Prof Miraca Gross honoured with the title of Emeritus Professor upon her retirement
- Posted: 7th October 2011
Professor Miraca Gross AM, DipT Moray House, Edin, BEd SACAE, MEd PhD Purdue, FACE.
The School of Education would like to extend its warmest congratulations to Prof Miraca Gross who has been honoured with the title of Emeritus Professor, effective upon her retirement from the University of New South Wales on 31st December 2011.
Dr Miraca U. M. Gross is Professor of Gifted Education in School of Education, University of New South Wales as well as the founding Director of the Gifted Education Research Resource and Information Centre (GERRIC). She is recognised nationally and internationally as a leading authority on the education of gifted and talented students, and her work on the academic, social and emotional needs of gifted children has influenced educators around the world.
Miraca holds MEd and PhD degrees in gifted education. She began her career as a teacher and has 22 years' experience as a classroom teacher and school administrator in State education systems in Scotland and Australia. For 12 years, she was a specialist teacher of gifted and talented children in several different classroom settings, including the regular classroom, cluster grouped classes, pullout programs, and full-time classes. Miraca moved to UNSW from the University of Melbourne in 1991 and in December 1995, received the University of New South Wales Vice - Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching. In 1997 she set up the Gifted Education Research, Resource and Information Centre to provide an establishment for excellence in research, teaching and services for gifted education. The foundation of GERRIC was not only an acknowledgement by UNSW of its leadership role in this field of education, but a milestone in the history of gifted education in Australia being the first centre of research in gifted education in the Southern Hemisphere. In the 14 years since, the initiatives taken by GERRIC have had a remarkable influence on the education of gifted and talented students throughout Australia, not just in high-impact research and program outcomes, but also in filling vital national specialist and training needs. GERRIC post graduate coursework and research graduates and former staff are highly regarded locally and internationally, have assumed key roles in the gifted education field as University academics, school leaders, education consultants, educators, counsellors and psychologists, policy makers, curriculum consultants and designers, and presenters and co-ordinators of gifted and talented programs. More than 2,000 teachers from every Australian state and territory, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore and Vanuatu have successfully completed the UNSW Certificate of Gifted Education program. At the same time more than 600 onsite school inservices by GERRIC presenters and educational consultants have been conducted across Australia, and more than 23,000 children from around Australia have attended GERRIC’s short courses and residential programs for gifted students.
In 1997 the Australian Federal Government honoured Miraca with the inaugural Australian Award for University Teaching in Education. In 2003 the Australian College of Educators honoured her with the Sir Harold Wyndham Medal for outstanding services to Australian education. In 2008 she was awarded the Order of Australia by Her Majesty the Queen for her services to education for the gifted. In 2009, the Mensa Education & Research Foundation presented Miraca with its Lifetime Achievement Award for research in the area of human intelligence. She is the first non-American to win this award. She has won several other international awards, including the Hollingworth Award for Excellence in Research in the Education and Psychology of the Gifted in 1987; the Mensa Education & Research Foundation Award for Excellence in 1988 and 1990; the American National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) Early Scholar Award in 1995, and was again honoured by the NAGC with their Distinguished Scholar Award in 2005.
Miraca served for six years as President of the Gifted and Talented Children’s Association of South Australia, and served on the seven-person Executive of the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children from 1995-1999. Miraca’ book, Exceptionally Gifted Children, has received international acclaim and a second edition was published in 2004. These books are two of many publications based on Miraca’ 25-year longitudinal study of 60 young Australians with an IQ of 160+.
Miraca has been working part-time for several years now and plans to continue to serve as the Director of the Gifted Education Research Resource and Information Centre (GERRIC) and to contribute to research and occasional teaching in the School of Education.
She will also play a critical role in complementing and supporting the work of new staff who have been recruited to work in gifted education in the School of Education, including Bronwyn McLeod, Dr Jae Jung and Associate Professor Wan Ng. However, retirement will also give her much–deserved time to spend with her beloved husband John and her garden and bridge games. On behalf of the School of Education we wish her the very best, and look forward to seeing her “baby” GERRIC go from strength to strength with new programs, new courses and new opportunities.