Davidson Institute - 2012 Annual Report


This is a report of the progress made in 2012 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. (www.DavidsonGifted.org/YoungScholars)

Number of Young Scholars Selected in 2012
416 Davidson Young Scholars were selected and enrolled in the program. 151 Davidson Young Scholars turned 18 in 2012 and became Young Scholar Alumni, bringing the total number of Alumni to 614.

Total Number of Young Scholars Enrolled as of December 31, 2012
2,493 Davidson Young Scholars from 50 states, as well as Canada 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 families included:

  • Consulting services with each 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 exceptional 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 eLists 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.
  • During the 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 country’s leading experts in gifted education. This event included exhibitor booths, meet and greets, BBQ lunches, a simultaneous chess game and an engaging keynote presentation.

Areas of Service
Family Consultants serve Young Scholar families based on these speciality areas:

  • Academic Support and Educational Advocacy
  • Talent Development, College Planning and Early College
  • Social, Emotional and Child/Adolescent Development
  • Summer Camps and Programs
  • Welcome Team helps orient new families to the YS program
2012 online seminar topics for Davidson Young Scholars:
  • Richard Rusczyk - Some of My Best Friends are Problems
  • August Thomas - Five More Incredible Adventurers
  • Bruce Betts - Where are Our Spacecraft and What are They Doing?
  • Rosanne Daryl Thomas - Eat Your Way Through the Ages: A Culinary Tour of History - Complete with Recipes
  • August Thomas - King Arthur Through The Ages
  • Teresa Bondora - Check Yourself! Are you ready for college science labs?
  • Ashley Ahlin - Codes and Ciphers
  • Susan Baker - Shape-shifting in Classical Mythology: Ovid's Metamorphoses
  • Judith Whitenack - Don Quixote and the Impossible Dream
  • Jane Davidson - Who, What, Where Why and How of Ghosts
  • Rosanne Daryl Thomas - How to Write Your Own Mystery: A step-by-step workshop
  • Bruce Betts - Planetary Surfaces: Geology of the Planets
  • Neal Ferguson - Eyewitnesses to World War II: Carnage and Conciliation
  • Marc Aronson - "Sugar changed the world," Dr. Aronson claims. Is he right? See if he proves his case, or if you can prove him wrong
  • Susan Palwick - Six Days in Middle Earth: A Close Reading of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings
  • Carol Reynolds - Brass, Goat Skins, Catgut, and Physics: A Look at Musical Instruments
  • Bryan Bates - American Naturalists
  • Jane Davidson - Famous Paleontologists of the Past
  • Diane Stanitski - Environmental Issues in Oceanography
  • Steve Witherspoon - You ate what?! A microscopic look at food safety, then and now
  • Alexis Miller - Election and Party Politics – Why Campaign Promises are Never Kept (or rarely)
  • David Finch - Connecting from the Page: Writing Creative Nonfiction
  • Rosanne Daryl Thomas - Famous Art Forgers, Frauds and Fabulous Fakes
  • Steve Witherspoon - Presidential Leanings: Take Your Turn  
  • Robert Schultz - Friend or Acquaintance? Social Survival Strategies 101 
  • Jane Davidson - All About the History of Werewolves!  
  • Pamela Gay - Black Holes 101
  • Bryan Bates - Potential Solutions to Global Warming 
  • Christine Fonseca - Finding The Story Within: Unleashing Your Inner Author
2012 online seminar topics for Parents:
  • Megan Foley-Nicpon - Anxiety, Sensitivities, and Social Struggles Among PG Kids
  • Julia Brodsky - Developing Mathematical Talent in Very Young Kids
  • Aimee Yermish - Executive Functioning at Home and at School
  • Ann Lupkowski-Shoplik - Acceleration for Students in 8th grade and Younger
  • Ellen Ensher - Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Mentoring But Have Been Too Afraid (or Busy!) To Ask  
  • Joyce VanTassel-Baska - Nurturing Verbal Ability in Gifted Learners
  • Maya Frost - Creating the Linguistically Gifted Child: A Surprising New Approach to Language Learning  
  • Jim Delisle - Gifted and Teenage, too 
  • Wes Beach - Taking Control of Your Child's Education  
  • Marybeth Hicks - Everything in Moderation 
  • Eileen Kennedy-Moore - Helping Gifted Children Handle Cooperation and Competition  
  • Maya Frost - The Bilingual Preschooler: A Proven Path to Greater Creativity, Problem Solving, Attention and Compassion  
  • Kara McGoey - Smooth Sailing over Summer! Preventing and managing disruptive behavior  
  • Vula Baliotis - Raising Gifted Girls: Special Considerations  
  • Stephen Balzac - Developing Leadership Skills for Gifted Kids  
  • Cheryl Erwin - Real-World Parenting: How to Practice Effective Discipline, Nurture Creativity and Resilience, and Still Like Each Other! 
  • Steve and Tonya Witherspoon - Preparing your Gifted Child to Leave Your Nest and Build Their Own  
  • Christine Fonseca - Gifted Kids and the Social Scene, or If I'm So Smart, Why Is It So Hard To Make Friends?  
  • Paula Wilkes - Nourishing the Mind, Heart, and Body of the Spiritually Sensitive Child
  • Laurie Westphal - Celebrating the Introvert
  • Aimee Yermish - Straight Talk About Assessment
  • Kara McGoey - Making and Keeping Friends: Strategies to Guide Friendship Development
  • Kara McGoey - Bullying: How to Support Your Child  
  • Julia Brodsky - Development of "out of the box" thinking in young children

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Davidson Fellows Awards
Recognizes the outstanding achievements of highly gifted young people and awards scholarships annually to students 18 and younger. (www.DavidsonGifted.org/Fellows)

Application
Any young person, 18 or younger, 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 22 recipients: 4 Davidson Fellow Laureates who received $50,000 scholarships, and 18 Davidson Fellows each receiving either a $25,000 scholarship or $10,000 scholarship.

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

  • Fengning (David) Ding, an 18-year-old from Albany, California whose Mathematics submission was titled, “Infinitesimal Cherednik Algebras of gl_n.”
  • Manoj Kanagaraj, an 18-year-old from Chino Hills, California whose Science submission was titled, “A Novel Mechanism for HER2 Targeted Drug Resistance: The Role of t-DARPP in a Compensatory Signaling Shift Between the EGFR and HER2 Pathways.”
  • Sara Volz, a 17-year-old from Colorado Springs, Colorado whose Science submission was titled, “Enhancing Algae Biofuels: Investigation of the Environmental and Enzymatic Factors Effecting Algal Lipid Synthesis.”
  • Michael Yan, an 18-year-old from Pepper Pike, Ohio whose Science submission was titled, “Genetic Mutation of LRRK2 Causes Autosomal Parkinson’s Disease By Disrupting Mitochondrial Dynamics.”
The following young people were named as Davidson Fellows and each received a $25,000 scholarship:

  • Nathan Chan, an 18-year-old from Burlingame, California whose Music submission was titled, “The Importance of Passion.”
  • Ashley George, an 18-year-old from Port Jefferson Station, New York whose Science submission was titled, “Creating a Framework for a Flexible, Biodegradable, and Biocompatible Gelatin-Chitosan Biosensor.”
  • Philip Cody He, a 17-year-old from Okemos, Michigan whose Science submission was titled, “A Novel Role of an Actin Capping Protein in Plant Immune Signaling.”
  • Duligur Ibeling, an 18-year-old from Osseo, Minnesota whose Science submission was titled, “The Metallicity-Dependent Transition between White Dwarfs and Type II Supernovae.”
  • Ryota Ishizuka, an 18-year-old from Cos Cob, Connecticut whose Science submission was titled, “Optimization of a Microbial Fuel Cell to Drive a Bioelectrochemically Assisted Wastewater Treatment.”
  • Nina Lu, an 18-year-old from Rockville, Maryland whose Science submission was titled, “Determination of Binding Energy Hotspots on a Broadly-Neutralizing Antibody against HIV-1.”
  • Naomi Shah, a 17-year-old from Portland, Oregon whose Science submission was titled, “An Experimental Study of the Impact of Airborne Pollutants on the Peak Expiratory Flow (PEF) Rate of Asthmatic Subjects PLUS A Novel Risk Assessment Model to Predict the Adverse Effect of PM10 and TVOCs on the PEF Rate of Asthmatic Patients.”
  • Lijia Xie, a 17-year-old from Lansdale, Pennsylvania whose Science submission was titled, “Location Matters—Specificity of the Methylated RASSF1A Gene as a Biomarker for the Detection of Hepatocellular Carcinoma.”

The following young people were named as Davidson Fellows and each received a $10,000 scholarship:

  • Saumil Bandyopadhyay, a 17-year-old from Glen Allen, Virginia whose Science submission was titled, “A Novel Frequency-Selective Detector of Light and ß Radiation Implemented with Self-Assembled Quantum Wires: An Application of Quantum-Mechanical Wavefunction and Density-of-States Engineering.”
  • Alexander Chen, a 16-year-old from Rancho Palos Verdes, California whose Science submission was titled, “A Maximum Power Point Tracking Hardware with an Improved Hill Climbing Algorithm.”
  • Sitan Chen, a 17-year-old from Suwanee, Georgia whose Mathematics submission was titled, “On the Rank Number of Grid Graphs.”
  • Ioana Grosu, a 17-year-old from Troy, Michigan whose Philosophy submission was titled, “Consciousness and the Hard Problem: Discovering the Mind.”
  • Bryan He, an 18-year-old from Buffalo, New York whose Technology submission was titled, “A Simple Optimal Binary Representation of Mosaic Floorplans and Baxter Permutations.”
  • Xiaoyu He, an 18-year-old from Acton, Massachusetts whose Mathematics submission was titled, “On the Classification of Universal Rotor-Routers.”
  • Kamden Hilliard, an 18-year-old from Mililani, Hawaii whose Literature submission was titled, “Reflections on Everything That Ever Was.”
  • Ian McKeachie, a 16-year-old from Reno, Nevada whose Literature submission was titled, “Attitudes of Existence.”
  • Vaishnavi Rao, a 17-year-old from San Diego, California whose Science submission was titled, “Activity-dependent Regulation of Nitric Oxide Expression: Novel Form of Neurotransmitter Plasticity.”
  • Anand Srinivasan, a 16-year-old from Roswell, Georgia whose Technology submission was titled, “"Doc Ock" - Development of Novel Filtration Techniques to Facilitate Accurate Pattern Detection in EEG Signals.”

The Davidson Fellows were recognized at a special awards ceremony held in Washington, D.C. on October 3, 2012. 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.

 

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THINK Summer Institute
Three-week residential summer program on the campus of University of Nevada, Reno, where students can earn up to six transferable college credits. (www.DavidsonGifted.org/THINK)

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
47 students (“THINKers”) attended in 2012 and had the choice of taking Computer Science 105 (Introduction to Computing), History 105 (European Civilization), or Criminal Justice 101 (Introduction to Criminal Justice) in the morning, and Statistics 152 (Introduction to Statistics), or HDFS 201 (Lifespan Human Development) in the afternoon.

Quotes from 2012 "THINKers"

  • “THINK was one of the best summer camps I've ever been to.”
  • “Thanks for one of the best experiences of my life!”
  • “Overall, I think that this was a great experience. Many thanks to the THINK staff and the RAs for making these three weeks I will always remember.”
  • “THINK was THE best summer camp I have been to and I definitely plan on returning next year. Thanks for a great 3 weeks!”

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Educators 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 bi-annual newsletters, with information about meeting the needs of gifted learners (www.DavidsonGifted.org/EdGuild).  

At the close of 2012, 1,724 teachers, school counselors and administrators were subscribed to the Educators Guild broadcast eList and 862 were on the Educators Guild discussion eList. Members who signed up for the broadcast list received two newsletters, one which featured a Q&A with Dr. Bob Schultz about “The Myths of Giftedness.” The Educators Guild also hosts a Facebook discussion group with more than 300 members.

In 2012, the Educators Guild provided consultations to 27 educators throughout the country and gave four presentations locally to undergraduate and graduate students in education courses. In addition to college of education presentations, the Educators Guild offered one local presentation to educators in January 2012. Members of the Ed Guild team also presented at: Pennsylvania Association for the Gifted - Exon, PA (May 2012); Western Association for College Admission Counseling - Reno, NV (May 2012); SAGE summer program - Las Vegas, NV (June 2012); Forest Ridge Academy - Schererville, IN (August 2012); and a Skype presentation with Spring Branch ISD - TX (September 2012). In addition, the Educators Guild team is partnering with the University of Nevada, Reno’s College of Education to develop a class with emphasis on the needs of gifted learners. The plan is to offer this course in the summer of 2013.

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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 2012, the database contained:

  • 4,366 resources covering support and assessment organizations, schools, summer programs, printed material, web and media tools.
  • 749 full-text research and informational articles on or about identification, gifted education, development and parenting.

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Publications
In 2012, the Davidson Institute Young Scholars and staff wrote the following articles in the Davidson Gifted Database (www.DavidsonGifted.org/DB):

  • Ambassador Program: Calista's Project
  • Book Review: A Parent's Guide to Gifted Teens: Living with Intense and Creative Adolescents
  • Interview with Bob Schultz on The Myths of Giftedness
  • Lucy's Story
  • Spencer's Story

In 2012, the Davidson Institute published these Tips for Parents in the Davidson Gifted Database (www.DavidsonGifted.org/DB):

  • Tips for Parents: A Muse in the Practice Room by Joel Kabavov
  • Tips for Parents: Acceleration for Students in 8th Grade and Younger by Ann Lupkowski-Shoplik
  • Tips for Parents: Anxiety, Sensitivities and Social Struggles among Profoundly Gifted Kids by Megan Foley-Nicpon
  • Tips for Parents: Bullying - How to Support Your Child by Kara McGoey
  • Tips for Parents: Celebrating the Introvert (list of resources) by Laurie Westphal
  • Tips for Parents: Creating the Linguistically Gifted Child by Maya Frost
  • Tips for Parents: Developing Math Talent in Very Young Kids by Julia Brodsky
  • Tips for Parents: Development of "out of the box" thinking in young children by Julia Brodsky
  • Tips for Parents: Doing Poorly on Purpose: Underachievement and the Quest for Dignity by Jim Delisle
  • Tips for Parents: Everything in Moderation by Marybeth Hicks
  • Tips for Parents: Executive Functioning at Home and School by Aimee Yermish
  • Tips for Parents: Forging Partnerships with Teachers, and Why They Often Don’t Work! by Dr. Nancy Robinson
  • Tips for Parents: Gifted and Global: Multiplying Possibilities through Intercultural Fluency by Maya Frost
  • Tips for Parents: Gifted . . . and Teenagers, too by Jim Delisle
  • Tips For Parents: Gifted Kids and the Social Scene by Christine Fonseca
  • Tips for Parents: Helping Gifted Children Handle Cooperation and Competition by Eileen Kennedy-Moore
  • Tips for Parents: Helping Your Child with Social or Performance Anxiety by Dr. Nadia Webb
  • Tips for Parents: High Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders Q & A by Dr. Melanie Crawford
  • Tips for Parents: How to Effectively Deal with Bullying at School: Skills Training for Students and Parents by Tom Letson, M.A. L.P.C.
  • Tips for Parents: How to Get a Mentor for You and Your Child by Ellen A. Ensher
  • Tips for Parents: Keep the Joy In and the Pressure Out by Rosanne Daryl Thomas
  • Tips for Parents: Leadership Skills for Gifted Kids by Stephen R. Balzac
  • Tips for Parents: Living With Intensity – Overexcitabilities in Profoundly Gifted Children by Dr. Susan Daniels
  • Tips for Parents: Making Early College A Happy Experience for Everyone by Rosanne Daryl Thomas
  • Tips for Parents: Natural Bridges on the Musical Landscape by Joel Kabakov
  • Tips for Parents: Nourishing the Mind, Heart, and Body of the Spiritually Sensitive Child by Paula Wilkes
  • Tips for Parents: Nurturing Verbal Ability in Gifted Learners by Joyce VanTassel-Baska
  • Tips for Parents: Parenting in the Digital Age by Kimberley Young
  • Tips for Parents: Preparing your Gifted Child to Leave Your Nest and Build Their Own by Steve and Tonya Witherspoon
  • Tips for Parents: Raising Gifted Girls - Special Considerations by Vula Baliotis
  • Tips for Parents: Real World Parenting - How to Practice Effective Discipline, Nurture Creativity and Resilience, and Still Like Each Other! by Cheryl Erwin
  • Tips for Parents: Smooth Sailing over Summer! Preventing and managing disruptive behavior by Kara McGoey
  • Tips for Parents: Straight Talk About Assessment by Aimee Yermish
  • Tips for Parents: Taking Control of Your Child's Education by Wes Beach
  • Tips for Parents: The Bilingual Preschooler: A Proven Path to Greater Creativity, Problem Solving, Attention and Compassion by Maya Frost
  • Tips for Parents: The Gifted Child in the Family Context by Michelle Muratori
  • Tips for Parents: The Zen Valedictorian: A Parent's Guide to Helping Your Child Stand Out Without Burning Out by Cal Newport

The Davidson Institute team also published this free guidebook, Considering Homeschooling: A Guidebook for Investigating an Alternative Path to Education (PDF), in 2012.

 

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Newsletters
In 2012, the Davidson Institute published the following newsletters:

  • January 2012 eNews-Update
  • March 2012 eNews-Update
  • April 2012 Educators Guild Newsletter
  • May 2012 eNews-Update
  • July 2012 eNews-Update
  • September 2012 eNews-Update
  • Fall 2012 Educators Guild Newsletter
  • November 2012 eNews-Update

 

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Conclusion
As of the end of December 2012, the Davidson Institute is providing direct support to an estimated 2,562 profoundly gifted young people and 1,724 educators, as well as indirect support to 13,759 eNews-Update subscribers, 1,769,241 visitors to the Institute’s websites and 5,965 subscribers to our public discussion forum, Gifted Issues.

One hundred and twenty-six students enrolled in The Davidson Academy of Nevada in the 2012-2013 school year and 3,650 people are subscribed to the The Davidson Academy eNewsletter. For more information about The Davidson Academy, please visit www.DavidsonAcademy.UNR.edu.


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