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University of Iowa News Release

March 6, 2003

Grants To Assist UI Gifted Education Efforts

A $275,000 grant from the Nevada-based Davidson Institute for Talent Development will be used to help support the University of Iowa Connie Belin & Jacqueline N. Blank International Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development's early college entrance program.

In addition, another grant of $10,000 from the Lumina Foundation for Education will enable the Belin-Blank Center to explore opportunities for collaboration on gifted programs among Big 10 schools of education.

Belin-Blank Center Director Nicholas Colangelo, Ph.D., says the Davidson grant will be used to support the center's National Academy of Arts, Sciences and Engineering (NAASE) by providing student scholarships, allowing expanded student recruitment and creating an assistantship. The Davidson Institute, a foundation, provides "profoundly gifted young people" opportunities to nurture and develop their talents.

NAASE, created in 1999 and the first program of its kind at a major research institution, gives select students who have completed course work equivalent to their junior year of high school the opportunity to begin university research and course work. Academy students are accepted automatically as freshmen into the UI Honors Program and live together on the Honors Residence Hall floors.

The Lumina Foundation, based in Indiana, is also a private, independent foundation that strives to help people achieve their potential by expanding access to and success in education beyond high school. Through research, grants for innovative programs and communication initiatives, Lumina Foundation addresses issues surrounding access and educational retention and degree or certificate attainment - particularly among underserved student groups, including adult learners.

Colangelo described the $10,000 Lumina grant as "seed money" for faculty, researchers and staff in the Big 10 schools of education and gifted education programs - including the Belin-Blank Center - to find ways to further efforts at identifying and educating academically gifted students and their teachers, especially those from traditionally underrepresented groups.

For more information about the Belin-Blank Center, visit its website at

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACT: Media: Stephen Pradarelli, 319-384-0007,