Wednesday, September 4, 2019

By Elianna Novitch

Laurie Croft, clinical professor in the University of Iowa College of Education’s Belin-Blank Center, has been selected to receive the 2019 Distinguished Service Award from the National Association for Gifted Children.

Laurie Croft has been a champion for gifted children around the world her entire career.

To recognize her commitment to gifted children, Croft, clinical professor in the College of Education’s Belin-Blank Center and Associate Director for Professional Development, has been selected to receive the 2019 Distinguished Service Award from the National Association for Gifted Children at its annual conference in November.

Croft, who is also affiliated with the Elementary Education Program in the Department of Teaching and Learning, was selected for the award for her contributions to the association and her service in the field of supporting gifted children. She is an expert in curriculum differentiation and has made an impact on many in-service educators and pre-service students from around the world.

“I am honored to have been recognized with NAGC’s Distinguished Service Award this year,” Croft says. “The list of previous recipients is truly humbling.”

The National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) is a membership organization whose mission is to support those who enhance the growth and development of gifted and talented children through education, advocacy, community building, and research.

Croft has been an active member of NAGC for more than 20 years. She served as network chair for the Professional Learning Network and was also co-chair of the Global Awareness Network Convention Program. She is currently the network representative on the NAGC Board.

At the University of Iowa, Croft has served as the university’s liaison to the Iowa Talented and Gifted (ITAG) board for more than a decade and serves the gifted community in Iowa, across the U.S., and internationally, through the work she does at the Belin-Blank Center.

The Belin-Blank Center is dedicated to empowering and serving the international gifted community through its exemplary leadership in programs, research, and advocacy.

Croft has work at the University of Iowa for 21 years and has made presentations and facilitated professional development in gifted education around the world. She coordinates the gifted endorsement program at the UI, and has also served as the College of Education Honors adviser for over 20 years.

“The more we can help educators understand the nature and needs of gifted and talented learners, and how to appropriately meet those needs,” Croft says, “the more we can facilitate the development of talents of literally hundreds of thousands of students in this country alone.”