Jean Sunde Peterson, Ph.D. professor emerita, directed school-counselor preparation in the Department of Educational Studies at Purdue University for several years. In her first career, she was a high school English and foreign language teacher and received a State Teacher of the Year Award. Later, she created a multi-option gifted education program in a large high school.
Working with small groups of gifted teens there for several years inspired Dr. Peterson to pursue a doctorate in counselor education at the University of Iowa. On fellowship there, she did clinical work and consulting for the Belin-Blank Center for Gifted Education and applied her group model to gifted students at a local middle school. Her total of more than 1,400 group sessions led to the research agenda that guided her second career as a counselor educator with special expertise related to the social and emotional development of gifted children and teens.
Reflecting her interests in child and adolescent development and in clinical and educational work, Dr. Peterson has written or co-authored well over 100 books, juried journal articles, and invited textbook chapters, as well as countless articles for education-oriented magazines and newsletters, contributing to both school counseling and gifted education literature and often bridging the two fields. Among her 12 books are Gifted At Risk: Poetic Portraits; Get Gifted Students Talking; Models of Counseling Gifted Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults; and Counseling Gifted Students: A Guide for School Counselors.
Dr. Peterson received 12 awards in teaching, scholarship, or service at Purdue, as well as 10 national research awards, and she continues to present keynote and other conference sessions. She is a licensed mental health counselor, and her small clinical practice is focused on gifted children and adolescents and their families.