sealPurdue News

October 16, 2002

Mensa honors Purdue's gifted institute founder Feldhusen

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – John F. Feldhusen, the emeritus director of Purdue University's Gifted Education Resource Institute on Thursday (10/17) will receive a lifetime achievement award from the Mensa Education and Research Foundation.

The School of Education will sponsor a reception for Feldhusen from 4-6 p.m. in the Hillenbrand Residence Hall's atrium dining room. He will receive $1,000 with the award.

In a letter announcing the award, Shirley Loges, chair of the Lifetime Achievement Award wrote: "Your research is not only at the forefront of our current body of knowledge but also has impacted the education of gifted and talented students in America and throughout the world."

Mensa is an international society for individuals who score in the top 2 percent of the population on a standardized intelligence test. The society selected Feldhusen for his achievements in research, program and curriculum development, and for his leadership and advocacy in the field of human intelligence, giftedness and creativity.

Feldhusen's achievements include founding and building Purdue's Gifted Education Resource Institute, also known as GERI. Under the current leadership of Sidney Moon, the institute continues Feldhusen's work to identify and serve a more diverse population of high-ability students and help them achieve their goals.

The institute's Minority Initiative for Gifted Students has increased student diversity in its talent development programs. With financial support from the Davidson Foundation and the Tobias Foundation, the institute was able to bring a total of 40 minority students from the Gary, Ind., and Indianapolis Public Schools to a summer camp program on Purdue's West Lafayette campus.

This year minority students made up more than 25 percent of the students participating in the institute's 25th anniversary summer camp session, nearly five times the rate of minority representation in gifted programs nationally.

The minority initiative also has created spin-off programs such as a collaboration between Indianapolis Public Schools and the institute's Super Saturday program. The institute also has been involved with the Purdue Science Bound program, which offers pre-collegiate academic experiences, local mentoring and university scholarships to participating minority youth in Indianapolis.

The institute is currently seeking additional support to expand its minority and scholarship programs and to develop new programs emphasizing Purdue's strengths in science and technology. For additional information about the institute, Summer Camps, Super Saturday and the Minority Initiative for Gifted Students, visit Purdue's Gifted Education Resource Institute Web site.

American Mensa has approximately 50,000 members. Five million Americans are eligible for Mensa membership. The Mensa Education and Research Foundation is a charitable organization that is funded by American Mensa and other donations. Each year the foundation awards college scholarships through the volunteer efforts of local Mensa groups and also gives awards for research, and funds some research and other projects related to gifted children.

CONTACT: Jill Lesh, School of Education alumni relations director, (765) 494-0568 or (800) 213-9339,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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