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Temple Grandin to present lectures at Whitworth University Feb. 19-20

January 5, 2016
Whitworth University will welcome Temple Grandin, Ph.D., to its campus and to the Spokane community on Feb. 19-20 for a series of lectures sponsored by the Whitworth Center for Gifted Education and the university’s special education department. Grandin is the most accomplished and well-known adult with autism in the world. Her fascinating life, with all its challenges and successes, has been covered by countless media outlets, as well as by the movie industry.

Over two days, Grandin will present three lectures. Her first is as featured speaker at the Whitworth Gifted Education Institute, where she will present “The World Needs All Kinds of Minds,” on Friday, Feb. 19. The second, “Helping Different Kinds of Minds to be Successful,” will be held later that same day at North Central High School.  The final lecture, “Understanding Animal Behavior,” will be on Saturday, Feb. 20, in Weyerhaeuser Hall at Whitworth University.

“Dr. Grandin has emerged as a strong voice and advocate for students with learning differences, especially those on the autism spectrum,” says Jann Leppien, Ph.D., Margo Long Chair in Gifted Education at Whitworth, who worked with her team to bring Grandin to Spokane. “Her own life journey provides strong evidence, hope, and specific insight into how different minds function. We are honored to bring Dr. Grandin to our campus to not only speak to educators and the general public, but also to provide a special session on her research on animal behavior.”

Leppien, a national leader in gifted and talented education, joined Whitworth University in 2013 as its inaugural Margo Long Chair in Gifted Education, an endowed chair funded by James P. and Wanda Cowles. Endowed faculty chairs strengthen the intellectual vitality of Whitworth University by recruiting and retaining distinguished scholars who are innovators in their disciplines.

 Whitworth’s Gifted Education Institute, “The World Needs All Kinds of Minds” (Feb. 19)
Day-long Institute for Educators

Temple Grandin is the featured speaker at Whitworth’s Gifted Education Institute on Friday, Feb. 19, at 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. in Cowles Auditorium at Whitworth University, with additional presentations from faculty from the Whitworth Special Education Department. This institute highlights the role that educators can take to encourage “2e” or “twice-exceptional” students: learners who are cognitively advanced, yet whose talents may be overlooked due to a disability (often ADHD or an autism spectrum disorder). Strategies and practices will be provided to address the range of diverse academic and emotional needs of such students. For more information, please visit the Whitworth Gifted Education Institute page.

Registration fee is $125 (please reserve tickets at

Whitworth faculty, staff and students may attend Grandin’s key-note speech for free. Register at

“Helping Different Kinds of Minds to be Successful” (Feb. 19) --SOLD OUT
Public Lecture
Temple Grandin will share her personal story, as well as her insights into the vibrant populations known as exceptional children, on Friday, Feb. 19, from 7-8:30 p.m. in the North Central High School Auditorium (1600 N. Howard St., Spokane, Wash.). Included among the exceptional children and adolescents whose needs Grandin will address are gifted students as well as those who have intense support needs. Admission is $20; please reserve tickets at

“Understanding Animal Behavior” (Feb. 20) --SOLD OUT
Public Lecture

Join Temple Grandin, an expert on animal behavior, on Saturday, Feb. 20, at 10:30 a.m.-noon in Weyerhaeuser Hall at Whitworth University. Grandin has designed humane handling systems for half the cattle-processing facilities in the U.S. and is a consultant with the meat industry in developing animal-welfare guidelines. In this presentation, Grandin will draw from her years of research and her own experience with autism to provide insights into how animals think, act and feel. Admission is $20; please reserve tickets at

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian church. The university, which has an enrollment of 3,000 students, offers 60 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


The Center for Gifted Education, Whitworth University, (509) 777-3226 or

Lauren Clark, media relations manager, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or