Elaine Tuttle Hansen to step down as director of JHU's Center for Talented Youth

Over the past six and a half years, she has expanded CTY's research efforts, online and international presence, and commitment to access to its programs

Elaine Tuttle Hansen, a scholar and educator who has served as executive director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth for the past six and half years, plans to step down at the end of August, the university announced today.

Elaine Tuttle Hansen

Image caption: Elaine Tuttle Hansen

Under Hansen's leadership, CTY has enhanced its renowned summer programs, expanded its research efforts and resources, further developed its online and international presence, and helped place thousands of pre-collegiate students on a track toward achieving their full potential.

"A place like CTY is so special. The more I reflect on it, the more I value the essential role it has to play in nurturing advanced young learners and modeling best practices for transformative teaching everywhere and anywhere," Hansen said. "What I'll take away is how incredible it is to work with people who are so committed and who believe so passionately in the mission and contribute so much to the cause of education.

"CTY has had an immeasurable impact on generations of young people," she added. "I will always remember and be in awe of the stories of personal transformation former CTYers have shared with me."

CTY, founded in 1979 by a Johns Hopkins psychology professor, has long been recognized as a world leader in identifying and developing the talents of academically advanced K-12 students.

"What I'll take away is how incredible it is to work with people who are so committed and who believe so passionately in the mission and contribute so much to the cause of education."
Elaine Tuttle Hansen
Executive director, Center for Talented Youth

Hansen said she was especially proud of CTY's growing commitment to access and inclusion for its programs. She has been instrumental in developing the center's Baltimore Emerging Scholars Program, a pilot after-school initiative that partners with local elementary and middle schools to improve learning opportunities for gifted students from under-resourced neighborhoods. Founded in 2014, the program currently serves 120 second-, third-, and fourth-graders, helping them hone their critical-thinking skills through courses in astronomy, architecture, and engineering.

"Everyone at CTY is doing work every day that develops a love of learning for learning's sake," Hansen said. "I've been fortunate to support and build on the work that this unique center does to bridge the divide between K-12 academics and higher education."

Hansen joined CTY in August 2011 after nine years as the president of Bates College in Maine. Finding the position was a "lucky accident," she said—she had planned to leave Bates for a sabbatical when the opportunity came along.

Hansen intended to be at CTY for five years, "but I overstayed my welcome by two," she said. She plans to take that long-delayed sabbatical after she leaves CTY and also hopes return to her scholarly work in Middle English and feminist literature.

"I have a few projects that have been on the back burner for way too long," she said.

In a message to the JHU community today, Johns Hopkins Provost Sunil Kumar commended Hansen for her "steadfast commitment to increasing educational opportunities for young people, for her outstanding leadership, and for her many valuable contributions to Johns Hopkins."

Details about a search for the next executive director of CTY will be forthcoming, Kumar said.