Summer Institute for the Gifted

at the University of Chicago

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

A Note from the Academic Dean, Ashley Solesbee

I currently work in Durham, North Carolina. I have been teaching students in Title 1/High needs middle schools in North and South Carolina for the last 9 years. Prior to moving to Durham, I created and executed 8th grade English Language Arts curriculum for a Gifted and Talented Magnet in South Carolina. As I move into my 10th year, I will be leaving my classroom to build a Gifted Program at Neal Middle School for the first time. The program will be purposefully built to meet the needs of gifted students who primarily come from low socioeconomic areas. I will also be in charge of coaching and mentoring our first year teachers. While I am a bit apprehensive about walking away from a classroom, I am so excited to take on these two important opportunities. I worked for SIG at Yale University in 2012 as their Academic Dean. That job is one of many reasons I am excited to take on my new role at school this year. I was beyond excited for the opportunity to come to SIG here at the University of Chicago and can't wait to get started!

Student Talent Show

Sunday, Aug. 3rd, 7:30pm

1414 E 59th St

Chicago, IL

RSVPs are enabled for this event.

Meet our Instructors!


He has a Bachelor of Arts in English and Music from Indiana University and is working on his Master of Arts in English from DePaul University. This is Adams's second year as an instructor. He enjoys working with motivated, creative students who have intellectual curiosity about the world. This week his class is conducting mock interviews in College Preparation to help students prepare for college visits.


She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Costume Design from the University of Illinois and a Bachelor of Arts in English Education from Purdue University. She loves the small classes at SIG, the incredible kids, incredible staff, and incredible resources! In her Zoology, the class is excited about an upcoming visit to the Botany Pond where they will delve into exploring the Pond's biodiversity.


He has a Master of Architecture and a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from Kansas State University. He is excited to be a teacher at SIG this summer because he appreciates the opportunity to share and impart knowledge, particularly with gifted and talented students. In his digital photography class, Armstrong is helping his students learn how to get varied depth of field to achieve different degrees of focus.


She has a Master of Arts in Literacy Education from Northeastern Illinois University, a Masters of Technology in Education from National-Louis University, and a Bachelor of Science in Education from Miami University of Ohio. Daniels is interested in broadening the academic and cultural diversity of her teaching practice. She is thoroughly enjoying the intellectually engaging experience at SIG, witnessing the intelligence and creativity of her students who will undoubtedly go on to do many great things in this world. In her Online Design class, students have a weekly activity called Code Wars, which is a friendly competition that allows them to work with a partner to showcase their HTML skills.


She has a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and English from Amherst College and is working on her Master of Arts in Social Sciences at the University of Chicago.

Ling loves introducing kids to fencing and sharing with them her love of the sport.

In Fencing, they are working on their offensive and defensive skills by playing “King/Queen of the Hill”


He has a Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Education and Social Sciences from Indiana University, with a focus on history, economics, and public policy (government).

He enjoys the idea of broadening his teaching practice and gaining experience working with gifted and talented students. In North’s Local Litigations class, they are looking at court proceedings in the United States. As a class, they first put the Three Little Pigs on trial for the murder of Mr. Big Bad Wolf and then they put Goldie Locks on trial for breaking and entering and destruction of property.


She has been a specialist in Gifted/Talented Education for 20+ years and is currently teaching Advanced Placement/Gifted Talented classes in a suburb of Chicago. She is experienced in teaching with Northwestern University’s Center for Gifted, an Academic Director for the Center for Gifted, and has been a presenter at the Illinois Association for Gifted Children. Independent producer of film, video and music. Ozawa joined the academic staff at SIG for a new experience, unlike any other.

The students are working on some pretty impressive engineering projects that require some experience with science and math. They have been able to delve into the basic principles physics as well as the engineering process through DaVinci and Newton.


She has a Master of Science in Education/CAS in Counseling, and a Bacehlor of Arts in Child Psychology and Early Childhood/Childhood Education from Alfred University.

This is her 14th session with SIG and this year she has gotten a taste of everything while working on both residential and teaching staffs. The students, staff, and the great program is what brings her back every year! In Self-Defense Sense, they have been working with different scenarios and acting them out. It’s been great seeing some students break out of their shell.


He has a Master of Arts in Teaching from Hampton University and a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Michigan. This is Robinson’s 3rd year working for SIG. He returns because it is fun and, as the Boy’s Housemaster, he gets to know his students both inside and outside of the classroom. His class is called, “Deconstructing Crime in America.” They have had great guest speakers (such as a policeman and a counselor) to facilitate discussions about topics such as gang violence.


She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from Wright State University, specializing in Technical and Professional Writing and a Liberal Arts Certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language. Thomas has a passion for working with children of diverse backgrounds so when the opportunity to be apart of the SIG 2014 teaching staff arose again, she eagerly accepted. Gifted Teaching allows her to alter curriculum for the faster advancement of our students' gifted minds. She loves it! Concluding the course, Future City Design students are constructing futuristic cities of their own. They are innovating resources and city structures of today into eco-friendly, energy-efficient cities and towns for the cleanliness, and habitability of the future universe.


She has a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Engineering (Mechanical Focus) and is currently pursuing a Teaching Certificate for Secondary Physics at Chicago State.

This is her second year working for SIG because she, “loves the kids SOOO much!” Working with such smart and motivated students increases her knowledge base and challenges her instruction in ways she has not been challenged before. The two activities her students love the most are the Mentos experiment where they see which soda pop makes the best mentos rocket (this teaches them chemical reactions); they also enjoy preparing for their Chem Bowl where they will demonstrate the knowledge they have gained for small prizes.


He has a Bachelor of Arts in Molecular Neuroscience from Connecticut College.

Wisnoff likes SIG because he has the opportunity to teach students the most interesting concepts and innovations in the sciences. In Bioengineering, they have learned the biology behind creating transgenic animals that glow in the dark.