August 23, 2017  

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Southern Miss’ Karnes Named to TeachTechTopia’s Top 10 Gifted Educators

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Dr. Frances Karnes

An online educational resource devoted to promoting cutting-edge technology use in the classroom has identified a longtime member of The University of Southern Mississippi faculty as among the best in her field.

Dr. Frances Karnes, a Distinguished University Professor of Gifted Education and director of the university’s Frances A. Karnes Center for Gifted Studies, has been named to TeachTechTopia’s Top 10 Most Influential Special Education Professors.

In citing her for the honor, TeachTechTopia described Karnes and her fellow honorees as striving “to improve the quality of life for gifted and disabled people through their research and efforts.” The educators are not ranked, but listed alphabetically.

“Their spheres of influence may be local, regional or national, but – in all cases – they exhibit a drive and joy in their research focuses and in their abilities to lead and teach others to do the same,” according to a statement on the organization’s website

Karnes joined the university in 1973 as a professor in its Department of Curriculum, Instruction and Special Education. She founded the Center for Gifted Studies in 1979, which has furthered the education of thousands of gifted students and those with leadership abilities through teaching, research and service, academic and leadership enrichment programs.

Named for its founder in 1999, the Karnes Center for Gifted Studies also provides support for teachers of the gifted and their families. Under her leadership, the Center has secured five federal research grants in the last five years.

Karnes has collaborated with many of her current and former graduate students in publishing approximately 200 articles in peer reviewed journals and 44 books on gifted education, and has been a prominent advocate for legislation benefiting gifted education in Mississippi and across the nation. Her graduates have gone on to work in academia, private industry and the public sector to advance her vision for gifted education across the country and around the globe.

Among her many honors and awards, she is the 2003 recipient of the Mississippi Association for Gifted Children’s Award for Excellence, and received the Distinguished University Professor designation this year.

“The field of gifted education is better for the work of Frances Karnes, and this honor recognizes that fact,” said Southern Miss Provost Dr. Bob Lyman. “We’re fortunate to have her as a member of our faculty.”

For more information about the Center for Gifted Studies, online visit For information about the Southern Miss Department of Curriculum, Instruction and Special Education, online visit