Amy Shelton, a cognitive psychology expert who has been a member of the Johns Hopkins University faculty since 2002, has been named the next executive director of the university's Center for Talented Youth. Her two-year appointment begins Oct. 1.
Shelton has been director of research at CTY since 2013 and is also a professor and associate dean for research in the university's School of Education. She served as interim director at CTY from January 2019 through July 2020.
"Since she last led CTY, Dr. Shelton has maintained her steadfast commitment to the mission and vision of CTY, embarking on innovative and substantive research in partnership with School of Engineering colleagues related to artificial intelligence and student identification tools," JHU Provost Sunil Kumar wrote in a message to the CTY community today announcing Shelton's appointment. "She is also advancing research of CTY's own student population to inform current and future course offerings and services. Dr. Shelton's extensive administrative experience as associate dean and proven ability to collaborate with colleagues across the university make her ideally suited to serve as the center's next leader."
Shelton succeeds Stephen Gange, professor and executive vice provost for academic affairs, who stepped in to lead CTY on an interim basis earlier this summer. Gange helped the organization navigate a challenging period after it was forced to cancel several of its flagship summer courses with little advance notice due to insufficient staffing.
"Dr. Gange's position as a longstanding and trusted university leader made him ideally suited to the acute challenges facing CTY, and I am exceedingly grateful to him for the steady hand and sound judgement he brought to the role amid his many other university commitments," Kumar wrote. "As CTY looks to the future, learning from the lessons of this summer, it will need a strong leader focused on stability and sustainability and to advancing the center's mission."
Shelton served on the faculty in JHU's Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences from 2002 to 2013 before assuming the joint position with CTY and Education. She also holds joint appointments in the School of Medicine and the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences and served on steering committees for the universitywide Science of Learning Institute. She serves on the editorial board for Spatial Cognition and Computation and previously served as associate editor for the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General. Shelton earned master's and doctoral degrees in cognitive psychology from Vanderbilt University.
"We are thrilled to turn to a leader whose deep experience and evidence-based approach will shape how we deliver on the promise of CTY's mission of educating the next generation of talented, innovative thinkers," Kumar wrote.
"This is a challenging time for CTY, but it is also a time of great opportunity," Shelton said. "The education landscape has changed dramatically over the last few years and continues to evolve. CTY has a significant role to play as an innovator in the field and in supporting the young people who will become tomorrow's leaders. I am thrilled to serve as CTY's next executive director and advance its mission at this critical time."
The Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth, founded in 1979 by a Johns Hopkins psychology professor, is a world leader in gifted education. CTY identifies top pre-college learners in grades K through 12 and provides challenging summer residential programs, distance education, international programs, and family academic programs.