Check out the Academics page to find more information on the 2020 courses
Melissa Burnham, Ph.D. Professor
Melissa Burnham, Ph.D. is Program Coordinator and Professor of Human Development and Family Studies. She has been a faculty member at the University of Nevada, Reno since the fall of 2001. Dr. Burnham's research interests focus on the examination of contextual influences on infant and child sleep development. She has also studied the impact of quality early care and education on development and P-3 educational reform efforts. Dr. Burnham has taught for the Davidson THINK Institute 5 previous times and these THINK experiences have been her favorite teaching experiences in almost 2 decades in higher education. She previously served as the Associate Dean of the College of Education at the University of Nevada, Reno.
Clayton Peoples, Ph.D.
Clayton D. Peoples, Ph.D. (2005, Ohio State University), is an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Nevada, Reno, where he also serves as Director of the School of Social Research and Justice Studies. He loves both teaching and research. He teaches Introductory Sociology, Sociological Theory, Social Stratification, Social Psychology, and Social Movements, among other classes. His primary areas of research include campaign finance and the impact of donors on policy. He recently held a fellowship in the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University, where he focused on the political factors that influenced the Global Financial Crisis. He is also author of the recently-published book, The Undermining of American Democracy: How Campaign Contributions Corrupt our System and Harm us All (Routledge, 2020).
Erin Keith is a Lecturer with the Computer Science and Engineering department. With over five years of industry experience, Erin Keith has worked at many levels of the software engineering process, from testing through implementation to deployment. She has also been involved in providing education at many levels: as a tutor and supplemental instructor during her undergraduate studies, a National Science Foundation fellowship recipient in engineering education as a graduate student, and as a Letter of Appointment instructor at the University of Nevada, Reno while pursuing her software engineering career. Additionally, she's volunteered within the community to promote technology education, earning multiple certificates of appreciation from the Boys and Girls Club of Truckee Meadows.
Darren Ripley, Ph.D. Instructor
A Reno native who's been working in the educational field for over 24 years, Dr. Ripley enjoys outdoor activities with his friends and his 15-year-old son. He has taught math at all levels of secondary education and all introductory levels of higher education, both at the community college and the university level. This is his fifteenth year at Davidson THINK Summer Institute; he also teaches at the Davidson Academy. His hobbies include, but aren't limited to, mountain and road biking, snowboarding, playing the banjo and the piano, chess, and gardening. He teaches mathematics because it is the language of science, and feels that science will save the world.
Edward (Ned) Schoolman, Ph.D. Associate Professor
Dr. Schoolman is a medieval historian in the history department at the University of Nevada, Reno. His research has focused on strands of religious practices and aristocracy in Italy, and he has two current projects: one on environmental history, and the other on migration and identity before the year 1000. He has been a visiting researcher at the Universities of Poitiers (France) and Padova (Italy) and held fellowships at the University of Tübingen (Germany) and the Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton), where he enjoyed trail running.
Started in 1999, the Davidson Institute for Talent Development is a 501(c)3 private operating foundation. Our mission is to recognize, nurture and support profoundly intelligent young people ages 18 and under, and to provide opportunities for them to develop their talents to make a positive difference.
Profoundly gifted students are those who score in the 99.9th percentile on IQ and achievement tests. Read more about this population in this article.