Crucial Conversations About Cognitive Diversity

Join Us for Season Five!

Next Episode:
Crucial Conversations about Mental Wellness | May 24, 2023


In recognition of Mental Health Month, this episode will explore strategies to improve adult and student mental wellness. Host Maria Kennedy will chat with Julie Diep, president & founder, OCAF·OC Autism Foundation, and Anahid Koumriqian, who holds an M.Ed. in 2e education from Bridges Graduate School and is the parent of 2e children.




Julie Diep built upon her career as a speech pathologist in school settings and private practice to create the OCAutism Foundation, which offers bilingual services in Vietnamese, Chinese, Spanish, and English. Although based in Orange County, California, she works with people globally. OCAF offers direct speech therapy services, free workshops, family resources, special education advocacy, and community events.

Anahid Koumriqian: A mother to three highly creative children, Anahid has a California Multi-Subject Teaching Credential and an M. Ed. in Twice Exceptional (2e) Education from Bridges Graduate School of Cognitive Diversity in Education. She is also a trained SENG Model Parent Group facilitator. She hopes to share her knowledge of 2e, neurodiverse learning profiles through parent education and higher education preparedness for 2e learners and their families throughout the school years and beyond.



The Bridges 2e Center for Research and Professional Development is delighted to bring you a fifth season of Crucial Conversations about Cognitive Diversity! Formerly known as Critical Conversations about Cognitive Diversity, this monthly webcast features in-depth conversations with the top minds in gifted and twice-exceptional education.

Our host Maria M. Kennedy first joined the Bridges Academy staff as the director of the Phoenix Program. After successfully growing the program each year, she has taken on the position of director of the Bridges Educational Group. A speaker, author, and advocate, Maria has been featured on “Bright and Quirky,” as a panelist and educational expert. Several schools have used her webcast, ‘Strengths, Challenges, and my journey as my son’s advocate,” for teacher training. An educator for almost 30 years, Maria received her B.Ed. and M.Ed. in education from Manchester University (U.K). She earned Advanced Teacher Status from the Manchester Department of Education for her ability to develop curriculum and her skills within the classroom. She traveled internationally, teaching students and training teachers how to tap into the strengths of their gifted and challenged students. As a result of her work she has received several awards: “Teacher of the Year,” in North Carolina, “Golden Apple, Elementary Teacher of the Year,” in the Cayman Islands, and “New American Hero, an award for teaching and leadership excellence,” in Louisiana. Maria believes that to be an effective educator you must continue to learn and grow as a person. With this in mind, she constantly reads and works closely with leading educators in the field of 2e education.

This series is produced by Bridges 2e Media, which publishes and Variations2e magazine.

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Season 5 kicked off with Dr. Joy Lawson Davis. Click the button below to view the recordings.



Season 4 kicked off with Jaxon Cramer and continued with Debbie Reber, Nicole Kaplan & Nicolette Hoffman, Dr. Karen Wilson, and Rachel Kapp. Click the button below to view the recordings.



Season 3 has featured Dr. Jaime A. Castellano, Carl Sabatino, Dr. Isaac Taitz, Marc Smolowitz, Julie Skolnick, and Scott Barry Kaufman. Click the button below to view the recordings.



Season 2 has featured Jessica Lahey, Julie Lythcott-Haims, and Dr. Geraldine Dawson. Click the button below to view the recordings.




Dr. Kaufman’s season 1 guests included Gail Saltz, Jack Horner, Fumiko Hoeft, C. Matthew Fugate, Matthew Lerner, and Danika Maddocks, and Dr. Susan Baum. You can view the recordings here or click the link below.


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