Celeste Rhodes, Ph.D.
Dr. Celeste Rhodes was the Director of Research for the Program for the Exceptionally Gifted (PEG) at Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, Virginia, from 2001 to 2003. Previously, Dr. Rhodes was the Assistant, Associate, Director, and Executive Director of PEG over a 16-year span from 1985 to 2001. She was also Associate Professor of Education at Mary Baldwin from 1996 to 2002 and an adjunct faculty member from 1986 to 1996. Earlier, she was a founding board member and coordinator of the Lock Haven University Summer Enrichment Experience (SEE) in 1984. The residential program was for gifted, creative, and talented teens.
While at Mary Baldwin College, Dr. Rhodes received a grant of almost $200,000 from the Malone Family Foundation, which supported the research for the book College at 13. In Spring 2011, the foundation gave PEG a two million dollar scholarship endowment grant for full tuition scholarships for PEG students with serious financial need. Dr. Rhodes co-wrote the grant proposal with Dr. Lydia Petersson, Director of Sponsored Programs and Undergraduate Research. Dr. Rhodes was also instrumentally involved in implementing the 1.25 million dollar PEG development Jessie Ball duPont Foundation grant from 1986 to 1990.
In addition to publishing academic articles in major gifted education journals such as Roeper Review, Journal for the Education of the Gifted, and Journal of Secondary Gifted Education, Dr. Rhodes published a book chapter and many other articles. In 20 years, she presented more than 100 workshops and papers on creativity, leadership strategies and organization, parenting the gifted, radical acceleration, and gifted education advocacy strategies at numerous national, regional, state, and local conferences across the United States and in Canada.
Educated at the City College of New York, CUNY in art in the early 1960s, Dr. Rhodes earned her B.S., Magna Cum Laude, in Dance Education at the University of Maryland in 1966. In 1972, she got her Master’s in Dance Education at Teachers College, Columbia University and received her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology (Gifted) at the University of Virginia in 1996.
The textbook Exceptional Learners, Introduction to Special Education (7th ed., 1997), by D. Hallahan and J. Kauffman, one of the most frequently used texts for graduate-level introductory courses in special education, featured Dr. Rhodes in “Success Stories: Special Educators at Work.” In 1993, she received the John C. Gowan Graduate Student Award from the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC). The American Association of University Women (Lock Haven Branch) named her the “Outstanding Woman of 1982.”
Dr. Rhodes battled bravely against cancer as she helped to write College at 13. She died in May 2008 before the book was published.