Dr. Jane Piirto, 2007 Lifetime Achievement Award winner

The Mensa Foundation presented Dr. Jane M. Piirto of Ashland, Ohio, with the 2007 Lifetime Achievement Award for research in the area of human intelligence, especially giftedness. The award was presented at the Ashland University annual faculty meeting by Greg Timmers, president of the Foundation. With this award, Dr. Piirto received a $1,000 honorarium and a commemorative plaque and medal. The Lifetime Achievement Award is presented every other year.

“When deciding who should be honored with the Mensa Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award, we look for someone who has had an incredible impact on the intellectual community through his or her work in research, theory or other scholarly areas,” Timmers said. “Over the years, Dr. Piirto has educated the public through a long list of publications related to the gifted. Her dedication has extended beyond teaching to investigating how talented individuals learn and placing such individuals with appropriate experts, effectively translating research into practical benefits for society. We are honored to present Dr. Piirto with this award.”

A faculty member at Ashland University since 1988, Dr. Piirto directs AU’s Talent Development Education (TDE) program. She teaches graduate courses in the Master of Education (M.Ed.) course of study, qualitative research in the Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) course of study, and undergraduate courses in educational psychology and creativity. She is a consultant and speaker throughout the United States and abroad and has been a teacher and school administrator in Michigan, South Dakota, Ohio and New York City, where she was the principal of the Hunter College Campus Schools. Dr. Piirto has written more than 100 published scholarly articles, poems, short stories and essays.

The Mensa Lifetime Achievement Award was created in 1999 to honor an individual’s lifetime of contributions to the field of intelligence, giftedness or creativity. To win this award, an individual must have published an exceptional body of work in research, theory or other scholarly areas over a period of not less than 15 years. Winners may be educators and/or practitioners in the fields of giftedness, brain function, human intelligence, creativity or intelligence testing. Winners receive $1,000 and a crystal award.

Dr. Piirto's award was presented by Greg Timmers (right), president of the Mensa Foundation, and Dr. Frank Pettigrew, Ashland University provost.