Donna Y. Ford, PhD, is Professor of Education and Human Development at Vanderbilt University. She is the 2013 Harvie Branscomb Distinguished Professor and former Betts Chair of Education & Human Development. She currently holds a joint appointment in the Department of Special Education and Department of Teaching and Learning.
Professor Ford earned her Doctor of Philosophy degree in Urban Education (educational psychology) (1991), Masters of Education degree (counseling) (1988), and Bachelor of Arts degree in communications and Spanish (1984) from Cleveland State University.
Professor Ford conducts research primarily in gifted education and multicultural/urban education. Specifically, her work focuses on: (1) the achievement gap; (2) recruiting and retaining culturally different students in gifted education; (3) multicultural curriculum and instruction; (4) culturally competent teacher training and development; (5) African-American identity; and (6) African-American family involvement. She consults with school districts, and educational and legal organizations on such topics as gifted education under-representation and Advanced Placement, multicultural/urban education and counseling, and closing the achievement gap.
She is the author/co-author of several books, including Recruiting and Retaining Culturally Different Students in Gifted Education (2013), Reversing Underachievement Among Gifted Black Students (1996, 2010), Multicultural Gifted Education (1999, 2011), Gifted and Advanced Black Students in School: An Anthology of Critical Works (2011). In Search of the Dream: Designing Schools and Classrooms that Work for High Potential Students from Diverse Cultural backgrounds (2004), Diverse Learners with Exceptionalities: Culturally Responsive Teaching in the Inclusive Classroom (2008), and Teaching Culturally Diverse Gifted Students (2005). Several other books are in progress.
Professor Ford has written over 150 articles and book chapters; she has made over a 1,000 presentations at professional conferences and organizations, and in school districts. Dr. Ford’s work has been recognized by various professional organizations