Our Faculty

Dr. Elissa Brown

Dr. Elissa Brown is the director of the Hunter College Center for Gifted Studies and Education and program coordinator of Hunter’s Advanced Certificate Program in Gifted Education. She is an education policy fellow under the Institute for Educational Leadership. Before coming to Hunter, she was the North Carolina state director of gifted education and teacher preparation programs. Dr. Brown was the former director of the Center for Gifted Education at the College of William & Mary from 2002-2007. She has been a district gifted-program coordinator, the principal of a specialized high school, and a classroom teacher. She has served as an adjunct professor at several universities, including Rutgers and Duke University. She is a published author in the field of gifted education and presents widely. She is the parent of three children and lives in East Harlem, NY. 

Dr. 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.

Dr. Alicia Cotabish

Dr. Alicia Cotabish is an Instructor in the Gifted Education program at Rutgers and an Associate Professor of Teaching and Learning at the University of Central Arkansas. She has authored, co-authored, and contributed to 5 books, and a number of journal articles, book chapters, and products focused on K-20 STEM and gifted education.  She has delivered more than 200 professional development workshops, presentations, and keynotes at local, state, national, and international venues, and served as a National Association for Gifted Children Expert Speaker. 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.

Dr. Debbie Dailey

Debbie Dailey, Ed.D. is an associate professor of education at the University of Central Arkansas where she is the coordinator for the gifted and talented program and director of a summer camp for talented youth, STEMulate Engineering Academy. Prior to moving to higher education, Debbie was a high school science teacher and gifted education teacher for twenty years. Debbie currently serves as treasurer for her state gifted association (Arkansans for Gifted and Talented Education), Chair of the STEM network at NAGC, and President-Elect for CEC-TAG. Debbie has authored and co-authored multiple journal articles, books, book chapters, and products focused on K-12 STEM and gifted education. She has delivered numerous professional development workshops and presentations at local, state, national, and international venues, including AERA.

Dr. Angela Housand

Angela Housand, Ph.D. is an associate professor at the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) and consultant to schools and districts across the country. As a former teacher, Dr. Housand brings an applied focus to her programs for in-service and pre-service teachers. Over the years, her work has been presented internationally and published in the Journal of Advanced Academics, Gifted Child Quarterly, High Ability Studies, and other professional periodicals. Dr. Housand's efforts directly support teachers as they challenge gifted students to achieve advanced levels of performance and become productive members of a global society.

Dr. Brian​ Housand

Dr. Brian Housand, is the coordinator of the Academically or Intellectually Gifted program at University of North Carolina Wilmington. Dr. Housand earned a Ph.D. in educational psychology at the University of Connecticut with an emphasis in both gifted education and instructional technology. He served two terms on the National Association for Gifted Children’s Board of Directors as a Member-At-Large. Along with his wife Dr. Angela Housand and Dr. Joe Renzulli, he co-authored Using the Schoolwide Enrichment Model with Technology. He is also the author of Fighting Fake News! Teaching Critical Thinking and Media Literacy in a Digital Age. Brian has worked in education as a classroom teacher, a teacher of the gifted, and a university professor for over twenty years. As a speaker and consultant, he has presented in 39 states, Canada, Australia, South Korea, Kuwait, and Chilé. Brian is a lover of technology, Star Wars, video games, and fonts, and he proudly identifies himself as a geek. You can learn more on his website at brianhousand.com and by following him on Twitter @brianhousand


Dr. 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.


Dr. 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.