Keynote speakers

Paul Beljan

Dr. Paul Beljan is a pediatric neuropsychologist in private practice at Beljan Psychological Services in Scottsdale AZ. The Arizona Psychological Association selected Dr. Beljan in 2016 for the Distinguished Contribution to the Practice of Psychology Award. Dr. Beljan served at the Governor’s pleasure on the Arizona Board of Psychological Examiners. He holds child and adult diplomate certifications with the American Board of Pediatric Neuropsychology (ABPdN) and the American Board of Professional Neuropsychology (ABN). Dr. Beljan is a past president of the ABPdN and held nearly every executive office for ABPdN. In 2016, Dr. Beljan completed a post-doctoral master’s degree in psychopharmacology from New Mexico State University. Dr. Beljan’s professional focus is on Gifted Intelligence, Alcohol/Drug Related Neurodevelopmental Deficit (A/DRND), Learning Disorders, Traumatic Brain Injury, Physical and Emotional Trauma, and Attention and Executive Functioning Deficit and associated interventions. His hospital based work in pediatric psychology and pediatric neuropsychology has included traumatic brain injury assessment, pain management and trauma recovery with children suffering from burns, various forms of cancer, sickle cell anemia, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, cerebral palsy, cleft palate, Alcohol/Drug Related Neurodevelopmental Deficit (A/DRND), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and learning disorders. He also evaluated thousands of infants in neonatology clinics. Dr. Beljan is an expert in evaluating and understanding gifted children and their common misdiagnoses and dual-diagnoses. Along with Dr. James Webb, Dr. Beljan co-authored Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnosis of Gifted Children and Adults: ADHD, BiPolar, OCD, Depression, and Other Disorders. Dr. Beljan co-authored Large Scale Brain Systems and Neuropsychological Assessment: An Effort to Move Forward. He has published numerous chapters and articles in various publications about gifted children, learning disorders and executive functioning. Dr. Beljan is a past president of the American Board of Pediatric Neuropsychology and is on the 2e Newsletter editorial board.


Femke Hovinga

Femke Hovinga MS is a gifted specialist from Zeist, The Netherlands. When she was six years old, being bullied and struggling to realize her potential in school, she made herself a promise to do something for gifted kids later in her life. She however started a career in journalism and marketing management before she eventually committed herself to this promise. Femke studied at a Dutch institute for gifted studies. She then developed several initiatives in the gifted field. Among other things, she works with schools and families on the topic exceptionally and profoundly gifted kids. She is developing a new IQ-test for gifted and 2E kids and founded the European SENG (Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted). Femke did so after working with SENG founder Dr. James T. Webb and the US SENG organization. Femke has been a speaker at several European and worldwide conferences on the topic of gifted education and enjoys meeting and learning with people from different backgrounds.


Martin Kubala

Assoc. Prof. Martin Kubala graduated on the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, Charles University in Prague. Since 2005, he works on the Dept. of Biophysics, Faculty of Science, Palacký University in Olomouc, currently, he is the Dean of the faculty. His professional research interest is focused on the analyses of biomolecules by optical spectroscopies, the educational interest is focused on gifted children in science, and he is author of 45 papers in international journals.

He started programs Badatel and Newton promoting participation of gifted secondary-school students on scientific activities within the Palacký University. He is organizer of the annual Conference of Young Scientists, and participated as a lecturer on numerous scientific summer-schools for gifted students. During 2012-13, he was a national manager of the Chess-to-Schools


Rena Faye Subotnik

Rena F. Subotnik PhD is Director of the Center for Psychology in Schools and Education at the American Psychological Association. One of the Center’s missions is to generate public awareness, advocacy, clinical applications, and cutting-edge research ideas that enhance the achievement and performance of children and adolescents with gifts and talents in all domains. She has been supported in this work by the National Science Foundation, the American Psychological Foundation, and the Association for Psychological Science, the Dreyfus Foundation, and the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation.

She is co-author (with Paula Olszewski-Kubilius and Frank Worrell) of The Psychology of High Performance: Developing Human Potential Into Domain-Specific Talent (American Psychological Association), The Talent Gap: The U.S. is Neglecting its Most Promising Science Students (Scientific American), Nurturing the Young Genius: Renewing our Commitment to Gifted Education is Key to a More Innovative, Productive and Culturally Rich Society (Scientific American Mind), Rethinking Giftedness and Gifted Education: A Proposed Direction Forward Based on Psychological Science (in Psychological Science in the Public Interest), and (with Bruce Thompson) Methodologies for Conducting Research on Giftedness, (with Frances Horowitz and Dona Matthews) Developing Giftedness and Talent Across the Life Span.


Hava Vidergor

Dr. Hava Vidergor, PhD is a senior lecturer of curriculum and instruction in the Graduate School at Gordon Academic College of Education, and Arab Academic College, Haifa, Israel. She began her career as an English teacher, and taught English as a foreign language for 30 years at all levels. She received an M.A. in educational leadership with distinction from University of Alabama at Birmingham, and a PhD in Education from Haifa University, Israel. Her research interests center on curriculum planning and design, innovative teaching strategies and gifted education.

She has published numerous papers and presented widely in international conferences. She is the editor (with Carole R. Harris) of Applied Practice for Educators of Gifted and Able Learners, and of Innovative Teaching Strategies and Methods Promoting Lifelong Learning in Higher Education: From Theory to Practice (with Orly Sela), and the author of Enhancing the Gift of Leadership (with Dorothy Sisk). She designed a new graduate program called Innovation in Education promoting teacher entrepreneurship in applying new pedagogies and creating and investigating blended learning environments. Her Multidimensional Curriculum Model (MdCM) focusing on developing high order thinking and future thinking literacy in K-12 students is currently applied in Israel and internationally, and was published in a book titled Multidimensional Curriculum Enhancing Future Thinking Literacy.