Our Faculty

Lenore Cortina

Dr. Lenore Cortina, Faculty Coordinator, coordinates the gifted education certificate faculty, oversees curriculum quality and currency, and teaches gifted education courses for Rutgers. She is also the owner/director of Ingenuity Academic Talent Center, LLC, a private supplemental gifted education center in Flemington, NJ. Dr. Cortina brings significant school district experience to the certificate program, having served as supervisor of instruction and teacher of the gifted and talented (K-8) for Delaware Township School, and as an elementary teacher for the Flemington-Raritan School District. She earned her doctorate in K-12 School Administration at Seton Hall University, focusing her dissertation research on gifted education, and a sixth year diploma in gifted education from the University of Connecticut. She also holds a master’s degree in teaching from Sacred Heart University, and a bachelor’s of science from the University of Bridgeport.

Alicia Cotabish

Dr. Alicia Cotabish is the Gifted Education Program Coordinator at the University of Central Arkansas. Previously, she served as one of two Principal Investigators of STEM Starters and the program coordinator of the Arkansas Evaluation Initiative in Gifted Education (AEI), both federally-funded Jacob K. Javits projects housed at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.   She is the Immediate  Past-President of the Arkansas Association of Gifted Education Administrators and serves on the board of the Council for Exceptional Children – The Association of the Gifted (CEC-TAG).  She has authored and co-authored 4 books and more than 50 journal articles, book chapters, and products focused on K-20 STEM and gifted education. Her recent research has focused on STEM and gifted education, and examining the effects of virtual coaching on the quality of gifted and teacher candidates using Skype and Bluetooth Bug in-the-Ear (BIE) technology.

Jennifer Hoffman

Dr. Jennifer Hoffman is a coordinator/instructor of gifted programming as well as science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics (STEAM) studies at the Waldwick Public Schools in New Jersey.  Previously, she has worked as a speaker for the Gifted Child Society Parent Seminar Series, clinical faculty member at Montclair State University, instructor at the Gifted Child Society, and science teacher at the Dwight Englewood Summer Connections Program and the Woodcliff Lake Public Schools.  She has served as a presenter, book reviewer, and research and evaluation network member for the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC).  After acquiring her B.A. from the State University of New York at Binghamton and M.S. from Long Island University, she graduated from the Rutgers University Gifted Education Graduate Certificate Program and completed her Ph.D. in literacy for diverse and at-risk learners at St. John’s University, focusing on gifted/advanced readers.  Dr. Hoffman has written articles that have been published in various national journals and a book.  She frequently presents at educational conferences.

Jessica Manzone

Dr. Jessica Manzone is a post-doctoral research assistant and an adjunct professor in the MAT Program at the University of Southern California's Rossier School of Education. Jessica has served as a primary teacher in Baltimore City, Maryland, as well as an instructional coach and professional development consultant.


Jeanne Purcell

Dr. Jeanne Purcell is an education specialist whose career spans 30 years as a public school teacher, administrator and research scientist at The University of Connecticut. Areas of specialization include: curriculum development; Common Core State Standards; leadership; differentiated instruction; effective instruction, especially as it relates to secondary school settings; and planning, monitoring and sustaining educational initiatives. She is the author of eight books and has published many articles that have appeared in Educational Leadership, Educational and Psychological Measurement, National Association of Secondary School Principals’ Bulletin, Our Children: The National PTA Magazine, Gifted Child Quarterly, Parenting for High Potential, and the Journal for the Education of the Gifted.

Janice Robbins

Dr. Janice Robbins has devoted her career to the education of gifted children, serving as university instructor, author, teacher, and researcher. At the College of William and Mary she has served as Interim Director of the Center for Gifted Education and is an instructor in the graduate program. She currently directs a gifted curriculum research and development project. Prior to her work at the College, she was curriculum chief for the worldwide Department of Defense (DODEA) schools and the former coordinator of their gifted and talented program. In Fairfax County Public Schools, VA, she served as principal of two schools for highly gifted students as well as the coordinator of the district gifted program. Dr. Robbins earned her Ph.D. in Educational Research and Evaluation from Virginia Tech.

Joyce VanTassel-Baska

Dr. Joyce VanTassel-Baska, an internationally renowned leader in gifted education, has published 31 books and over 500 refereed journal articles, book chapters, and scholarly reports, and consulted on gifted education in all 50 states and around the world. As the Executive Director of the Center for Gifted Education at The College of William and Mary, she developed a graduate program and a research and development center in gifted education. She also initiated and directed the Center for Talent Development at Northwestern University. Prior to her work in higher education, Dr. VanTassel-Baska served as the state director of gifted programs for Illinois, as a regional director of a gifted service center in the Chicago area, and as coordinator of gifted programs for the Toledo, Ohio public school system.  Dr. VanTassel-Baska holds B.A., M.A., M.Ed., and Ed.D. degrees from the University of Toledo. Dr. VanTassel-Baska developed the curriculum for the Rutgers Gifted Education Certificate Program, and continues with the program as consultant and conference keynote speaker.