Disabilities
  • Beljan, P. & Reuter, A., Tips for Parents: An Overview of Language and Non-language based Dysgraphia

Newsletters
In 2008, the Davidson Institute published the following newsletters:

  • April Davidson Institute eNews-Update
  • Summer Educators Guild Newsletter
  • August Davidson Institute eNews-Update
  • November Davidson Institute eNews-Update
  • Fall Educators Guild Newsletter

 

Conclusion
As of the end of December 2008, the Davidson Institute is providing direct support to 1,429 profoundly gifted young people and 1,387 educators, and indirect support to 13,634 eNews-Update subscribers and 1,022,948 people who received indirect support via the Institute’s websites www.GeniusDenied.com; www.DavidsonGifted.org/DB

Seventy-one students attended The Davidson Academy in the 2008-2009 school year. For more information about the Academy, please visit www.DavidsonAcademy.UNR.edu.


    Email this Page Email this Page