Dr. Hafenstein is the Daniel L. Ritchie Endowed Chair in Gifted Education, Teaching and Learning Sciences Department, Morgridge College of Education, University of Denver. Dr. Hafenstein is lead faculty for gifted education, Full Clinical Professor in the Teaching and Learning Sciences department. She advises masters and doctoral degree students in education of the gifted and teaches graduate courses including Creativity: Theory and Practice, Psychological Aspects of the Gifted, Curriculum for the Gifted, Program Development, Leadership and Communication in Gifted Education, Instructional Strategies for the Gifted, Twice Exceptional Learners, and Research as Problem Identification, Intervention, and Application.
Dr. Hafenstein serves as a member of the Colorado Department of Education’s Gifted and Talented Endorsement Standards Committee. Dr. Hafenstein established the Institute for the Development of Gifted Education in 1998 through support from the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation. In 1984, Dr. Hafenstein founded the Ricks Center for Gifted Children at the University of Denver and was director for 29 years. Dr. Hafenstein was the recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award from Emporia State University in 2012. She received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Colorado Association for Gifted and Talented in 2006 and in 2005, was presented with the Founder’s Day Distinguished Service to the University of Denver Award. Currently, Dr. Hafenstein is coprincipal investigator for the Right4Rural Project, a Javits federally-funded initiative to identify and serve giftedness in rural Colorado communities. Her research interests include identification of giftedness in underrepresented populations, information-processing styles, social and emotional development, program effectiveness, and adult and generational giftedness.