Sarah E. Sumners, Ph.D.


Sarah E. Sumners is an associate research scientist and associate director of the Torrance Center for Creativity and Talent Development at the University of Georgia. Dr. Sumners leads creativity trainings at the state, national, and international level, and has authored several journal articles, book chapters and publications on creativity. She is a member of several professional, research, and teaching organizations and is on the review board for several journals. In addition to over 15 years of experience at the higher education level, she is also a former high school teacher of the gifted. Dr. Sumners holds a M.Ed. in gifted studies from Mississippi University for Women and a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from Mississippi State University.

Areas of Expertise

  • Professional development
  • Creativity training


  • Implicit theories
  • Creative thinking strategies

Academic Affiliations


  •  PhD in Curriculum and Instruction, 2012
    Mississippi State University
  •  MEd in Gifted Studies, 2004
    Mississippi University for Women
  •  BS(cum laude) in Social Sciences, 2002
    Mississippi University for Women


 706-542-5104 (office)

Research Summary

Selected Publications/Presentations

  1. Shepard, A., Kim, D., Sharpe, D., & Sumners, S. (2019). Supporting creative development through research and practice: The Torrance Center legacy. In Korean Society for Creativity Education, Incheon National University, Incheon, South Korea (Poster).

  2. Grantham, T., Hines, M., Sumners, S., & Bahar, K. (2019). Equity and Excellence in STEAM through University-School Partnerships for Achievement, Rigor and Creativity. In 2019 National Association for Gifted Children Annual Convention, Denver, CO (Presentation).

  3. Hines, M., & Sumners, S. (2019). Identifying Talent Across Contexts using the TABs (Traits, Aptitudes and Behaviors). In 2019 World Council for Gifted and Talented Children World Conference, Nashville, TN (Presentation).

  4. Hines, M., & Sumners, S. (2019). Keeping the learning going as a way to promote incubation and creative thinking in classrooms. Teaching for High Potential.

  5. Paek, S. H., & Sumners, S. E. (2019). The indirect effect of teachers’ creative mindsets on teaching creativity. Journal of Creative Behavior, 53(3), 298–311. DOI: 10.1002/jocb.180.

  6. Paek, S. H., Sumners, S. E., & Sharpe, D. I. (2019). Teachers’ beliefs of creative children. The Journal of Creative Behavior. DOI: 10.1002/jocb.400.

  7. Shepard, A. C., Sumners, S. E., & Morney, E. (2019). Shaping Strömsö: Examining elements in a creative process for the design of new television content. Creativity. Theories – Research - Applications, 6(1), 42-65. DOI: 10.1515/ctra-2019-0003.

  8. Sumners, S. (2019). Suprarational stars: Torrance’s Beyonders. Torrance Journal of Applied Creativity, 2, 18-20.

  9. Sumners, S. (2019). Creative thinking skills for all seasons: A reflection. In Success Strategies for Parenting Gifted Kids: Expert Advice from the National Association for Gifted Children. Chapter 21, pp. 149-151. ISBN: 978-1618219039.

  10. Sumners, S. (2019). Infusing Creativity in the Classroom: Connecting Theory to Practice Using the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking. In South Georgia Gifted Education Conference, Camilla, GA (Presentation).

  11. Sumners, S., & Guthrie, K. (2019). Cultivating Creativity: A Deeper Look at the TTCT’s and Suggested Classroom Applications, Concurrent. In 2019 National Association for Gifted Children Annual Convention, Denver, CO (Presentation).

  12. Sumners, S., & Hines, M. (2019). Issues of access: Creating creative spaces for students from diverse backgrounds. Teaching for High Potential.

  13. Sumners, S., & Hines, M. (2019). Using creativity with gifted females in dealing with stress. Teaching for High Potential.

  14. Sumners, S., Sharpe, D., Shepard, A., & Kim, D. (2019). Service, Research, and Teaching: How the UGA Torrance Center Extends Research into Practice. In 2019 Creativity Conference at Southern Oregon University, Ashland, OR (Presentation).

Awards and Accolades

E. Paul Torrance Creativity Award

Georgia Association for Gifted Children, 2020