Mary Ruth Coleman, Ph.D., is a senior scientist, emerita at the FPG Child Development Institute at the The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and research associate professor in the School of Education. Her research focuses on students with exceptional learning needs, in particular students with learning disabilities and students with gifts.
She has directed several FPG projects. Project U-STARS~PLUS, (Using Science, Talents and Abilities to Recognize Students ~ Promoting Learning in Under-served Students) was a Javits Gifted and Talented Student Education Program. Project ACCESS (Achievement in Content and Curriculum for Every Student's Success) was funded by the US Department of Education. She was Co-Principal Investigator for the Early Learning Disabilities Initiative sponsored by the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation. From 1994 to 1998, she Co-Directed North Carolina's Statewide Technical Assistance for Gifted Education Center. Prior to this, she was Associate Director of the Gifted Education Policy Studies Program at the Frank Porter Graham Center.
Dr. Coleman has numerous publications and is the junior author on the 12th Edition of the seminal textbook, Teaching Exceptional Children, by Samuel A. Kirk, James J. Gallagher, Mary Ruth Coleman, and Nicholas J. Anastasiow (2006). Dr. Coleman served three terms on the Board of Directors for the Association for Gifted (TAG) one of which she was President and recently completed her third term on the Board of the National Association for Gifted Children. She is currently President of the Council for Exceptional Children.
Dr. Coleman began her career as a teacher in public and private elementary schools, with both regular classroom and special education assignments.