Linda Silverman

Linda Kreger Silverman, Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist.  She founded and directs the Institute for the Study of Advanced Development, and its subsidiaries, Gifted Development Center (GDC) and Visual-Spatial Resource in Denver, Colorado. In the last 35 years, she has studied over 6,500 children who have been assessed at GDC, the largest data bank on this population. This research enabled the creation of extended norms on the WISC-IV. In 1981, she originated the concept of the “visual-spatial learner” (VSL) and has created methods of identifying and teaching this population. Her Ph.D. is in educational psychology and special education from the University of Southern California. For nine years, she served on the faculty of the University of Denver in counseling psychology and gifted education. She has been studying the psychology and education of the gifted since 1961 and has written over 300 articles, chapters and books, including Counseling the Gifted and Talented, Upside-Down Brilliance: The Visual-Spatial Learner and Advanced Development: A Collection of Works on Gifted Adults. Her latest book, Giftedness 101 (New York: Springer, 2013), went into third printing within 6 months of its release. A popular presenter, Linda has keynoted conferences in New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia, Denmark, Ireland, the U.S., and others.


Click here to learn about Linda's Contributions on Twice Exceptional Learners


Bobbie Gilman

Barbara (Bobbie) Jackson Gilman, M.S., Associate Director, has worked with Linda Silverman since 1991, beginning just after her own sons were tested at GDC. She has a background in Psychology and Child Development from Duke and Purdue. Bobbie consults with parents and educators, plans and interprets assessment to guide educational planning, participates in research using our data on over 6,500 gifted children, promotes effective gifted assessment (working with Pearson, Riverside, and Pro Ed in test development), and teaches advocacy classes. Bobbie has a particular interest in advocacy since realizing her own children should have come with a manual! Her fourth book, Gifted Minds Empowered: Advocacy to Develop Gifted Children’s Strengths (2019), is her most comprehensive advocacy book yet for parents and educators, with expanded information on higher levels of giftedness, twice exceptionality and the law. It is the textbook for GDC advocacy classes. Bobbie co-chairs with Dr. Dan Peters the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) Assessments of Giftedness Special Interest Group (SIG). The members’ work on twice-exceptional issues includes the 2013 “Critical Issues in the Identification of Gifted Students with Co-existing Disabilities: The Twice-Exceptional.” The SIG’s research on the WISC-IV and WISC-V provided the basis for NAGC guidelines to optimize use of these popular intelligence tests (see the 2018 NAGC position statement, “Use of the WISC-V for Gifted and Twice-Exceptional Identification”) for ALL gifted children. The recommended approaches improve the test’s ability to identify specific strengths in gifted children who are culturally diverse, economically deprived, highly gifted, or twice exceptional.

Nancy Miller

Nancy B. Miller, Ph.D., Associate, holds degrees in psychology and sociology and has received advanced training in family processes and children’s psychological adjustment. In 2008, she became Editor for Advanced Development, a journal on adult giftedness. From 2002-2006, she was Executive Officer for Sociologists for Women in Society and taught courses at both the graduate and undergraduate level at the University of Akron, including socialization; children, youth and society; and sociology of the family. Her numerous publications focus on emotional development, gender and giftedness, women’s social support and adjustment, and family processes. She has worked with Dr. Silverman for the past 28 years and is committed to fostering children’s social and emotional development at home and at school. She brings a sociological perspective to the assessment of children at the Gifted Development Center.

Ann DeMers

 Ann DeMers

Ann W. DeMers, M.A., N.C.S.P., Associate, holds a Master's degree in Special Education and a state license as well as national certification in School Psychology.  She has recently retired with 31 years of experience in Jefferson County Schools as a special educator, classroom teacher and school psychologist. Ann’s experience includes teaching conflict resolution, anger management and social skills and supporting students with severe emotional disabilities. She has training and experience with students who are Twice Exceptional. Ann has been an examiner at the Gifted Development Center since 2003. When not working with kids and families at the GDC, Ann will often be found volunteering at Ralston House, an advocacy center for children victimized by abuse. Currently the Board President, Ann serves on the Development Committee, and is the Co-Chair of the Pinwheel Project fundraiser. Ann was chosen as one of the Honorees for the 2013 Celebrate Women of Jefferson County Award. 

Connie Tucker

Connie Tucker
Connie C. Tucker, M.S., N.C.S.P., Associate, holds a Master's degree in School Psychology, and a Diplomate in School Neuropsychology. She has held state and national certificates in school psychology since 1988. Connie recently retired after working for 20 years in Jefferson County Schools where she conducted psychological assessments to determine learning disabilities or emotional disorders, counseled at-risk children, and consulted with teachers to develop interventions to help children become successful in school.  Connie has assessed gifted children at the Gifted Development Center since 2000.  As the mother of gifted daughters, she has learned through experience the joy of giftedness and the need for advocacy for gifted children.

Helen McVicar, MBA, Associate

Helen McVicar, MBA, Associate, is licensed by the Colorado Department of Education as a School Psychologist. She recently retired after 21 years working in Jefferson County Public Schools conducting comprehensive assessments and writing IEPs and 504 Plans, and providing mental health services, crisis management, applied behavior analysis and consultation. She has worked for GDC as an Associate since 1997 providing assessments of gifted children and young adults. Helen holds an MBA in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from City University of New York and completed a Post-Masters Licensure Program in School Psychology at Marywood University. As she has become more interested in twice-exceptional and learning disabilities, Helen completed the School Neuropsychology Post-Graduate Certification Program in 2006 and received a Diplomate by the American Board of School Neuropsychology. In addition to cognitive, academic and social/emotional assessment, she can also consider dyslexia, writing and math disabilities, and aspects of attention, memory and executive functioning.

Vanessa Ewing, Ph.D., Associate

Dr. Vanessa Ewing, Ph.D., Associate, received her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology with an emphasis in Individual Differences in Cognition. Over more than 20 years, she has served as a principal, preschool—middle school teacher, and academic advisor for gifted and twice exceptional children. Vanessa works as a Gifted/Talented Coordinator within Denver Public Schools, working across schools- in particular with charter schools throughout the district.  Vanessa also designed, coordinated and served as a lead instructor for an online Master’s Degree program for teachers at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, leading to licensure in gifted education. Her passions include working with gifted early childhood students, as well as developing academic and social plans for gifted and twice exceptional students. Currently, her work with GDC involves assessing applicants for admission to The Hope Academy, an early childhood program for diverse gifted learners. She also teaches psychology and education courses to adult learners. She continues to take graduate courses in gifted education and counseling. When not immersed in the field of giftedness, Vanessa enjoys volunteering, playing with her son, reading, painting, writing, and traveling.