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, President, Co-Research PI – The International Gifted Consortium (IGC), Research Center for The Highly-Profoundly Gifted 

is 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.

She has spent over 15 years advocating for the educational and developmental needs of gifted and highly-profoundly gifted children. Through experience, research, and collaboration with professionals across disciplines and across the globe, Vanessa has developed an in-depth understanding of the greater-than-typical intensities, advanced and asynchronous development, and extraordinary potential of giftedness and the highly-profoundly gifted individual.

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

Vanessa lead immediate impacts as the National Marketing Director for a Boston based company and New Business Development for PepsiCo and Tropicana DSD. She earned her masters in Gifted Education while facilitating her children’s education and development.

Vanessa fulfilled her children’s educational needs while collaborating in various community roles including Gifted Program Development and Administration, Parent-Teacher Liaison and HSGS Board Member. She created and facilitated programs to fit the needs of HG-PG learners including: Advanced Astronaut Training with the Challenger Learning Center and Botany Field Research at the Chicago Botanic Gardens.

Vanessa served as Program Director for PG Retreat, Local Area Marketing and Alliance Lead for National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) and Arizona Association for Gifted and Talented (AAGT) committee member.

Vanessa R. Wood, Co-Research Principle Investigator, in collaboration with The University of Antwerp, leads the first international study of highly-profoundly gifted children and emotional, intellectual, imaginational, psychomotor, and sensual overexcitabilities. Vanessa is the host of The IGC podcast, “Room With A View” and Corresponding Author, The IGC literature review of highly-profoundly gifted individuals and overexcitabilities.

Wood, V., & Laycraft, K. (2020). How can we better understand, identify, and support highly gifted and profoundly gifted students? A literature review of the psychological development of highly-profoundly gifted individuals and overexcitabilities. Annals of Cognitive Science, 4(1).

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