COE students place in national research competition

left to right, Todd Kettler; Mattie Oveross, first place in the non-doctoral research in progress category; Luke Hurst, second place in the doctoral research in progress category; Dianna Mullet, first place in the doctoral research in progress category; and Anne Rinn-McCann.

By Mary Murphy

Three UNT College of Education students won awards in this year's National Association of Gifted Children Conference Research Competition, the biggest research competition in gifted education for graduate students in the United States, held in November in Phoenix, Ariz.    

This is the third consecutive year that UNT has placed in the NAGC Research Competition, but the first time that multiple UNT students have won. Mattie Oveross won first place in the non-doctoral research in-progress category; Dianne Mullet won first place in the doctoral research in-progress category; and Luke Hurst won second place in the doctoral research in-progress category.

Anne Rinn-McCann and Todd Kettler, both assistant professors in the college's Department of Educational Psychology, annually attend the NAGC conference. Each year, they encourage their students to come with them so they can network, learn from professionals and present their own research. This year, 14 UNT students attended, and eight UNT doctoral students gave presentations.

 "I think it's an honor for the university whenever the winners are announced and faculty from all over the country see that UNT students are doing a good job," Kettler said. "I think it builds the reputation for our program so that when our students graduate and they're applying for jobs, they come from a school with a good reputation."

Oveross said attending the NAGC conference provided a valuable opportunity to learn from nationally recognized experts in the field.

"It was exciting to hear presentations and lectures given by the founders and leaders in our field — I even met a few of the ‘greats' in person," Oveross said. "I felt great pride in UNT and my Department of Educational Psychology when I attended presentations given by my fellow students and professors. It was a wonderful experience and I plan to attend again next year."