Jane Piirto, Ph.D.
Dr. Jane Piirto is Trustees’ Professor in the School of Education at Ashland University in Ashland, Ohio, where she is the Director of Talent Development Education. Dr. Piirto has been awarded the 2007 Lifetime Achievement Award by the Mensa Education and Research Foundation. The award, only the fifth given, recognizes outstanding professionals who have contributed a lifetime to scholarly pursuits in intelligence, giftedness, or creativity.
Dr. Piirto has an M.A. in English from Kent State University, an M.Ed. in Counseling from South Dakota State University, and a Ph.D. in School Leadership from Bowling Green State University. She has been a high school teacher, a counselor, a college instructor of humanities, a coordinator of programs for the talented, principal of the Hunter College Elementary School, and an artist in the schools in Michigan, South Dakota, Ohio, and New York City. She has served as a consultant and speaker in Europe, the Near East, Southern Asia, South America, and throughout the United States. She also has been a visiting professor at the University of Georgia.
Dr. Piirto has published more than 100 poems, short stories, and articles, as well as 13 books and chapbooks, among them Understanding Creativity; Talented Children and Adults; Understanding Those Who Create; “My Teeming Brain”: Understanding Creative Writers; Luovuus, A Location in the Upper Peninsula (collected poems, stories, and essays); and The Three-Week Trance Diet. Her book Understanding Those Who Create has been translated into Chinese.
Dr. Piirto has received two Individual Artist Fellowships—one in fiction and one in poetry—from the Ohio Arts Council, as well as a grant from the Fulbright-Hays Foundation. A native of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, she has two grown children and a granddaughter.