Fabio Andres Parra-Martinez is a Colombian doctoral candidate in gifted, creative, and talented studies at Purdue University.
“My goal and involvement in teaching, leadership, and research is advocating for and supporting gifted youth from minoritized social groups,” Parra-Martinez said. “My doctoral research focuses on a wide scope of interests such as identity, motivation, teacher preparation, and policy development in gifted education, in the U.S. and overseas.”
Parra-Martinez received his bachelor’s degree with honors in English philology from the National University of Colombia, where he also was an English and Spanish academic writing instructor. He completed his undergraduate thesis at the Gifted Education Research and Resource Institute (GERI) at Purdue — an experience, he said, that “opened my eyes to the value of gifted education to enhance the progress of people and society” and that led to him joining the doctoral program.
Chair-elect of the GLBTQ network at the National Association for Gifted Children, Parra-Martinez advocates for the inclusion of gifted LGBTQ+ and gender-diverse youth. His research interests are the social-emotional development of gifted children, identity development in teachers of gifted children, wisdom, and educational policy. He has served as dorm life coordinator of the GERI Summer Residential Camp for gifted children and has presented workshops for local teachers on the socio-emotional development of gifted learners.
“My research resonates with Mensa’s mission of identifying and supporting gifted youth around the globe,” Parra-Martinez said. “For my preliminary examination, I used a systematic review approach to inform the current state of gifted education policies in Colombia. This project was the starting point in a series of ongoing collaborations that include validation of the HOPE scale (Gentry et al.) to the Colombian context to identify talented youth from diverse backgrounds, research on Colombian teachers’ perceptions of gifted learners, and motivation of high-ability college learners.”
The Foundation’s Gifted Education Fellowship was created to assist outstanding educators in acquiring a graduate degree in gifted education or a closely related field from an accredited institution of higher education.