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World Council for Gifted and Talented Children visits headquarters at WKU

Members of the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children’s Executive Committee had dinner with WKU President Gary Ransdell (far right) and donor Dixie Mahurin (third from left) at the Downing Museum in the Baker Arboretum on July 17 during a visit to the organization’s international headquarters at WKU. Members of the executive committee are (from left): Treasurer Julia Link Roberts, WKU; Leslie S. Graves, University College Dublin, Ireland; Vice President Ken McCluskey, University of Winnipeg, Canada; Umit Davasligil, Maltepe University, Turkey; Secretary Klaus K. Urban, Leibniz University, Hannover, Germany; Leonie Kronborg, Monash University, Australia; and Executive Administrator Tracy Harkins.

The World Council for Gifted and Talented Children (WCGTC) held its executive committee meeting at its international headquarters at WKU this week.

The committee — including Vice President Ken McCluskey, University of Winnipeg, Canada; Secretary Klaus K. Urban, Leibniz University, Hannover, Germany; Treasurer Julia Link Roberts, WKU; Umit Davasligil, Maltepe University, Turkey; Leslie S. Graves, University College Dublin, Ireland; and Leonie Kronborg, Monash University, Australia — gathered to reflect on this year’s progress and begin planning the World Council’s 2013 conference in New Zealand.

Roberts, executive director of The Center for Gifted Studies and Carol Martin Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science in Kentucky, and Tracy Harkins, World Council executive administrator, hosted the committee members, most of whom had not visited WCGTC headquarters since it relocated from the University of Winnipeg to WKU in 2010.

“Having the international headquarters of the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children located at Western Kentucky University is such a high honor,” Roberts said. “I am delighted to have members of the executive committee here to conduct the business of the organization and to visit the headquarters.”

WKU President Gary Ransdell and Dixie Mahurin — who along with her husband, Pete, gave the generous gift that made the headquarters’ relocation possible — joined the council members and several members of The Center for Gifted Studies’ advisory board for dinner at the Downing Museum in the Baker Arboretum Tuesday evening. Ransdell noted that providing challenging curricula and growth opportunities to gifted students is essential for the success of future generations and thanked the Mahurins, The Center, and the World Council for championing gifted education worldwide.

“We are proud to be a part of this important mission,” he said.

World Council Vice President McCluskey spoke on behalf of President Taisir Subhi Yamin, who could not attend the meetings in person, and said locating the World Council’s headquarters at WKU has allowed the executive committee to continue its valuable work while bringing more international attention to the university.

He and committee member Kronborg also praised WKU’s scenic campus and the new Gary Ransdell Hall, which houses the World Council’s offices.

Kronborg said the time and attention put into the building show the university’s commitment to educating the next generation of teachers and educational decision makers.

“I think we are very fortunate to have our offices here,” she said. “This meeting gives us a great opportunity and a great place to actually discuss, face-to-face, issues of importance.”

The World Council for Gifted and Talented Children, Inc. is a worldwide non-profit organization that provides advocacy and support for gifted children. The 35-year-old WCGTC is a diverse organization that networks the globe with an active membership of educators, scholars, researchers, parents and others interested in the development and education of gifted and talented children of all ages. To learn more visit http://www.world-gifted.org/

Contact: Mandy Simpson, (270) 745-3014.

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