The History of ECHA
Lianne Hoogeveen is developmental psychologist and founder of the Center for the Study of Giftedness (CBO) of the Radboud University Nijmegen (which became one of the first 14 European Talent Centres), the Netherlands, and a board member of the ‘Internationales Centrum für Begabungsforschung (ICBF) (Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, Germany).
During my Presidency ECHA got a new bank account that a professional organization needs and this now allows us to pay the membership by credit card. I also left my term with money in the bank account and you can now discuss what to do with the money to promote giftedness and talents.
1. Constitution to make ECHA a legal organization, registered in Nijmegen, The Netherlands. Registration in the Chamber of Commerce in Nijmegen/Arnhem (ECHA is a charity association under the number 40146782).
Presidential acceptance speech setting ECHA’s goals in 2000:
The first one will be the development of a set of regulations for the ECHA diploma that will help to foster even further development that will benefit the community of teachers and practitioners as well as the ECHA itself. These regulations will be delineated by the General committee and submitted to all the ECHA members for their consideration and suggestions. After that the new rules will be voted in the General Assembly of members and will enter into force.
ECHA: The first years
The primary aim of ECHA is to act as a European network for understanding high ability throughout the lifespan. From its establishment on 19th May 1987, during the years of my Founding Presidency, it soared from an idea to become a dynamic multinational association. The initiating team (including Pieter Span, Harald Wagner and Ulrike Stedtnitz) reached out particularly to professionals behind the (then) ‘iron curtain’. High standards were crucial, which is probably why the demand for international membership obliged us to remove European geographical boundaries. We published a quarterly newsletter and (with great difficulty) a scientific peer-reviewed journal. Not only did we present biennial conferences, but several times a year across Europe we set up ECHA symposia at other conferences, as well as independent ECHA workshops, e.g. maths, music, adolescence, thinking.
It was an honor for me, after having served five years as editorial assistant, to take over the position of editor-in-chief of High Ability Studies in 2007. The large number of submissions that High Ability Studies regularly receives and the journal’s extensive pool of reviewers testify to the exceptional work of my predecessor.
As the new Editor-in-Chief of the High Ability Studies in 2002, I had been often asked whether I intended to develop new emphases. Actually there is a fine line between preserving the tried and true and cautious adaptions of new developments. Therefore, I thought that the proven course chosen by my predecessor was generally to be continued. Indeed, Roland Persson had done a tremendous job. Most noteworthy is that he had registered the journal with all the major literature databases. Thus, I could focus on changes with regard to contents.