Four questions for Elaine Tuttle Hansen, executive director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth

1. What's at the top of your to-do list?

Helping each and every child, even the brightest ones, learn something new every day. Recognizing academically talented pre-college kids wherever they may be and giving them a foundation that will support a lifetime of discovery, creativity, independent thinking, and collaborative problem solving. Developing the world's next generation of leaders and thinkers.

Elaine Tuttle Hansen

Image caption: Elaine Tuttle Hansen

Image credit: CADE MARTIN

2. What keeps you up at night?

I worry about how little our culture values exceptional academic ability and understands how to educate all students to reach their full potential. I'm concerned about how to close serious achievement gaps in the U.S. and around the world. We still have so much to learn about intelligence and brain function, as well as the social and emotional factors that promote or impede excellence in education.

3. What's in store 10 years from now

The evolving role of online learning and hybrid educational programs will serve the needs of the most academically advanced students particularly well. Our increased understanding of how the human brain functions will enhance our ability to identify and nurture the most exceptional minds and improve the educational experiences of all learners.

4. Tell me something I don't know about Johns Hopkins.

CTY grew out of a research question: JHU psychologist Julian Stanley wanted to learn how gifted middle school students learn best. From Dr. Stanley's work with a single precocious eighth-grader in Baltimore, our programs have exploded. Since 1979, CTY summer, online, and family programs have had more than 460,000 enrollments by students from the United States and some 115 countries worldwide. This year we are welcoming 9,500 students at 24 summer program sites in the U.S. and Hong Kong, plus 9,200 students in our online programs.

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