The Office of Gifted and Talented Education began with the arrival of Dorothy Lawshe. Ms. Lawshe began her career in Michigan at Ingham ISD in 1984. With the assistance of the late Garry Michaels, she developed programming at Ingham ISD and worked to develop a relationship with Michigan State University. In May 1986 the first GATE Meeting was held with Dr. Shebuski, Superintendent of Ingham ISD, Garry Michaels, Nancy Mincemoyer of the State of Michigan, Olivia Letts and Marlyce Harte from the Lansing School District, Dale Herder from LCC, Cassandra Book from the MSU College of Education, Peter Lappen, Donald Lammers from MSU, Carlton Guthrie of Trumark and Ingham ISD Board Member and Ben Schwenderer, Jr of the Thoman Foundation.
These individuals formed the first GATE Advisory Board. The purpose of the GATE Advisory Board: To help with the establishment and institutionalization of programs for academically talented students. Programs to be implemented at institutions of higher learning in the Greater Lansing area. Programs to be accessible to all students regardless of race or economic status of a student’s family.
In June 1986 Dimensions began with 80 students and High Achievers with 4 students, who were sent to Purdue University for instruction. In September 1986 CHAMP with 13 boys and 1 girl began on the MSU campus.
In 1987 GATE continued to grow with Girls’ Math/Science Conference. With 40 speakers, 80 sixth grade girls and their 80 parents met in Okemos for a one-day conference to encourage girls to consider careers in areas of math and science.
In 1988, the Dart Foundation provided funds for the MASCOT Program. The first MASCOT program was held in June 1995 with 150 students and 18 teachers from Lansing, Haslett and Okemos.
On November 13, 1998, Ms. Lawshe received the MSU College of Education Crystal Apple Award for her efforts to create programming for area gifted and talented students.
With prompting from parents from various Detroit suburbs, the MST@MSU program is developed. With funding from MSU, Ingham ISD and the Thoman Foundation, the program began in June 1990 with 60 students. It was during this same year that the GATE Office opened in the Honors College with the assistance of Don Lammers, HC Director. In January of that same year, Sylvia Buie joined Ingham ISD and the GATE Office. With both Dorothy and Sylvia working together, all 8 GATE programs were maintained and continued to grow.
In 1998 Jenny McCampbell succeeded Dorothy Lawshe as GATE Director, although Dorothy continued to work part-time for the next two years. As soon as she arrived on campus, Jenny was asked to work with all of the dual enrollment students attending MSU. She also continued operating the programs Dorothy had been at MSU and maintained the GATE Advisory Board. During 1998-99 Jenny and Dorothy collaborated to create the HATS (High Achieving Talented Students) Luncheon at MSU, to honor the top 1% of 7th and 8th grade students from Michigan involved in the Midwest Academic Talent Search. During 1999-2000, Dorothy conducted a 14 Year Follow-Up Study by contacting former students in the GATE programs.
In 1999 Jenny, working with Ron Fisher, Director of the Honors College, Sylvia Buie and a committee of professors from MSU, wrote and received a grant for $200,000 from the US Department of Education to provide funds for the development of on-line AP courses, which was of high interest to President Peter McPherson. Top professors in the areas of physics, economics, psychology and human geography created the courses. Also through that grant, Jenny coordinated a conference about on-line learning, which was attended by high school educators from throughout the state; and held workshops for AP teachers from schools with a high percentage of low-income students.
In 2000, personnel from the MSU Development office helped Jenny establish the Dorothy Lawshe Endowment Fund to provide needs-based scholarship money for students in GATE programs. To get the fund started, Jenny and Sylvia Buie, with the help of a committee and Director Ron Fisher, held a dinner honoring Dorothy for her many years of accomplishment in creating programs for high-achieving students. Former students and educators from across the country attended, and the fund was close to $100,000 within 5 years.
In 2001-2002, Jenny worked with Professor John Metzler of MSU’s African Studies Program to create Explore Africa at MSU to add to the GATE offerings. This is a one-week residential summer program for students completing 10th and 11th grades. Professor Metzler taught a major portion and handpicked excellent graduate students from Africa who were studying at MSU to teach other portions. To add to the whole experience, Jenny reached out to the Lutheran Social Services Program to encourage attendance by the Lost Boys of Sudan who had recently been placed in area high schools. The result was an excellent mix of 14 Caucasian, African-American and African students who attended, studying the problems and the potential to be found within the many countries of Africa; learning about the culture though food, music and dance; and having a good time interacting with each other.
In 2003, Jenny brought the Michigan/Shiga Student Exchange Program to the GATE office because it was being dropped by the Michigan Department of Education due to budget cuts. This is a two-way exchange of 20 high school students from Michigan and 20 from Shiga, Japan. The Michigan students go to Shiga for two weeks, where they stay with host families and attend school. In September, the Shiga students come to Michigan for two weeks, staying with the high school students whom they had hosted. The program has been operating since 1990, and Jenny had been involved as a volunteer in many ways since 1994. It is an important part of the Michigan-Shiga sister state relationship, which started in 1968.
In 2004 and 2005, Jenny became closely involved in the campus-wide organization of pre-college programs. In this capacity she worked on a committee directed by Diane Zimmerman of MSU Outreach on the development of the MSU website for all pre-college programs; and she worked on a committee directed by Glenda Hammond of Upward Bound to create the MSU Precollege Academic Scholarship. This is offered to selected students from the precollege programs to entice them to attend MSU by giving them a scholarship to be used the first year they matriculate at the university.
Kathee McDonald became the third GATE Director in October of 2005. Since her arrival, several new programs have been added to the GATE roster. These include China Adventure, CSI: The Forensic Program at MSU, and ISHALL: Intensive Study of Humanities, Arts, Language and Literature. Along with new programming came new collaborations with the Asian Studies Center, the College of Arts and Letters, Department of Anthropology and School of Criminal Justice.
She has continued to represent the GATE Office on campus by participating on the Precollege Leadership Committee, the Precollege Committee, as the affiliate representative on the Conceptual Modeling Committee, which developed the step-by-step model for processing of new affiliates on the MSU campus, the Affiliates Committee, and as the Michigan Liaison for the Northwestern University Midwest Academic Talent Search. She is also the college representative on the Michigan Sister State Committee.
She continues to act as an advisor for high school students who dual enroll at MSU. With more high school students seeking precollege opportunities, she is working with Michigan Virtual University on programming options for students unable to attend classes on the MSU campus.
Changes to existing GATE programs have been implemented with new technology and science courses added the MST@MSU such as Hands-On Video and Desktop Publishing, Flash I and II, Nuclear Astrophysics, and Zoology. Working with Residential College of Arts and Humanities Dean Stephen Esquith, a residential component was added to the High Achievers Program, allowing students to take afternoon courses with RCAH instructors.
In addition to changes in programming, the GATE Office has increased their marketing of programs with a comprehensive brochure. This brochure lists all GATE programs, allowing students who may not be eligible to currently participate in a program to plan ahead. The GATE Office also added an electronic newsletter, monthly e-mails or postal mailings, plus Facebook and Twitter accounts.