A little about Joi
Hello and welcome to my site!
The tension between who I've been, who I am, and who I'm growing to be, coupled with my drive to thrive, work together to guide my professional work. My lifelong mission is to positively impact individuals, communities, and our overall society. Because of my own lived experiences, including professional learning (or lack thereof) as an educator and I/O psychologist, I am passionate about designing, delivering, evaluating, and improving professional learning for individuals and employers about the needs of and strategies to support gifted people in a variety of settings.
Despite sporadic enriched educational opportunities by well-meaning teachers, I did not learn I was gifted until years after working as a classroom teacher. Finally learning about my profound giftedness explained my struggles to connect with more neurotypical colleagues and peers; chronic multipotentiality with so many degree and career explorations; and extreme curiosity, creativity, concerns, and intensities.
It is problematic that my educators, colleagues, managers, and most importantly, my Self, were all under-educated about giftedness. In 2015, I tested into Denver Mensa and other high-IQ organizations and began researching giftedness. I remember crying from the intensity of being finally seen and understood when reading Dr. Linda Silverman's The Construct of Asynchronous Development (1997), which shared the following definition by the Columbus Group in 1991:
Giftedness is asynchronous development in which advanced cognitive abilities and heightened intensity combine to create inner experiences and awareness that are qualitatively different from the norm. This asynchrony increases with higher intellectual capacity. The uniqueness of the gifted renders them particularly vulnerable and requires modifications in parenting, teaching and counseling in order for them to develop optimally.
In 2015, I started a master's program in industrial and organizational psychology. I wanted to do my capstone around supporting gifted adults at work, but was dissuaded by an advisor because "that would be a whole career." My capstone ended up focusing on cognitive ability testing in the workplace.
In 2018, I enrolled as a doctoral student at the University of Denver, working closely with Dr. Norma Hafenstein, and anticipate graduating with my PhD of curriculum and instruction, specializing in gifted education leadership in August 2023. I have not yet proposed my dissertation but I have booked my graduation party!
My dissertation will examine the interests, knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics of gifted education teachers and leaders. This work will be used to inform the US Department of Labor's O*Net Online database with a goal of increasing identification and encouragement of students who might enjoy being gifted education teachers, coordinators or specialists, and directors.
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Scroll to learn more about me through social media links, a brief biography, selected works, and selected strengths and limitations.
Thank you for stopping by!
Joi is currently a PhD student of curriculum and instruction, specializing in gifted education leadership, at the Morgridge College of Education, University of Denver. She earned her MS in industrial and organizational psychology from Northcentral University and BS in mathematics with a secondary education endorsement from the University of Northern Colorado.
She currently works at the University of Denver as a consultant; an adjunct professor of gifted education graduate courses at the University of Denver; a graduate assistant for I-REECCH, a US Department of Education Jacob K. Javits federal grant project delivering virtual professional learning about giftedness to rural Colorado elementary teachers and leaders; a graduate assistant to the Daniel L. Ritchie Endowed Chair in Gifted Education; and as Director of Professional Education at the Gifted Development Center. Joi has also worked as a middle and high school math teacher at Colorado charter and public schools, curriculum trainer with College Preparatory Mathematics, teaching and learning program assistant and conference manager with the Colorado Education Association, and office manager and organizer with the Boulder Valley Education Association.
Joi serves on the board of SoulSpark Learning; the board of the Morgridge College of Education Student Association; as a community representative to the Colorado Department of Education's Gifted Education State Advisory Committee; as a membership governor for the Colorado Academy of Educators for the Gifted, Talented, and Creative; as chair of the Education and Gifted Youth Committee at the Mensa Foundation; and on the elections and diversity committees with the National Association for Gifted Children.
Her primary career interest is supporting the career development and wellbeing of the gifted and the professionals who work with the gifted and twice-exceptional population and is especially interested in the population of highly and profoundly gifted children and adults.
Other research interests include designing high-quality professional development for educators and other professionals working with the gifted; workplace dynamics and organizational effectiveness; psychological assessments of cognitive ability; community building, influences of media; artificial intelligence and natural language processing; Dabrowski's Theory of Positive Disintegration; galaxial governance; and gifted adults in the workspace.
Joi identifies as a multiracial (adopted Asian-African-European naturalized U.S. American), multicultural, multipotential, profoundly gifted, woman of color. She lives in Littleton, Colorado, USA with her fiancé and their perennial garden. She loves karaoke, writing, and other creative expressions; pandas; and intentional actions of kindness towards self, others, and our environments.
Leading cohesive teams, presented at the 2018 Colorado Education Association Summer Leadership Conference (Lin et al., 2018)
Gifted adults 101, presented at a Virtual Regional Gathering, San Diego Mensa (Lin, 2021)
Graduate assistant to the chair, Global Principles for Professional Learning in Gifted Education (WCGTC, 2021)
Editorial associate, Perspectives in Gifted Education: Influences and Impacts of the Education Doctorate II Vol. 8 (Hafenstein, 2021)
Conference Coordinator, 2021 GEPSC: Addressing Disproportionality in Gifted Education, University of Denver
Adjunct Professor of Gifted Education, University of Denver
Director of Professional Education, Gifted Development Center
Unique perspective as an educational leader who is:
multiracial (Asian-African-European adopted and naturalized US American)
multicultural (Charlotte, North Carolina; Savannah, Georgia; Okinawa, Japan; Chicago, Illinois; England, United Kingdom; Denver, Colorado)
and a female of color who resonates with being two-spirit
The Myers Briggs Type Indicator (Human Metrics)
There is controversy around the MBTI, but here are Joi's results over time
ENFP (2022) Extravert(47%) iNtuitive(69%) Feeling(38%) Perceiving(16%)
ENFP (2017) Extravert(31%) iNtuitive(69%) Feeling(19%) Perceiving(22%)
ENTJ (2012) Extravert(44%) iNtuitive(50%) Thinking(6%) Judging(50%)
Strengths from Gallup (Clifton StrengthsFinder, 2014)
The Indigo Assessment (Indigo Education Company, 2019)
will bring high energy and enthusiasm to the researching process
volunteers her knowledge on many subjects
looks for the positive side of every situation
motivates others to continue education
always willing to share her ideas on how to enhance the surroundings
will convey optimism for new ideas
expresses and strives for a balanced team
Top 5 skills
Value to a Team
positive sense of humor
creative problem solving
High on Influencing
high I's tend to be enthusiastic, persuasive, and talkative
Joi is only fluent in American English and is happy to work with translators to share the work.
Joi prefers virtual engagements and only accepts a limited number of in-person events.
Joi is more likely to accept collaborations that are interesting, impactful, or otherwise highly-relevant to her work or communities.
Low on Compliance (Indigo Education Company)
Low C's tend to be independent, unsystematic, and less concerned with details.
While happy and willing to develop materials aligned with goals, standards, or legal requirements, if Joi has a concern about or ideas to improve systems, she is likely to ask questions and make suggestions that challenge the status quo to increase efficiency, effectiveness, or client outcomes.