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SENG Board of Directors

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Dr. Lin Lim

Past President

Southern California

Lin holds a doctorate in human development psychology (Boston University), an Academic Graduate Certificate in Mind, Brain, and Teaching (Johns Hopkins University), and Twice-exceptional Education (Bridges Graduate School of Cognitive Diversity in Education). Her parenting journey with her complex outlier children has led to her current interdisciplinary academic interest and focus on synthesizing cultural, attitudes, and conceptual thinking around extreme complex outliers into practical applications. She is an international presenter and keynote speaker on topics including education, diversity, twice-exceptionality, giftedness, interdisciplinary social science, human development, and psychology. She is active in gifted-related diversity equity awareness and advocacy. She is a Dean at Bridges Graduate School of Cognitive Diversity in Education, founder of a non-profit Quark Collaboration Institute, served as President at SENG 2021-2023, and currently serves as the immediate past president at SENG.

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Adam Laningham



Adam Laningham is the author of several books, including Gifted Children & How Trauma Impacts Them, and has over 20 years of experience in the field of education. Adam was recognized as the Arizona Gifted Teacher of the Year, he has taught at several schools in multiple grade levels, created and facilitated numerous gifted programs, and served as a district manager coordinating programs for over 6000 gifted students. Adam is the founder and owner of Bright Child Books and The Gifted Collective. He is currently an international speaker, consultant, and gifted advocate, as well as the President of SENG - Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted, a founding member of Callisto (supporting gifted foster youth), an advisor for CogAT Riverside Insights, and serves on the Leadership Council for Arizona Association for Gifted & Talented.

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Denise Michele Hicks

President Elect


Denise Michele Hicks is originally from a Blue Star Military Family of Chicago, Illinois. She is the former President of the Arizona Association for Gifted and Talented. While in Chicago Public Schools, she participated in gifted programming and STEM enrichment services. She is an alumna from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign and Northwestern University working to continue her family legacy of service in public science, public education, and public health. As President-Elect of SENG's Board of Directors and member of The Arizona Gifted Collaborative, she will continue to work with our SENG Scholars and NAGC's Special Programs which will include STEM, Javits-Frasier Scholars and the Dr. Martin Jenkins Scholars. She has completed her advanced certifications in Gifted and Talented Education at the University of Connecticut at Storrs. Currently, while working on her doctoral studies in STEM Ed Leadership, she serves at Arizona State University in the Center for Bio-mediated, Bio-inspired Geotechnical Engineering Laboratory, ASU ACCESS Educational Program Initiatives and US Military Academies Advising Team for Arizona’s Congressional 3rd District.

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Dr. Sylvia Bagley



Sylvia S. Bagley, Ph.D., is a graduate of the University of California at Los Angeles, where she earned her doctorate in the history and philosophy of education. She was formerly an elementary school teacher and instructional math coach, and is now a professor of equitable instructional leadership in the College of Education at the University of Washington, Seattle. As the parent of three twice-exceptional kids between the ages of 10 and 14, she is grateful for ongoing support from SENG, where she serves on the Board of Directors as Secretary of the Executive Committee and Chair of SMPG.


Dr. Jeffrey Tsang


Northern California

Jeffrey Tsang, PhD FRSPH FIMA SMIEEE WEMT, earned their doctorate in applied mathematics (evolutionary game theory) at the age of 23 from the University of Guelph, Canada. They have previously led SENG to a fiscal surplus in the face of the pandemic, and are returning to serve again as Treasurer for the 2023–24 term. Dr. Tsang is an elected Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health and the Institute of Mathematics & its Applications, and Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. Professionally, they are a Wilderness EMT, are pursuing CPA licensure, and have worked as a senior software engineer at Google, quantitative researcher at a Wall Street firm, bioinformatics professor, and choir section lead. They have also represented Canada in the World Junior Bridge Team Championships, hold a 3rd degree black belt in Taekwondo, and have summited Mt. Aconcagua (22,837ft) in Argentina. Dr. Tsang recalls being introduced to SENG in 2005, when it was a rare resource that was accessible for support and guidance at a critical juncture in their journey. Giving back as Trea- surer, their primary goal is ensuring SENG’s organizational sustainability in serving future generations.

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Lisa Sticca-Conrod

Officer at Large


Lisa Sticca-Conrod is an attorney, professor, professional tutor, educational consultant, and executive functioning coach who has taught for several colleges and universities over the last 20 years in various disciplines, including Law, Ethics, Economics, Leadership, Management, Strategy, and Math. She holds a JD From Quinnipiac University, an MS Educational Psychology (Gifted and Talented Development) from the University of North Texas, Graduate Certificates in Neurodiversity, Executive Functioning, and Autism from Landmark College, as well as undergraduate degrees in Economics and International Studies, with minors in Spanish and Music Theory. Lisa has published several textbooks and other academic materials. Currently, Lisa holds Executive Board leadership positions in three non-profit organizations that advocate for the needs of the gifted and neurodiverse populations. She is currently Vice-President and General Counsel of Gifted Homeschoolers Forum (GHF), head of GHF Press and GHF Dialogue (Journal), Vice-President of the Connecticut Association for the Gifted, and is the Finance Chair-elect for SENG, where she has also served as the Northeast Regional Coordinator for Liaisons.

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Kristin Ashley



Kristin Ashley is a gifted adult passionate about helping people heal, recover, and create happiness as they cross the thresholds of life’s challenges and joys. A holistic health clinician, registered yoga therapist (C-IAYT), and registered yoga teacher (500-RYT) with a background in clinical psychology, crisis and suicide prevention, English, yoga, holistic health, and pain management. Kristin is crossing a new threshold of her own as she is a new business owner of The Holi Land, her holistic health clinic where she will offer clinical yoga therapy and holistic health services both in-person and online. Kristin lives near New Orleans, Louisiana with her cat, Mina.


Shaunne McKinley



Shaunne McKinley is currently a Gifted Specialist in the Deer Valley School District in Phoenix, Arizona. She has been in education for 20 years. Shaunne teaches reading, math and social-emotional lessons to gifted learners. She is a member of her campus leadership team and the advisor for the National Elementary Honor Society. Shaunne has also been a member of the district Gifted leadership team for 5 years. Shaunne is an active member in her church community, and is an advocate for promoting gifted information and awareness to families. She is married to a Marine Corps veteran and has two adult sons. Her youngest son was identified as a gifted learner in second grade, which began her journey to learning more about giftedness. Shaunne is a trained SENG Model Parent Group facilitator and a member of the Arizona Association for Gifted and Talented. She is a graduate of Arizona State University.

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Rianne van de Ven



Rianne van de Ven (1971, the Netherlands) is a social entrepreneur specialized in gifted adults. After a career in Telecom, ICT, and banking she started her own company as a professional coach in 2007. First part time, next to her job at a large Dutch bank, but since 2016 she is fully self-employed and works as an author, speaker, trainer, supervisor, and teacher on the subject of gifted adults. She started a second company where she provides professional services for gifted adults in the workplace together with 20 colleagues.


Gayle Bentley


Southern California

Gayle Bentley is a third-year doctoral candidate at Bridges Graduate School of Cognitive Diversity in Education and the mother of three neurodivergent sons. She has taught instrumental music in the public schools for 23 years and now serves as the Academic Director of 2e4ME Academy in Newport Beach, California. She is also the founder of The Bentley Center. Last year, she published her first book with Dr. Lin Lim, Using Picture Books to Help Little Ones Learn About Themselves. She regularly presents at state and national gifted and 2e conferences, including SENG and NAGC.

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Nisia Patalan



Nisia Patalan has been an educator for 25 years, 17 of which have focused on gifted learners. Her specific professional focus is the identification and service of gifted students from culturally, linguistically, and economically diverse populations. SENG has provided Nisia with support, empathy, and countless resources and she is thrilled to be on the board and able to give back to the community. Nisia loves developing potential in children and adults and busting myths about what it means to be gifted. She is a Gifted Education Regional Consultant for the southwest corner of Colorado, the gifted coordinator for the San Juan BOCES, and owns a small (but mighty) Professional Development business (Spark Education). Outside of work, you’ll find her running around in the mountains with her kids and friends!


Kristy Peloquin



With a fierce love of helping others, Kristy’s career has always gravitated towards public service. After earning her MFA in poetry and creative writing from Texas State University, she began working for the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission (THGC) as their first-ever staff member. She assisted commissioners in establishing April as Holocaust Awareness and Remembrance month in Texas. After her time with THGC, Kristy went on to serve as an assistant professor of English with Austin Community College for over eight years, during which time she was nominated multiple times for awards in teaching and published several works. Currently she is an adjunct professor of English at Huston-Tillotson University, an HBCU in Austin. Kristy also created curriculum for and co-led therapeutic creative writing programs for a grief and loss counseling center. In 2018, Kristy published a book of poetry which explores the complexities of secondary trauma on individuals and society. Kristy also works in development for the Texas Historical Commission, overseeing key diversity initiatives and supporting multiple capital campaigns, writing grants, and working to secure philanthropic funding for state-wide historic preservation projects and programs. She is at work on her second book of poems and on a memoir.

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Dr. Ciminy St. Clair



Dr. St. Clair earned her bachelor’s degree in Elementary and Early Childhood Education from Penn State University. She taught first grade before moving to Norwin School District where she has been in the gifted department for over 18 years. She has coordinated the gifted programs for grades K-4, 5-6, 7-8 and 9-12. She holds her master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction, her Gifted Endorsement, and a doctorate in Educational Leadership through Liberty University focusing on underachievement in the gifted population. Most recently, she served on the Pennsylvania Association for Gifted Education (PAGE) board for six years and is the current past president of the organization. She is a true advocate for gifted individuals and is an active member of PAGE, NAGC, and SENG. She is an international presenter on topics including gifted education and advocacy, twice-exceptionality, and LGBTQIA+.

SENG Staff


Heather Pace

Executive Director



Brian Shea

Operations & Communications

New York

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Trent Cash

Member Relations



Saba Seyoum

Financial Officer

New York

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