Roberts receives national award for impact on gifted education

Dr. Julia Link Roberts was recognized for her impact on gifted education as recipient of the 2015 Palmarium Award, presented Friday, Feb. 6, in Denver.

The Institute for the Development of Gifted Education at the University of Denver presented the award during its annual conference.

For over 30 years, Roberts has been an active advocate for gifted children at the state, national and international levels. She is the Mahurin Professor of Gifted Studies at Western Kentucky University as well as the executive director of The Center for Gifted Studies and the Carol Martin Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science in Kentucky.

The Palmarium Award is presented to the individual most exemplifying the vision of the Institute for the Development of Gifted Education: A future in which giftedness will be understood, embraced and systemically nurtured throughout the nation and world. Recipients demonstrate that vision through practical impacts on education, advocacy outreach, educational publications and influential research.

“Receiving the second annual Palmarium Award is such a tremendous honor, one for which I am most appreciative,” Roberts said.

After receiving the award, Roberts gave a speech entitled “Thriving Rather Than Surviving,” addressing what must be in place for gifted students to learn at challenging levels and have ongoing opportunities to develop their potential.

Roberts and Dr. Tracy Inman, the associate director of The Center for Gifted Studies, also led a session entitled “A Protocol for Developing and Assessing Products” during the conference.

Roberts serves on the boards of the Kentucky Association for Gifted Education and The Association for the Gifted (a division of the Council for Exceptional Children), and she is one of seven elected members of the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children’s Executive Committee. For her advocacy work, Roberts received the very first David W. Belin Advocacy Award from the National Association for Gifted Children in 2001. She was also described as one of the 55 most influential people in the field of gifted education in the 2004 publication “Profiles of Influence in Gifted Education.”

The Center for Gifted Studies at WKU serves gifted children, their educators and parents through educational opportunities, professional development and a variety of other resources and support.