2001 – Advisory Board: The Center for Gifted Studies is more than a university office. Much of our vision and reach is thanks to The Center’s Board of Advisors. These fine men and women donate their talents, expertise, and time to help The Center reach its goals. Several of them have had children in The Center’s programs, and all wholeheartedly invest in our mission. On March 9, 2001, Advisory Board members came together for the first time from Kentucky, Georgia, Texas, and Louisiana to share ideas and plan for the future. The Advisory Board meets twice a year to continue its work.
2001 – The Berta Seminar: Vince and Kathleen Berta of Bowling Green, KY, generously donated $100,000 to create the Berta Fund for Excellence. Focusing on the social-emotional needs of gifted children, the events are free and open to the public. Speakers have included Dr. Sylvia Rimm, Dr. Del Siegle, Mrs. Jill VonGruben, and Dr. Bonnie Crammond, Dr. Ed Amend, and others.
2002 – The Mahurin Professorship: The Center received an endowed professorship in Gifted Education—which very few universities have. Thanks to the generosity of Pete and Dixie Mahurin, Dr. Julia Roberts is the first Mahurin Professor of Gifted Studies.
2006 – The Administrators Institute: The Center hosted the first Administrators Institute training school leaders to better meet the needs of children who are gifted and talented. Held annually, the Institute has provided guidance to dozens of districts in Kentucky. Dr. Julia Roberts and Tracy Inman have also presented similar sessions throughout the state of Indiana.
2007 – The Gatton Academy: For over a decade, Dr. Roberts and The Center worked closely alongside WKU and members of the Kentucky General Assembly to create the Carol Martin Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science in Kentucky. At last, Kentucky joined 13 other states with specialty residential, statewide schools for gifted science and mathematics students funded by their state legislatures. Each year a total of 120 high school juniors and seniors simultaneously complete their high school requirements while earning sixty hours of college credit at WKU in an intensive, community-based, learning environment. Through a leadership gift, C.M. “Bill” Gatton, a businessman from Bristol, Tennessee, created an endowment that offers programming opportunities to the Academy. The Academy caters to gifted students in mathematics, technology, science, and engineering who have demonstrated excellence in these disciplines and who plan to pursue careers in math and science.
1990 & 2008 – Research Grants: As the recipient of three federal Jacob K. Javits grants, The Center has provided research to the field of gifted education. In 1990, The Center was one of only eight recipients in the nation of a Javits Act Grant. This three-year grant, Enhancing Educational Opportunities for Gifted Middle School Students, allowed The Center to examine the curriculum and other services offered in the middle school setting to determine what makes the gifted and talented thrive. The Center received its second three-year Javits grant, Restructuring Primary Education: Responding to Kentucky’s Educational Reform focused on the ungraded primary. The grant compared the progress of ungraded primary students to graded primary students out of state. A Field-Initiated Research grant extended the Javits grant dealing with primary students another three years. The Center has recently been awarded a third Javits grant to fund Project GEMS (Gifted Education in Math and Science). Project GEMS will focus on creating opportunities to generate interest and develop talent in gifted young people in science and math and encourage careers in STEM disciplines.