Davidson Institute - 2009 Annual Report


This is a report of the progress made in 2009 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 2009
348 Davidson Young Scholars were selected and enrolled in the program.
68 Davidson Young Scholars turned 18 in 2009 and became Young Scholar Alumni, bringing the total number of Alumni to 173.

Total Number of Young Scholars Enrolled as of December 31, 2009
1,600 Davidson Young Scholars from 49 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:

  • Steve Witherspoon - Shrinking the Globe with Google Earth
  • Aimee Yermish - Owner’s Guide to Your Brain
  • John Sagebiel - Good Science vs. Junk Science
  • Tonya Witherspoon - Publish Your Own Book
  • Thomas Phillips - Extraterrestrial Weather
  • Brian Hynek - Assessing the Possibility of Life on Mars
  • Bruce Betts - The Science and Fiction of Star Trek
  • Paige Johnson - Cool Microscope Tricks
  • Diane Stanitski - The Science of Exciting Severe Storms
  • Jeremy Smith - Exploring Remotely Sensed Imagery with Python
  • Richard Rusczyk - Some of my Best Friends are Problems
  • Ann Keniston - Poetry Writing Workshop
  • Jim Delisle - ‘Peer’ing into Friendship: Getting the Most from Your Personal Relationships
  • Tonya Witherspoon - Young Entrepreneurs
  • Frank Hartigan - The Roots of Holy War
  • John Sagebiel - Renewable Energy Sources
  • Bruce Betts - Easy Things to Observe in the Night Sky
  • Steve Witherspoon - Writing Your Book: Cover to Cover
  • Carol Bainbridge - Career Choices and Paths
  • Travis Klingberg - Beijing's architecture: a story of the city
  • Diane Stanitski - Amazing Weather Records and Stories!
  • Tonya Witherspoon - 3D and Augmented Reality
  • T.J. Walker - The Secret to Foolproof Presentations
  • Gene Longenecker - Disasters: What are they, where do they occur, and who do they affect?
  • Laura Whyte - How big is the Universe?
  • Steve Witherspoon - Is America Post-Racial?
  • Jeremy Smith - Tree-Eating Insects Devour Western Forests!
  • David Kosbie - Java: From Zero to Tetris in Five Days
  • Bryan Bates - Archaeoastronomy
  • Adrienne Mayor - Mythic Creatures
  • Bruce Betts - The Sky is Falling: Should You Care -- the Story of Near Earth Asteroids and Their Impact Risk

Online Seminar topics for Parents:

  • Ann Lupkowski - Shoplik Advocacy: Working with Your Child’s School
  • Annette Sheely - The Profoundly Gifted Adolescent: Sex, Drugs and PG teens
  • Sylvia Rimm - Coping with Peer Pressure in a World of Growing Up too Fast
  • Jane Nelsen - Positive Discipline for Gifted Children
  • Tracy Cross - Depression and Emotional Intensity
  • Tom Greenspon - Perfectionism
  • Richard Rusczyk - Developing Mathematical Talent: Strategies for Parents
  • Ann Lupkowski Shoplik - Acceleration for Middle and High Schoolers
  • Dale Stuart - Managing Frustration and Difficult Feelings in Gifted Children
  • Michelle Muratori - The Gifted Child in the Family Context
  • Sylvia Rimm - Understanding Parental Guilt: A Gift for Mother's Day
  • Carol Bainbridge - Career Choices and Paths
  • Megan Foley Nicpon - Advocating for the 2E Child and the Profoundly Gifted in a Traditional School Setting
  • Melanie Crawford - Improving Social Skills in Children with ADHD
  • Jon Reider - College Admissions for the Unconventional Student: Looking at Both Brand-Name Colleges and Beyond
  • Michael Clay Thompson - The Content, Process, and Purpose of a Differentiated Language Arts Program
  • Judy Galbraith - GROWING UP GIFTED - Issues, Concerns, and the Importance of Self-Esteem
  • Richard Rusczyk - Developing Mathematical Talent: Strategies for Parents
  • Stephen Balzac - Gifted Kids and Groupwork
  • Wes Beach - Creating Effective Transcripts
  • Sam Lim - Secrets to Becoming a Scholarship Junkie: Learn About College Funding Resources...And How To Win Them
  • Jerald Grobman - Understanding the “Inner Experience” of Gifted Children, Adolescents and Young Adults
  • Annette Sheely - Gifted Children and Friendships
  • Marybeth Hicks - Fighting the “Culture of Cool” to raise GEEKs — Genuine, Enthusiastic, Empowered Kids
  • Carol Martin - SAT Prep – Essay, Reading, Vocabulary and Grammar
  • Barbara Clark - The Gifted Brain and Learning - at Home and at School
  • Joyce VanTassel-Baska - Advanced credit and placement opportunities for secondary students
  • Dale Stuart - Multiple Potentiality and Making Difficult Choices

During the two and a half day Young Scholar Summit, Davidson Young Scholars had access to multiple presentations in numerous academic disciplines. Parents of Young Scholars gained access to some of our countries leading experts in gifted education. This event was rounded out with exhibit booths, meet and greets, BBQ lunches, a simultaneous chess game and two engaging keynote presentations.

Young Scholars Program Results Achieved
An annual evaluation of the Davidson Young Scholars program was conducted in October; 741 surveys were received representing 842 Young Scholars. Young Scholar families rated the effectiveness of the Davidson Institute’s Family Consultant team in the following areas:

  • The Family Consultant Team as a knowledgeable, supportive sounding board – 97% rated as Effective
  • The Family Consultant Team's ability to provide assistance in a prompt and courteous manner – 97% rated as Effective
  • The Family Consultant Team's ability to provide assistance with the location of resources – 95% 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 in an academic environment that is better suited to his/her abilities – 87% agreed
  • Is working to develop his/her talents – 87% agreed
  • Is now working to develop his/her interests/talents – 90% agreed
  • Has developed one or more friendships with other Young Scholars – 74% agreed
  • Has shown an interest in using his/her abilities to make a positive difference – 81% agreed

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

  • Advocate for my child – 94% agreed
  • Parent my child – 92% agreed
  • Locate resources for my child – 94% agreed
  • Identify and address my child's strengths and needs – 91% 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: 530
  • Social/Emotional Support: 277
  • Talent Development & Academic Enrichment: 327
  • Home Schooling Support: 104
  • Assessment Consultation & Assistance: 49
  • Early College Assistance/College Planning: 176
  • Parenting: 126
  • Mentoring: 74


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 19 recipients; 3 Davidson Fellow Laureates each receiving a $50,000 scholarship, 10 Davidson Fellows each receiving a $25,000 scholarship, and 6 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:

  • Melody Lindsay, a 17-year-old from Honolulu, Hawaii whose Music submission was titled, “Harping Around the World: Cultural Leadership for the 21st Century.”
  • Nicole Rhodes, a 17-year-old from Vancouver, Washington whose Literature submission was titled, “The Dictionary of Distance.”
  • Eric Sherman, a 15-year-old from Ephrata, Pennsylvania whose Science submission was titled, “Computer Analysis of the HLA Histocompatibility Complex: Identification of Bone Marrow Donor Matches.”
The following young people were named as Davidson Fellows and each received a $25,000 scholarship:

  • Erika DeBenedictis, a 17-year-old from Albuquerque, New Mexico whose Science submission was titled, “Space Mission Design.”
  • Nolan Kamitaki, a 16-year-old from Hilo, Hawaii whose Science submission was titled, “Programming a Network Approach to Contain the Spread of Epidemic.”
  • Jason Karelis, a 17-year-old from East Setauket, New York whose Science submission was titled, “Mechanistic Studies of MenD, a Novel Drug Target for Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureaus.”
  • Amy Levine, a 16-year-old from North Potomac, Maryland whose Literature submission was titled, “Grayscale Unraveled.”
  • Yael Dana Neugut, a 17-year-old from Teaneck, New Jersey whose Science submission was titled, “A Study of Arsenic Metabolism & Renal Function in an Arsenic-Exposed Population in Bangladesh.”
  • Allison Ross, a 16-year-old from Mercer Island, Washington whose Outside the Box submission was titled, “African and Western Heroes' Journeys in Literature: An Exemplification.”
  • Anshul Samar, a 15-year-old from Cupertino, California whose Outside the Box submission was titled, “Igniting Interest in Chemistry with Elementeo, the Chemistry Card Game.”
  • Roman Stolyarov, a 16-year-old from Addison, Texas whose Science submission was titled, “Fabrication and Characterization of an All-Glass Visible Omnidirectional Dielectric Mirror.”
  • Doreen Xu, a 16-year-old from Indianapolis, Indiana whose Philosophy submission was titled, “The Roots of Evil.”
  • Sarina Zhang, a 13-year-old from San Diego, California whose Music submission was titled, “Reaching Out to the World with the Magic of Music.”
The following young people were named as Davidson Fellows and each received a $10,000 scholarship:

  • Connie Kim-Sheng, a 17-year-old from La Crescenta, California whose Music submission was titled, “Inspired by Beauty: Piano Masterworks.”
  • Prithwis Mukhopadhyay, a 16-year-old from Woodbury, Minnesota whose Science submission was titled, “A Common Food Additive Induces Cell Migration and Neoplastic Phenotype by Decreasing ASB Activity.”
  • Aditya Palepu, a 17-year-old from Oakton, Virginia whose Technology submission was titled, “A Heterogeneous Mixture Model for Unsupervised Pattern Classification.”
  • Rahul Pandey, a 17-year-old from Rochester, Michigan whose Science submission was titled, “A Microwave Metamaterial Lens with Negative Index of Refraction.”
  • Fiona Wood, a 17-year-old from North Haven, Connecticut whose Science submission was titled, “Biophysically Realistic Computational Models of Temporal Encoding in Cortex.”
  • Darren Zhu, a 17-year-old from Winston-Salem, North Carolina whose Science submission was titled, “Synthesis & Characterization of Self-Assembled Monolayers of Isocyanides on Ferromagnetic Thin Films.”
The Davidson Fellows were recognized at a special awards ceremony held in Washington, D.C. on September 30, 2009. The ceremony, held at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian, 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 six 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
48 students attended in 2009 and had the choice of taking Computer Science 105, Political Science 108, or Geography 103 in the morning and Math 176, Journalism 101, or Anthropology 281 in the afternoon. The average GPA was 3.99.

Evaluations for THINK Summer Institute 2009

Course & Professor Evaluation

Comp. Science

11 of 15 students responded

Political Science

15 of 23 students responded

Geography

8 of 10 students responded

Math

6 of 10 student  responded

Journalism

9 of 15 students responded

Anthropology

16 of 23 students responded

In general, I enjoyed this course

100%

100%

100%

100%

89%

93%

I gained a lot from interacting with the professor

100%

93%

100%

100%

89%

94%

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

100%

100%

86%

100%

44%

94%

The professor made the class interesting

100%

100%

86%

100%

89%

100%

 

Overall Experience

Yes

I enjoyed living on campus

100%

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

91%

The THINK experience helped me feel more confident as a student

100%

I formed a friendship with at least one fellow THINKer

100%

I enjoyed the extracurricular events at THINK (Virginia City, Planetarium, Movies, Water Day, Talent Show/Pizza-Party, Farewell BBQ)

100%

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

100%

Would you recommend THINK to others?

100%

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

91%



Educator's Guild

The Davidson Institute’s 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 2009, the database contained:

  • 3,883 resources covering support and assessment organizations, schools, summer programs, printed material, web and media tools
  • 605 full-text research and informational articles on or about identification, gifted education, development and parenting


Publications

In 2009, the Davidson Institute produced the following publications:

  • Lupkowski Shoplik, A., Tips for Parents: Advocacy: Working with Your Child’s School
  • Rimm, S., Tips for Parents: Coping with Peer Pressure in a World of Growing Up Too Fast
  • Cross, T., Tips for Parents: Depression and Emotional Intensity
  • Nelson, J., Tips for Parents: Positive Discipline for Gifted Children
  • Greenspon, T., Tips for Parents: Perfectionism
  • Rusczyk, R., Tips for Parents: Developing Mathematical Talent: Strategies for Parents
  • Lupkowski Shoplik, A., Tips for Parents: Acceleration for Middle and High School Students
  • Stuart, D., Tips for Parents: Managing Frustration and Difficult Feelings in Gifted Children
  • Muratori, M., Tips for Parents: The Gifted Child in the Family Context
  • Rimm, S., Tips for Parents: Understanding Parental Guilt: A Gift for Mother’s Day
  • Bainbridge, C., Tips for Parents: Career Choices and Paths
  • Foley Nicpon, M., Tips for Parents: Advocating for the 2E Child and the Profoundly Gifted in a Traditional School Setting
  • Crawford, M., Tips for Parents: Improving Social Skills in Children with ADHD
  • Reider, J., Tips for Parents: College Admissions for the Unconventional Student: Looking at Both Brand-Name Colleges and Beyond
  • Galbraith, J., Tips for Parents: GROWING UP GIFTED - Issues, Concerns, and the Importance of Self-Esteem
  • Rusczyk, R., Tips for Parents: Developing Mathematical Talent
  • Balzac, S., Tips for Parents: Gifted Kids and Groupwork
  • Beach, W., Tips for Parents: Creating Effective Transcripts
  • Lin, S., Tips for Parents: Secrets to Becoming a Scholarship Junkie: Learn About College Funding Resources...And How To Win Them
  • Clark, B., TIPS for Parents: The Gifted Brain and Learning - at Home and at School
  • Grobman, J., Tips for Parents: Understanding the 'Inner Experience' of Gifted Children, Adolescents and Young Adults
  • Sheely, S., Tips for Parents: Gifted Children and Friendships
  • VanTassel-Baska, J., Tips for Parents: Advanced credit and placement opportunities for secondary students
  • Stuart, D.,Tips for Parents: Multiple Potentiality and Making Difficult Choices
  • Hicks, M., Tips for Parents: Fighting the 'Culture of Cool' to raise GEEKs — Genuine, Enthusiastic, Empowered Kids
  • Lupkowski Shoplik, A., Tips for Parents: Advocacy: Working with Your Child's School.
  • Rivero, L., Tips for Parents: Creative Homeschooling Solutions
  • Rusczyk, R., Tips for Parents: Developing Mathematical Talent: Strategies for Parents


Newsletters

In 2009, the Davidson Institute published the following newsletters:

  • February 2009 eNews-Update
  • 2009 Educators Guild Spring Newsletter
  • April 2009 eNews-Update
  • June 2009 eNews-Update
  • August 2009 eNews-Update
  • October 2009 eNews-Update
  • 2009 Educators Guild Fall Newsletter
  • December 2009 eNews-Update


Conclusion

As of the end of December 2009, the Davidson Institute is providing direct support to 1,668 profoundly gifted young people and 1,293 educators, as well as indirect support to 13,460 eNews-Update subscribers and 938,052 people who received indirect support via the Institute’s websites.

Ninety-one students attended The Davidson Academy in the 2009-2010 school year. For more information about the Academy, please visit
www.DavidsonAcademy.UNR.edu.


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