IGC Co-Founders

 Miraca Gross (1944-2022)  

Vanessa R. Wood

Miraca U.M. Gross (1944-2022), Co-Founder of The International Gifted Consortium, was Emeritus Professor and Honorary Director of The University of New South Wales, Gifted Education Research, Resource, and Information Center (GERRIC). She was recognized nationally and internationally as a leading authority on the education of gifted and talented students.

Miraca held MEd and PhD degrees in gifted education. The first 20 years of her career were as a teacher and school vice-principal in elementary and middle schools in Scotland (where she was born and raised) and Australia. Miraca’s research focused on issues of equity for gifted students, ability grouping, acceleration, socio-affective development and the highly gifted.

She received several international research awards including the Hollingworth Award for Excellence in Research in Gifted Education and the Mensa International Education and Research Foundation Award for Excellence (1988 and 1990) in addition to its Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008.

Miraca Gross’ prestigious awards and honors included:

  • The American National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC), Early Scholar Award, 1995
  • The American National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC), Distinguished Scholar Award, 2005 (the first time this was awarded outside North America)
  • University of New South Wales Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, 1995
  • Australian Federal Government Inaugural Australian Award for University Teaching Education, 1997
  • Australian College of Educators Sir Harold Wyndham Medal for outstanding contributions to Australian education
  • Queen’s Birthday Honours List with membership in the Order of Australia

Vanessa R. Wood, Co-Founder of The International Gifted Consortium (IGC), Research Center for The Highly-Profoundly Gifted – is an altruistic visionary passionate about education, human development and developmental potential. She believes each individual has a unique developmental path that should be honored among the collaborative community.

As a parent, advocating for her children, she has spent over 15 years studying the spectrum of gifted individuals. Through personal experience, observations, research, and reflection, and collaboration with professionals across disciplines and across the globe, she has an in-depth understanding of the greater-than-typical intensities, advanced and asynchronous development, and extraordinary potential of giftedness and the gifted – highly-profoundly gifted individual.

Vanessa grew up in California, Texas and Michigan and studied Entrepreneurial Leadership, Marketing and Communications at Babson College in Wellesley, MA. In addition to being recognized for various leadership contributions, she was honored as the recipient of the 1995 SBI award at the annual Babson Distinguished Entrepreneurs Ceremony alongside Arthur Blank.

Vanessa was the National Marketing Director for a Boston based company and New Business Development for PepsiCo and Tropicana DSD. She obtained her masters in Gifted Education while simultaneously facilitating her children’s learning and development.

Vanessa nurtured her children’s unique development while collaborating in various community roles along the way including Parent-Teacher Liaison, HSGS Board Member, Program Developer and Administrator. She created and facilitated programs to fit the needs of HG-PG learners including: Advanced Astronaut Training at the Challenger Learning Center and Botany Field Research at the Chicago Botanic Gardens.

Vanessa was the 2013 Program Coordinator for PG Retreat, the Local Area Marketing and Alliance Lead for the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) convention in Phoenix and Arizona Association for Gifted and Talented (AAGT) committee member.

Currently, Vanessa, Co-Research PI, is leading the first international study of highly-profoundly gifted children and emotional, intellectual, imaginational, psychomotor, and sensual overexcitabilities, in collaboration with The University of Antwerp. She is also the host of The IGC podcast, “Room With A View” and the corresponding author of The IGC literature review of highly-profoundly gifted individuals and overexcitabilities.

For speaking engagements, professional development and training, parent education, program development, please email: VanessaWood@giftedconsortium.org