Update from the 2e Center for Research and Professional Development

Coming in October: 2e Center Biennial Symposium

By Susan Baum, Ph. D.

March, 2017

Innovative programs and schools — nationally and internationally — are addressing the critical need to positively engage twice-exceptional learners. In response to this growing interest, the 2e Center for Research and Professional Development will host its 2nd symposium (Leadership and Vision for 2e Education) this October 13th and 14th. The event will bring together a select group of administrators, teachers, parents, advocates, counselors, therapists, and others to share and learn about approaches and strategies proven to work for this population of students.

Highlighting this year’s symposium is the establishment of the Hall of Fame for Leaders in Twice-Exceptional Learning, an award to recognize achievement in the field. This inaugural event will honor seven individuals (listed in the table below) who first understood the importance of working with special students who demonstrate high abilities yet are also compromised by learning; attention; and social, emotional, and behavioral challenges.


Pioneering Achievements

Additional Information

June Maker

Published Providing Programs For Gifted Handicapped, a seminal work in the field, in 1977

Presented an argument that disabled students can also be gifted

Joanne Rand Whitmore Schwartz

Authored Giftedness, Conflict, and Underachievement in 1980 and co-authored Intellectual Giftedness in Disabled Persons in 1985

Provided an in-depth look at primary-aged students with high intelligence who were underachieving in school and showed that most had learning disabilities

Linda E. Brody

Co-authored early publications on twice-exceptionality, including Learning Disabled Gifted Students: Identification and Programming

In 1997, with Carol Mills, published the first major overview of research findings and program development in the field

Lois Baldwin

Taught in one of the first public school programs for gifted handicapped students, run by the Board of Cooperative Educational Services of Southern Westchester, White Plains, NY

Conducted research that included a longitudinal study of the students who graduated from the gifted handicapped program

M. Elizabeth Nielsen

Served as principal investigator for two university and public school district collaborative Javits Grant projects focused on gifted students with disabilities

Authored textbook chapters and articles regarding twice-exceptional students

L. Dennis Higgins

Worked directly with students officially identified as twice exceptional by the Albuquerque Public School System from 1988 until retiring in 2010

Authored textbook chapters and articles regarding twice-exceptional students and served as a consultant for The Twice-Exceptional Dilemma, published jointly by NEA and NAGC

Mary Ruth Coleman

Has conducted research focused on students with exceptional learning needs, especially those with learning disabilities and those with gifts; served as co-principal investigator for the Early Learning Disabilities Initiative and co-director of North Carolina’s Statewide Technical Assistance for Gifted Education Center

Has directed several projects including Project U-STARS~PLUS (Using Science, Talents, and Abilities to Recognize Students ~ Promoting Learning for Underrepresented Students) and Project ACCESS (Achievement in Content and Curriculum for Every Student’s Success)

Although these students have been noticed by professionals since the early 20th century, it was not until the 1970s that the term gifted handicapped was introduced and then later changed to gifted learning disabled students. More recently, these students have become known as twice exceptional, representing the convergence of gifted education with special education.

We wish to preserve this rich history by remembering the voices of all those who have made contributions to the field through their influential work. We recognize this first group of inductees as the “Pioneers,” those whose efforts not only alerted us to this population of students, but who also kick-started research, program development, and advocacy. Each year we will elect new members to the Hall of Fame to recognize ongoing contributions that continue to move the field forward. 

The 2e Center for Research and Professional Development Biennial Symposium – Leadership and Vision for 2e Education

What: A symposium to honor the work responsible for drawing attention to twice-exceptional students and to enhance knowledge of their needs and provide program models and strategies appropriate for their development

Where: Beverly Garland Hotel, North Hollywood, California

When: October 13 and 14, 2017

  • October 13 — A dinner to induct seven pioneers of twice-exceptional education into the newly formed 2e Hall of Fame
  • October 14 — A day that includes:
    • A keynote presentation by Associate Provost of the University of Connecticut, Sally Reis, Ph.D., known for her research on twice-exceptional learners, talent development, and leadership
    • Breakout sessions for small group discussion
    • Lunch with “Pioneer Insights” by the Hall of Fame inductees
    • Opportunities for participating schools to introduce themselves and talk about their specific population and practices
    • A closing address on neurodiversity and positive education by author and advocate Jonathan Mooney
    • An outdoor celebratory reception and networking

In addition, pre- and post-symposium activities, including tours of Bridges Academy, are planned. Additional information will be available soon.

Registration: $225 includes a program directory with information about participating schools, as well as Friday night dinner, Saturday continental breakfast, lunch, and reception. Registration opens on May 1st and is limited to 130 participants. You may register on the 2e Center page of the Bridges Academy website at http://www.bridges.edu/2e-center.html.

To be placed on our symposium mailing list, please email Kim.Vargas@bridges.edu.


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