Dr. Deborah Ruf - Qualifications

Educational Background

• University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Ph.D., 1998. Psychological Foundations of Education. Major emphases in Measurement and Evaluation, Learning and Cognition. Research specialties in high giftedness and levels of intelligence, and the social, emotional and educational aspects of intellectual levels.
• University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, M.Ed., 1975. Elementary Administration/Supervision. Minor in special education.
• Ohio Wesleyan University, Delaware, Ohio, B.A., 1971. Elementary Education.


• Certified by Riverside Publishing Company as trained and qualified to administer and interpret their highest level "restricted tests" and others, including the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales (LM and 5th Edition), the Woodcock-McGrew-Werder Mini-Battery of Achievement, and the Scales of Independent Behavior - Revised (SIB-R).
• Certified in 2003 by Riverside Publishing Company as a trainer for professionals who will administer the Stanford-Binet Fifth Edition Intelligence Test (SB-5), for ages 4-85 years.
• Certified by Pearson Assessments (previously Psychological Corporation) at their highest level, Level C, to administer and interpret the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-IV (WISC-IV), the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence-IV (WPPSI-IV), and the Wechsler Individual Achievement Test-III (WIAT-III).
• Certified as qualified to administer and interpret the Susan Harter Scales (University of Denver) for the Self-Perception Profile for Children, Self-Perception Profile for Adolescents, Adult Self-Perception Profile, Social Support Scale for Children, Scale of Intrinsic Versus Extrinsic Orientation in the Classroom, Self-Perception Profile for Children with Learning Disabilities, and the Dimensions of Depression Profile for Children and Adolescents.
• Certified by Consulting Psychologists Press, Inc., as qualified and experienced in the administration and interpretation of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and the Murphy-Meisgeier Type Indicator for Children.
• Certified by Center for Applications of Psychological Type (CAPT) as qualified and experienced in the administration and interpretation of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and the Murphy-Meisgeier Type Indicator for Children.

Relevant past experience

Developed the Ruf Estimates™ of Levels of Gifted Online Assessment, a unique, first of its kind tool allowing parents to discover their children's intellectual abilities at an early age.

• Developed Self-Esteem Test for Children, Self-Esteem Test for Teens, and Self-Esteem Test for Adults, online tools based on the Susan Harter Scales.

• Invited to serve as a field tester, Spring 2012, in the normative sampling of highly gifted children by Pearson Assessment for the updating of the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scales of Intelligence, Fourth Edition. Tested 50 children between the ages of 3 and 7.

• Invited to serve as a field tester, Fall 2012, in the normative sampling of highly gifted children by Pearson Assessment for the updating of the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, Fifth Version.

• Reviewer for Roeper Review once a year from 2008 to the present.

• International speaker, from 1987 to the present. Public speaking has included local, state-level, national and international parent and educational organizations, primarily in the area of gifted education.

• Teacher, 3rd-6th grade in Alexandria, Virginia.
• Teacher, gifted/talented classes, K-5th grade in Eagan, Minnesota.
• Adjunct instructor undergraduate and graduate education and gifted education for North Dakota State University, Moorhead State University (Minnesota), St. Mary’s University (Minnesota) and University of St. Thomas (Minnesota.
• Conducted 5-year research project on social and emotional aspects of highly and profoundly gifted adults. Blind study employing written, by-mail surveys. Basic question was this: In a group of highly intelligent people, what role did factors of home and school life play in their adult outcome? Applied theories of Maslow, Dabrowski, and Kohlberg in the analysis. Initial results reported as 41 case studies and their analysis in Ph.D. dissertation, 1998. Excerpts: Environmental, Familial, and Personal Factors That Affect the Self-Actualization of Highly Gifted Adults: Case Studies.
• Parent of three now-grown sons.

Recent board, professional, and volunteer positions

Founder and President of TalentIgniter™, an online resource for people wishing to learn more about their own intelligence and how to nurture it from cradle to grave, including free and affordable products, in 2000.

• Founder and President of Educational Options, an educational consulting business, in 1998. Conducts and interprets intellectual, achievement, personality, and social/emotional assessments for children and adults. Consults and speaks with parents and educators on topic of social/emotional/educational needs of the gifted, including specific school and family recommendations.

• Guest editor, special edition on Homeschooling Gifted Children for the Mensa Research Journal, published Fall 2007.
• Co-chair of Parents Day on Saturday, November 10, 2007, during the National Association of Gifted Children’s annual convention November 7-11.
• NAGC (National Association for Gifted Children) Parent Trust, appointment January 2007.
• Deacon, Westminster Presbyterian Church, Minneapolis, 2005-2008.
• Young Scholar Specialist for the Davidson Institute for Talent Development.
• Recommended Testing & Counseling Resource for The Institute for Educational Advancement.
• American Mensa's National Gifted Children's Program Coordinator July 2003-July 2008.
• Twin Cities Area Site Coordinator for Riverside Publishing Company's standardization of the Stanford-Binet 5 Intelligence Test; Coordinator of Gifted Subsample standardization.
• Board Member, Hennepin County Children's Mental Health Advisory Council, February 2000 to 2002.
• Board Member, MN Council for Exceptional Children, 1994.
• Board Member, MN Council for Gifted & Talented, June, 1990-August, 1994.
• Board Member, Fargo Community Health, 1981-83.


• Mensa National Service Award, July 2008
• Mensa Foundation Intellectual Benefits Award. July 2007
• Mensa National Chair Award, July 2005
• American Mensa, July 2003 - Best Newsletter Author nomination.
• American Mensa, July, 2002 - Volunteer Award for Educational Speaking and Advocacy.
• December 1995, Beijing, China- Selected as Delegate to the Sino-American Joint Conference on Exceptionality, Beijing, China. Under the auspices of the Citizen Ambassador Program and the Council for Exceptional Children, 6 day cultural and educational exchange between American and Chinese educators. Invited to present paper: “Viewpoints of Adult Gifted on Their Education and Family Experiences,” based on Ph.D. dissertation research.