Jean Sunde Peterson, Ph.D.
Jean Sunde Peterson, Ph.D, professor emerita in the Department of Educational Studies at Purdue University, directed the School Counseling program for several years. In her first career, she taught high school English and foreign language and received a state Teacher of the Year award. Concurrently, she directed a summer foreign language day camp for children and was involved in teacher education, both for many years. Later, she created a multi-option gifted education program in a large high school.
Working with small groups of gifted teens in that program inspired her to pursue a doctorate in counselor education at the University of Iowa. On fellowship there, she did clinical work and consulting for the Belin-Blank Center for Gifted Education and applied her group model to gifted students at a local middle school. Her facilitating more than 1,300 group sessions led to the research focus that has guided her second career: the social and emotional development of gifted children and teens.
Reflecting her interests in development and in clinical work with gifted youth, Dr. Peterson has written or co-authored more than 100 books, journal articles, and invited textbook chapters, contributing to both school counseling and gifted education literature and often bridging the two fields. Among her books are The Essential Guide for Talking with Gifted Teens; Models of Counseling Gifted Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults; and Portrait and Model of a School Counselor.
Dr. Peterson won numerous awards in teaching, scholarship, and service at Purdue, as well as several national research awards. She presents keynotes and conference sessions on the social and emotional development and counseling concerns of both high- and low-achieving gifted youth. One of her five research awards from the Mensa Education and Research Foundation was for “The Asset-Burden Paradox of Giftedness: A 15-year Phenomenological, Longitudinal Case Study.” She is a licensed mental health counselor and is involved in clinical work with gifted kids and their families.