F. Richard Olenchak, Ph.D.

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F. Richard “Rick” Olenchak, Ph.D., is a professor, psychologist, and Director of the Urban Talent Research Institute at the University of Houston in Texas, where he has been since 1998. He graduated cum laude from the University of Michigan and completed advanced work in Educational Leadership at Eastern Michigan University and in Educational Psychology at Arizona State University. He earned his Ph.D. in Gifted Education and Educational Psychology from the University of Connecticut. For 11 years prior to going to Houston, he was Director of Teacher Education and Chair of Special Education at the University of Alabama.

Dr. Olenchak was elected President of the National Association for Gifted Children in 2003 and served in that role until 2006. He is a former member of the board of SENG (Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted) and Past-President of the Association for the Education of Gifted Underachieving Students (AEGUS).

Dr. Olenchak has authored or co-authored more than 100 research articles and has presented his work internationally, including keynote addresses in Canada and Mexico and at several large state associations for the gifted and talented. He is the author of a number of book chapters, as well as the book They Say My Kid’s Gifted, Now What?, now in its third edition. He continues to study gifted students with learning and/or emotional difficulties, methods for enhancing creative productivity in students, and ways to overcome underachievement among otherwise able youth.

Dr. Olenchak’s other experience includes work as K-12 director of gifted education in two school districts and director of a federal grant in gifted education. He has taught and been a principal at both elementary and middle school levels. In addition to full-time faculty appointments at Houston and Alabama, he served as invited faculty at the University of North Carolina, University of Connecticut, University of Colorado, Utah State University, Wake Forest University, Rice University, and the College of William and Mary.

 

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