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Contact Information

(615) 322-4460
415A One Magnolia Circle
VU Mailbox: 228


Ph.D., Cleveland State University, 1991

Curriculum Vitae

Donna Ford

Professor, Dept. of Special Education

Research Area

Gifted with emphasis on minority children and youth; recruitment and retention of diverse students in gifted education; underachievement among diverse students; equity issues in testing and assessment; multicultural education; issues in urban education.

Short Biography

Donna Y. Ford, Ph.D., is Professor of Education and Human Development at Vanderbilt University. She teaches in the Department of Special Education. Professor Ford has been a Professor of Special Education at the Ohio State University, an Associate Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Virginia, and a researcher with the National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented. She also taught at the University of Kentucky.

Professor Ford earned her Doctor of Philosophy degree in Urban Education (educational psychology) (1991), Masters of Education degree (counseling) (1988), and Bachelor of Arts degree in communications and Spanish (1984) from Cleveland State University.

Professor Ford conducts research primarily in gifted education and multicultural/urban education. Specifically, her work focuses on: (1) recruiting and retaining culturally diverse students in gifted education; (2) multicultural and urban education; (3) minority student achievement and underachievement; and (4) family involvement. She consults with school districts, educational, and legal organizations in the areas of gifted education, Advanced Placement, and multicultural/urban education.

She is the author/co-author of several books, including Reversing Underachievement Among Gifted Black Students (1996, 2010) Multicultural Gifted Education (1999, 2011), In Search of the Dream: Designing Schools and Classrooms that Work for High Potential Students from Diverse Cultural backgrounds (2004), Diverse learners with exceptionalities: Culturally responsive teaching in the inclusive classroom (2008), and Teaching Culturally Diverse Gifted Students (2005). Several other books are in progress. Professor Ford has written over 120 articles and book chapters; she has made more than 600 presentations at professional conferences and in school districts.

Professor Ford's work has been recognized by various professional organizations: Research Award from the Shannon Center for Advanced Studies; the Early Career Award and the Career Award from The American Educational Research Association.

Media Mentions Opinion: The downside of bilingualism

Education Week: Parents Press for Attention to Programs for Gifted Students

The Christian Science Monitor: Flatlining SAT scores are 'a call to action' for educators

The Miami Herald: Many parents turn to private psychologists for kids' 'gifted' tests

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