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USM's Center for Gifted Studies

Hattiesburg, Miss. - USM’s Center for Gifted Studies received the Legacy Series Award by the National Association for Gifted Children Conference.

Interim Director of Gifted Studies, Dr. Pola Jakacki shares her thoughts.

Jakacki said, "It's a great honor for Dr. Karnes and the university and the Center for Gifted Studies because it shows what an influence Dr. Karnes has had on gifted education, not only in Mississippi, but in the nation, and you can say even worldwide, because one of her former students works at a university in New Zealand."

Dr. Frances A. Karnes began teaching at Southern Miss in 1973 and established the Center for Gifted Studies in 1979.

Jakacki said, "Dr. Karnes really put Mississippi on the map for gifted education, because we are one of the few states in the United States that has a fully mandated and funded gifted programming."

Dr. Jakacki told me how she has implemented more ways to improve the center after Dr. Karnes retirement.

Jakacki said, "I have implemented some new programs and new ideas. Taking the tradition of excellence and updating it, bringing in more technology and STEM education, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics is very much the hot topic, funded by grants, and so we are offering more STEM courses."



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