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USM’s Karnes Center for Gifted Studies Launches Mississippi Talent Development Initiative

Mon, 03/13/2023 - 09:47am | By: Heather Houston

Mississippi Talent Development Initiative

The Frances A. Karnes Center for Gifted Studies at The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) is proud to announce the launch of the Mississippi Talent Development Initiative and the expansion of the Summer Program for Academically Talented Youth to include artistically talented students.

In years past, The Karnes Center served as an affiliate of the Duke University Talent Identification Program (DukeTIP). Through this partnership, The Karnes Center administered and hosted the Summer Program for Academically Talented Youth (SPATY) at USM. Duke TIP actively recruited Mississippi students for inclusion in SPATY and other similar programs throughout the Southeast; however, during the Covid-19 Pandemic, DukeTIP closed their doors permanently, ceasing to recruit students in Mississippi for programs like SPATY.  

While many programs for students in underserved populations fell to the wayside in recent years, The Karnes Center has continued to welcome a diverse population of students from across the state of Mississippi and surrounding states. “We see this time of renewal as an opportunity to expand our programs to better serve our students and to better showcase the many programs available here at Southern Miss,” said Karnes Center Director Dr. Heather Houston.

The Mississippi Talent Development Initiative invites school districts, local community leaders, and members of the state legislature to recommend students from their districts and constituencies for inclusion in two important programs: the Leadership Studies Program and the reimagined Summer Program for Academically and Artistically Talented Youth (SPAATY).

The Leadership Studies Program provides training for students who are interested in making a difference in their communities. The SPAATY program encourages students to delve into advanced courses related to their areas of talent: business and entrepreneurship, STEM, humanities, or visual and performing arts. Please learn more about these offerings and all of the programs hosted by The Karnes Center at their webpage.