About the Center 

The Center for Gifted Studies was established at Valdosta State University in 2011 and is an innovative center dedicated to identifying, developing, and studying talent. The Center’s mission is to spread awareness of and establish support for evidence-based holistic and equitable talent development practices for children, youth, and adults. We provide resources and services for people with gifts and talents, parents, and educators (including but not limited to teachers, counselors, and paraprofessionals). 

The Center is committed to encouraging excellence and talent development by providing quality programming, equitable access, and evidence-based resources. To this end, we offer resources and services in the following areas: 

  • Development of talent, creativity, and critical thinking in individuals with gifts and talents. 
  • Support cognitive, social, emotional, and wisdom development in individuals with gifts and talents. 
  • Study the nature, identification, assessment, and evaluation of individuals with gifts and talents. 
  • Create curriculum, methods, and materials appropriate for individuals with gifts and talents. 
  • Provide in-service training for educators of the gifted and talented.

Every student has the right to learn something new every day  
(Del Siegle, 2007-2009 President of the National Association of Gifted Children) 

The Center for Gifted Studies is committed to providing all students with access to enrichment opportunities and enhanced educational experiences in classrooms where teachers are trained to focus on social, emotional, and motivational support as well as domain-specific learning potential.  

We are committed to contributing to an inclusive society where all people have opportunities and access to quality education. An estimated 50% of students with gifts and talents may underachieve (perform below their capabilities), according to Siegle (2018). If we do not intervene, many people will not realize their talents. This not only has consequences for the individual and their families, but it also affects their communities and society at large. Currently, students from historically excluded populations (e.g., people of color, people with disabilities, and people from economically disadvantaged backgrounds) tend to underachieve at higher rates. Therefore, the Center for gifted studies is committed to establishing more equitable and accessible learning opportunities so that all students can engage in talent development. 

Under the direction of Dr. Ophélie Desmet, the Center is expanding services in  

  • Offering educational programs for students with gifts and talents 
  • Providing professional development opportunities for educators 
  • Advocating for students with gifts and talents at local, state, national, and international levels 
  • Promoting access, diversity, and equity in talent development for students from historically excluded populations (i.e., people of color, students with disabilities, and students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds). 
  • Conducting research and developing evidence-based curricula to address the social, emotional, and motivational needs of students with gifts and talents as well as developing evidence-based enrichment curricula and opportunities to promote talent development and assure that all students learn something new every day 
  • Offering testing and counseling services for students with gifts and talents and their families 

The Center for Gifted Studies is active in Southern Georgia and collaborates with partners all over the United States and the world to serve students with gifts and talents. Long-term partners of the Center include: 

U.S. Partners 

  • National Association for Gifted Children
  • College of Coastal Georgia (GA) 
  • Robert J. Sternberg Lab at Cornell University (NY) 
  • [Lab name TBD] at Mississippi State University (MS) 
International Partners 
  • Steunpunt Onderpresteren, vzw (Belgium) 
  • Artevelde Hogeschool (Belgium) 
  • Radboud Talent in Ontwikkeling (RATIO) at Radboud Universiteit (The Netherlands) 
  • Centrum voor Begaafdheidsonderzoek (CBO) (The Netherlands) 
If you are interested in establishing a partnership, please contact our Director, Dr. Ophélie Desmet (odesmet@valdosta.edu).