2018 Election

See the Issues and Candidate Statements below for the upcoming 2018 Elections. A link for voting will be sent directly to your inbox (from the Big Pulse online voting system), for all paid NCHC memberships.

Voting opens at 6:00 AM CST on Friday, December 1, and closes at 12:00 PM CST on Friday, December 8th.

If you have questions concerning this vote or process, please contact the NCHC office at nchc@unl.edu

Reinstatement of NCHC Secretary Position

Over the course of the past three years, the NCHC Board of Directors has reviewed the size and structure of the board. As a result, in 2015, the Board voted and the general membership supported, a reduction in the number of board members, including the elimination of the position of secretary.

In 2016, the Board reconsidered the value of the secretary to the processes of NCHC, and in February 2017, at the Winter Board of Directors meeting, voted to reinstate the position through the previously elected term of 2018.

MOTION 8 (made by King, seconded by Yavneh) To reconsider and reinstate the position of secretary to the National Collegiate Honors Council Board of Directors.

Motion carried by voice vote, with no abstentions or opposition.

A vote FOR the amendment to the Bylaws supports the reinstatement of the role of Secretary to the Executive Committee and Board of Directors.

A vote AGAINST the amendment to the Bylaws retains the prior vote of the membership to eliminate the role of Secretary to the Executive Committee and Board of Directors.

Office of Vice President

(vote for 1)

Kathleen King

Honors education has made all the difference in my life. From my very start in Honors as a nontraditional student recruited in 2003, I have been involved in innumerable ways to develop professionally and advocate personally in the honors community. As a student, then assistant, to advisor, then instructor and director, the journey has been a meaningful one. Being elected as Vice President of the National Collegiate Honors Council will be another pivotal opportunity for my commitment to honors education to continue.

As an alum of a four year state institution that was a commuter campus and, now with the experience of a director of a two year community college program, I believe I will add to the diverse perspective necessary on a board of directors which serves a wide variety of institutions. My commitment to honors has included service in the Northeast Regional Honors Council, the Maine Honors Council, the Southeast Regional Honors Council, and as an officer of the Florida Collegiate Honors Council. My experience serving two terms on the NCHC Board of Directors, Co-chairing the Partners in the Parks Committee for three years, Co-chairing the NCHC Student Concerns Committee for two years, and serving on a variety of committees such as hiring, personnel, finance and multiple conference plan committees makes me well prepared to serve NCHC and its member organizations.

If elected Vice President, I understand and look forward to the four year commitment to our conferences (including the annual conference I would host in New Orleans), the management of committees, the continuation of professional development, and the advocacy for NCHC and our member organizations. With more than a dozen years of experience in honors conference planning, programming, and professional development, my contributions will support a successful term on the executive board.

My commitment to honors education comes from recognizing the many inspiring and innovative ways honors education encourages students and faculty to explore the foundations of education that enhances teaching and learning opportunities for all. I will be pleased and proud to serve NCHC to give back what honors education has provided for me, as a student and a professional.

Elaine Torda

My immersion in honors education began in kindergarten when my mother (a school teacher) and several colleagues started a gifted and talented program at my rural central school. Our household was immersed in gifted pedagogy, assessment (yes, I was grilled every term about what went well, what did not, how courses could be improved, etc.), and fundraising. This continued through high school and undergraduate work. Shortly after starting at SUNY Orange (County Community College), I taught Honors: Intro to Philosophy. Not long thereafter, I was asked to apply for the Honors Program Coordinator position and have held that position since 2003.

Within weeks of taking over, I invited myself to visit Dr. Digby at CW Post at LIU: she told me to join the National Collegiate Honors Council and attend the 2003 Chicago conference. I took her advice and still recall the thrill and anxiety of that first conference: Would it be stuffy? What would I learn? Who would I meet? How would I fit in bathroom trips with so many sessions to explore? I attended my first BIH, meeting Sam Schuman and having Jeff Portnoy as facilitator, was invited to my first Two-Year College Committee by Eddie Weller, attended more sessions than I could assimilate, and received cards, materials, and offers of support from many people who have since become friends. The rest is history.

NCHC and its people have become integral to my professional and personal life: I want to return the generosity and support I have received over the years. NCHC’s history is one of positive progression. The organization has grown and evolved just in my time with it—moving to a national office model, expanding membership, enhancing programs, and becoming a respected name in honors education. It has had its trials, but the core values and generosity of spirit remain consistent.

My term on the Board (2011-13) allowed me greater insight into the inner workings of the organization and the ever-changing issues with which it grapples: I remain fascinated by both. The national office continues to develop, providing support on many levels well beyond seeking new members and assisting with conferences. This progress alone is impressive. Seeing a representative at the Northeast Regional Honors council this April suggests expansion of the connections between the national and regional organizations: something that should continue.

My training, research, and experiences as a site visitor and as a BIH and DIH session facilitator have afforded me opportunities to discover the myriad models of honors programs and colleges and assessment that exist in the US and internationally. I strive to improve my understanding of program evaluation, varying institution structures, and best practices while staying cognizant that each program or college must represent its particular institution and student body. I am interested in our site visitor process and training. We must remain steadfast in celebrating each individual program’s unique nature: the means by which we review must keep this diversity in mind and focus on helping each become the best it can be, not a cookie cutter version of an ideal. I want to remain part of this discussion and involve others.

Interdisciplinary learning, liberal arts, and diversity—within the NCHC members, the students, the institutions we serve and the opinions we hold—remain constants of the organization and honors. I would enjoy continuing the work begun over the last few years on professional development, research, and advocacy. In my mind, these six threads interweave, creating the tapestry of honors education. As professionals (administrators, faculty and staff) devoted to honors education, we must present our art to the larger world of higher education through best practices, curricula, and opportunities grounded equally in experience and research. We must continue to role model civic and academic engagement and lifelong learning, so our programs offer diverse students varied means to develop and employ their creativity, critical thinking and intellect to solve problem and become caring, engaged members of graduate schools, the work force, and their local, national and global communities.

We know that education is an increasingly expensive proposition for students and institutions. Honors programs, at two- and four-year institutions, provide access to high quality education—serving as great levelers and affording opportunities for diverse students, faculty, and staff to achieve the interdisciplinary thinking and creativity needed to propel nations forward. We must

continue to find ways to provide these options and educate people on the positive nature of honors on national and international stages. I would love to explore these opportunities collaboratively with my NCHC colleagues and represent our organization in the multiple arenas in which we can and must function.

My honors program runs on core principles of lifelong learning, high quality cross disciplinary education, research, experiential learning, service, creativity, appropriate risk taking, and building community. These parallel NCHC’s tenets and practices—for good reason: I believe in honors education and NCHC. I would love to help continue the work the people within the larger organization have done to make NCHC the respected name in honors.

In considering whether or not to run for Vice President of NCHC, I took a careful look at myself and my motivations for doing so. My rationale came down to: my absolute belief in the hallmarks of honors education; my strong desire to serve and give back the organization and people within it who have taught, supported, encouraged and mean a great deal to me; my need to advocate for honors education on a larger scale than is currently possible; my hope to serve as a role model for my students to do what makes one a bit (or a lot) uncomfortable; and the possibility to positively impact the honors program at my institution.

I am honored by and privileged to accept a nomination to run for the position of NCHC Vice President. I look forward to hearing from and collaborating with my honors peers, and if elected, pledge to serve to the best of my ability.

Board Candidates At Large

(vote for 3)

Francois Amar

Francois Amar

Reflecting on my four years in the role of Dean of the Honors College at the University of Maine, I am deeply appreciative of the wealth of experience and resources provided by NCHC and its members to help me negotiate this role successfully. In the last few years I have had the opportunity to participate in the NCHC Assessment Institute, to co-facilitate the New Directors Institute, and to participate in a planning workshop professional development for NCHC. By becoming a candidate for the Board, I hope to give back in some measure to this organization that has helped Honors flourish at my institution and at so many colleges nationwide.

I had previously attended several NCHC national conferences as a faculty co-presenter on topics generally involving curriculum change and pedagogical innovation. A large component of my interest in curriculum then (and now) centers on interdisciplinary perspectives: how to integrate science into a liberal arts-based core curriculum? how to find common ground across the “two cultures” of sciences and the arts & humanities? I was struck then by the mix of student and faculty panels and sessions and the energy that comes from bring the whole Honors community together. But I had only a limited understanding of the role of NCHC in establishing norms, fostering innovation, and creating a community of Honors participants at all levels.

As a member of the Board I would be most interested in focusing on a couple of areas: 1) Creating professional development (PD) opportunities for a wide array of Honors professionals, including faculty and staff at all levels as well as deans and directors. I have significant experience in professional development for faculty, starting with my directing a yearlong PD workshop for a joint NSF/NEH/NEA grant, Introducing Students to Interdisciplinary Studies, in 1994-1995; I have also worked with STEM educators at the middle-school through college levels. 2) Using my interest and experience in expanding research and service opportunities to first- and second-year students to help address the issues of recruitment and retention faced by 4-year programs as well as the added value of such initiatives for students in 2-year degree programs.

A related question is: How can the honors community better address the specific needs of and constraints experienced by first-generation and other under-served populations of college students? I suspect that as we continue to devise programs to recruit, advise, and retain this group of students, our ability to serve all students will also be enhanced. I hope that NCHC leads the way on using data on student outcomes to help drive this discussion. As a researcher in theoretical physical chemistry I am well-versed in the use of quantitative data to answer research questions about the material world; however, it is my work in chemistry education that has expanded my appreciation of quantitative and qualitative methods of social science to analyze student performance and program outcomes more generally. At the same time I know the power of narrative to motivate interest in program enhancement and have experience in using data to inform programmatic change.

By serving on the Board of NCHC, I hope to gain a broader view of the organization and the member institutions it serves while bringing my skills as an educator and administrator to help shape the future of Honors education for a broad array of highly-talented undergraduates.

Angela Bolte

Angela Bolte

My first experience in Honors was as an undergraduate Honors student. There, I greatly valued the small classes and attention from professors that would have been hard to come by otherwise at the large land-grand university I attended. As a Post-Doctoral Fellow, I taught my first Honors class and I tried to give them the same experiences I wanted as an Honors student. Now, as a full-time educator and administrator in Honors, I work to provide our Honors students with a host of opportunities far beyond those offered to me when I was an Honors student.

As Assistant Dean, part of my duties include recruiting current students to join an Honors track that allows them to work on Honors in their major which culminates in a Senior Honors Project in their major. As such, I advocate strongly for undergraduate research and creative activity within Honors and travel with students to state and regional Honors conferences so they can present their work to others within Honors. The Honors community, no matter whether it is at an individual university or at the state, regional, or national level, is incredibly supportive and it is important for students to experience that environment for themselves.

If I were selected for the Board of Directors, my goal would be to advocate for the mission of NCHC: “To support and enhance the community of educational institutions, professionals, and students who participate in collegiate honors education around the world.” In part, this advocacy would take the form of ensuring adequate financial support for everything NCHC does for Honors as a whole, for student support, and for supporting those activities, such as program review, that individual Honors colleges and programs can utilize to for the benefit of their own students. Finally, in an age where many see a liberal arts education as frivolous and science is attacked, it is important for the larger Honors community to come together and support its traditional values of critical thinking and dialogue.

James Buss

Through participating in the program review process, attending NCHC sponsored workshops, and meeting each year with professionals at the annual conference, I have learned valuable skills that have been used toward recruiting honors faculty members, fighting for resources, collecting data about honors, and structuring a robust and well-managed program and curriculum. These experiences have been vital in my development as an honors director/dean and university administrator. If elected to the Board of Directors, I will work hard to ensure that the organization continues to provide such meaningful experiences for its members. In addition, I would like to see NCHC continue its “promotion and advancement of honors education, honors programs, and honors colleges in institutions of higher learning” (as stated in the NCHC constitution) by expanding opportunities for the membership to participate in discussions throughout the year, either by reaching out to our regional organizations or hosting workshops around the country for the promotion of honors beyond the annual meeting. These experiences can provide valuable opportunities for NCHC members and make available the tools and data necessary to promote honors on our local campuses.

In addition, I have personally worked toward three larger goals in relations to honors education. First, I have been an advocate in promoting articulation agreements between two- and four-year Honors Programs. At Salisbury University, I have actively recruited two-year Honors Program students to seamlessly join the four-year Honors College at SU, so that those students will received the same type of accolades and recognition as students who have attended all four years at our university. Second, in my role on the Assessment and Evaluations Committee, I have advocated for NCHC to provide more training and resources to members, so that member organizations might benefit from the collective research into Honors education that is available nationwide. Third, I am a passionate advocate for the promotion of undergraduate research. At Salisbury University, the Honors College has worked to partner freshmen students with faculty members to embark on meaningful long-term projects. This involves students becoming involved in laboratory experiments, artistic creations, archival research, and much more as early as possible and for as long as possible. By broadening the meaning of research, NCHC can have a great impact on all of our campuses.

James Ford

James Ford

I am passionate about Honors education. As a discipline, Honors gave me a home. All of the various disciplines I love, all the strange things I enjoy, and all the approaches for engaging students that I wanted to try in class seemed to come together in one interdisciplinary field. I love the way Honors education is experimental and innovative, academic and active, challenging and peculiar. My sense of NCHC has always been an organization that welcomes everyone, and does its best to support everyone. Most important to me is that NCHC keeps that feel. I have found it deeply troubling the past few years whenever someone talks about ‘leaving NCHC,’ or of feeling as if their kind of program (or college, or university) was no longer welcome in NCHC. On the Board my role would be to represent every Honors Program and Honors College. There is tremendous diversity in Honors, from the small four-year regional university programs (like mine) to the two-year programs to the massive Honors Colleges. That said, there is much more that unites us in Honors, which is why I appreciate the Definition of Honors that NCHC approved a few years ago. I believe that definition is so strong because it came out of a subcommittee that represented many different kinds of Honors Programs and Colleges.

The value of higher education, and of excellence, is being questioned and challenged in ways that are unprecedented in my lifetime. That creates challenges, as most of us know from looking at our budgets and the cuts at our institutions. Many programs are struggling, and may not survive without significant help. NCHC must do more to help Programs and Colleges meet those challenges. It also creates opportunities to speak more clearly than ever on behalf of academic excellence. Honors transforms its students, creating better citizens, better leaders, and better human beings. The Board of Directors must speak clearly and compellingly in defense of Honors.

Most of all, I want NCHC to do more to fulfill its primary objective: “the promotion and advancement of honors education, honors programs, and honors colleges in institutions of higher learning” (The Constitution of the NCHC, Article Two). I take seriously the need for the Board to know and act in accordance with the Constitution, Bylaws, and Standing Orders, and I will do everything I can to uphold the principles of the organization—principles like excellence in Honors education, advocacy, diversity, globalization, inclusivity, and transparency.

In many ways this will build on the work I am already doing for NCHC. One of NCHC’s Strategic Priorities is advocacy, finding ways to help Honors programs and colleges thrive in difficult financial and political climates. As Co-Chair of Assessment & Evaluation, I have worked closely with my colleagues to improve NCHC’s Program Review process, while still respecting the tremendous diversity and variety of Honor programs and colleges. Another Strategic Priority is professional development, and the Teaching & Learning Committee is vital to that effort. NCHC is the leader in Honors education, and should be a much stronger force in higher education. I welcome the opportunity to contribute to that work.

Most of all I want to make sure that as NCHC moves forward it does so in ways that respect its history as an organization that includes all sorts of Honors programs and colleges at all kinds of institutions. For me, leadership is always collaborative. My finest moments have always involved working with great people—team-teaching an Honors class, guiding the Faculty Senate, co-editing manuscripts, being on a Studies-at-Large course with a group of great students. The Board of Directors represents all its members, and my mission would be to listen to and learn from as many voices as possible.

I am a candidate for the Board because I love Honors, and I love the NCHC. I want to do everything I can to give back to the organization, and to make sure that every member has the support and resources they need to be successful. Honors is my top priority professionally—in my daily work on my home campus, in my scholarship, and in my efforts for the NCHC. I will be just as dedicated, hard-working, and open to feedback if chosen to serve. Thank you.

Aaron Hanlin

Aaron Hanlin

I am pleased to submit my name forward for the National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC) Board of Directors. I have actively been involved in honors education as a professional for the past six years, and I was also a student in the Honors College at Kent State University.

My experience in honors education encompasses many facets including honors advising, admissions, scholarships, curriculum, and study abroad. However, I believe my most relevant experience in being considered for a board position pertains to the duties of a nonprofit board member, and so I will focus on my experiences in the areas of establishing organizational identity, ensuring resources, and providing oversight.

During my tenure at the Kent State University Honors College, I worked to recruit the top 10% of students to the institution. In order to accomplish this, I oversaw our marketing efforts to communicate our mission and purpose to students to help them better understand the place of the college within the institution. In other words, I strategically put forth the identity of our college to meet our goals.

In the aspect of ensuring resources, I served as the president of the Mid-East Honors Association (MEHA) for two years in which I was responsible for financial oversight and building a board of competent individuals who could provide leadership and advocacy for our organization. During that time, we were able to have institutions represented at our annual conference who had never attended before, thus enhancing our public standing within the region.

In that same role, I provided oversight to the board and member institution to strengthen our programs and services. My primary goal as president was to increase the professional development of our honors faculty and staff within the region by providing more programming at our annual conference that has traditionally been tailored to students only. I also made sure we were in compliance with legal and ethical responsibilities of the organization.

I am now the director of The Grindle Honors Institute as Seminole State College, and I believe my experience at both the community college and university levels combined with my leadership experience at the regional honors organization level would be of great benefit to the NCHC Board of Directors.

Michael Lane

Michael Lane

I have been progressively involved in honors education for more than a decade. My first forays in collaborating with honors students were in teaching exploratory, often controversial, “H”-designated courses in my discipline (foreign language; literature in translation) and in mentoring student theses / capstone projects. I was so captivated by my initial acquaintance with forward-thinking students who so capably articulated their future goals and ably labored to attain them that “convincing” me to step into an administrative role was hardly a Herculean feat – I embraced the opportunity to serve as the Assistant, then Associate, Director position at Appalachian State University under the talented tutelage of Leslie Sargent Jones. The more I experienced of the honors “way” – the genuine and impactful interfacing with studens and advocating for them – the more drawn I was to abandon the silo of my private (and sometimes lonely) scholarly pursuits to explore my leadership potential. In 2013, I was appointed to lead the Richard A. Henson Honors Program and its 200 students at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. And I’ve never looked back!

Having attended, frequently contributed to, and always derived great satifaction from every honors professional meeting my schedule allows in the past six years at the national, regional and state level, as well as participated in a number of specialized NCHC administrators and faculty institutes, I feel it is time to answer the call to serve the organization beyond the committee appointments I have held for a number of years. I humbly submit, for your consideration, the following highlights (“Strengths”) and notions (“Goals”). It would be my great honor to serve as an At-Large Representative for the NCHC Board of Directors and I thank you for your thoughtful consideration.


I am 100% committed to supporting student excellence, growth, discovery and advocacy.

A detail-oriented, results-driven and organized person with a strong work ethic who embraces responsibility and respects deadlines, I will strive to fulfill my duties to NCHC to the very best of my ability.

A true believer in shared governance, I value the insights and input of an inclusive team.

Innovative and collaborative in spirit and action, I am always seeking for new ways to “get the job done” by bringing stakeholders to the table and inspiring all to work together.

I believe in transparency of process and open communication.

On a very practical level, for a person with a language arts background, I have acquired some possibly very relevant skills, chief among them fiscal responsibility and financial management (I am custodian for state / endowment scholarship accounts, operating budgets, and grants programs totalling in excess of $2.5M annually).

I have a long history of conference organizing / directing, which I hope would prove useful to NCHC.


I identify the following three areas as priorities for NCHC to explore:

1) Diversification. I would like to see active participation by greater numbers of minority-serving, two-year, and international institutions as well as an expansion of opportunities (conference sessions; institutes; programming) for our non-white, non-heteronormative, differently-abled, members.

2) Increased Training for Honors Administrative Assistants. While there certainly are opportunities to engage our Programs’/Colleges’ administrative assistants, much of the current NCHC activity (conference; institutes; etc.) focus on students, faculty and directors. Our Administrative Assistants (those of us fortunate to have one) are in the trenches and often unique to our campuses. Finding ways for these individuals to network and to gain confidence would be helpful.

3) Enhanced support mechanism for institutions aspiring to create an honors program (especially smaller, private, or two-year schools).

Again, allow me to express my deep gratitude to the leadership of the NCHC for all you do to bring our Mission and Vision to fruition. Given the chance, I look forward to lending my voice and experience to advance our efforts.

Quakish Liner

Quakish Liner

Prof. Liner earned her Bachelors and Masters Degrees from Barry University. She began her career in education as a teacher in the Miami Dade County Public School System and eventually moved into teaching in the Florida Community College System. Prof. Liner started full time at Broward College in 2010, teaching in the Developmental Education Department. Her teaching assignments included College Prep Reading, College Reading Strategies, Student Life Skills and Inter-Disciplinary Studies.

In the classroom, Prof. Liner puts her student’s needs first. She applies a variety of strategies to promote learning and creates a learning environment that keeps the students engaged throughout the entire scheduled class. But her time with the students does not end at the end of class. Prof. Liner provides special time for tutoring and one on one advisement. Because many of her students in the early stages of their education, Prof. Liner allocates a lot of her time to assist students so they are not waiting until the next class to overcome a learning challenge. Her student feedback included the following statements: she showed me that I can do whatever I put my heart and mind into, she is the best instructor that I ever had at Broward College yet, she is always available before and after class for whatever we need, she is my mentor/my inspiration, she is always willing to give students advice on any problem that we have, she goes above and beyond to make sure her students learn the essential tools needed to be successful in college.

Outside of the classroom, Prof. Liner has proven to be just as energetic and hardworking. She has served the College as the Service Learning Coordinator on the North Campus promoting and encouraging student participation in many projects within the community, including the Junior Achievement Center and the Little Learners’ College. She is also involved in Project Degree and a very popular program on North Campus with the faculty, staff and administrators, The Campus Read. Her leadership in this particular project has greatly expanded its success.

Prof. Liner currently serves in the role of District Director of the Robert “Bob” Elmore Honors College. In this capacity, she is able to bridge the cap in Honors Education by creating a pipeline for students that high-achievers yet face difficult and often, insurmountable odds. As a former Professor of Year, she has become incredibly valuable member to the Academic Affairs team and will be a dedicated member of the Board of Directors.

Prof. Liner’s intellect, drive, and focus on the social justice framework has catapulted her into various community groups and organizations that are hungry to learn about the benefits of an Honors education. The National Collegiate Honors Council would be an exemplary method of displaying the skills that Prof. Liner possess.

Clay Motley

Clay Motley

If elected to the Board of Directors, I will work to increase ways the NCHC facilitates professional development opportunities for its members at every stage of their careers. Like many of you, my first introduction to the world of honors education was when I suddenly found myself directing an honors program at a small university without really knowing what “honors” meant at the university level. I vividly recall walking into Beginning in Honors in 2005 with trepidation, doubting if there was anything that experienced directors and deans from well-known universities could tell me that applied to my situation. Thankfully, I was wrong, and participating in Beginning in Honors gave me the information and encouragement to survive that first difficult year. Each subsequent year I have benefited from the diverse professional development opportunities NCHC offers, and slowly I have grown into a position to help design and lead these opportunities for others. This incudes participating in Beginning in Honors as an experienced director, serving on the Honors Semesters Committee since 2008 and designing multiple NCHC Faculty Institutes, frequently presenting at Developing in Honors, and hosting a formal program review on my campus. I currently serve on the Conference Planning Committee with the task to develop new ways the NCHC can engage first-time attendees at the annual conference. I recall feeling overwhelmed and a bit of out place the first time I attended the annual conference, and I want to ensure that first-time attendees are quickly and warmly introduced to the many opportunities the conference offers.

A strength that I would bring to the board is that since 2005 I have served in numerous, diverse honors professional roles. These include director of a small program at a private university; associate director of a large honors college at a state university; director of a program at a mid-sized university; and now director of an honors college. There are few professional honors situations that I have not experienced first-hand, and I would bring that wealth of knowledge and empathy to the board. In short, the professional development opportunities offered by the NCHC changed by career and by extension changed my life. I would be honored to work to create more transformative opportunities for the NCHC membership.

Student Board Candidates

(vote for 2)

Parker Adamson

The Angelo State University Honors program has enriched my collegiate experience far more than I could have anticipated coming into college. From experiences like the NCHC's Great Smoky Mountains edition of Partners in the Parks, to introducing me to some amazing peers on campus, honors has offered me tremendous opportunities. Partners in the Parks pushed me beyond the classroom and forced me to use critical and analytical skills, something my peers challenge me to do daily. These skills have helped me to recognize and respond to problems both in our program and the wider community. Not only did Partners in the Parks challenge me intellectually, it also gave me the opportunity to meet with students and faculty from across the country, sharing ideas and celebrating cultural and personal differences, a trend that continued through the NCHC conference in Atlanta, allowing me to understand what community in honors is all about. All of this has inspired me to become more involved in honors both on my campus and beyond. I have served and continue to serve on various community boards as the honors liaison, in our effort to reach out into the community. I think it is vital as we move forward from the Just Honors NCHC conference that we not only remember to reach out to new recruits to grow a diverse honors community, but also reach in and engage those students in our programs who only put in the minimum. I believe as we move forward as an organization we must reemphasize and spread the culture of honors, continually striving for our goals of critical and analytical thinking, a global outlook, experiential learning, and respect and encouragement of diversity. I hope to serve my national honors community by bringing a fresh student perspective to the table.

Sydney Keenan

Sydney Keenan

Leaders come in all shapes and sizes. However, renowned leaders share several defining characteristics. First, a leader must understand the people they are leading and must listen to the needs of their people. I am in a unique position as I am both a member of the Honors Leadership Council (HLC) at Purdue and I live in the Honors College. I am constantly surrounded by the very people the NCHC Board of Directors represents. As a member of the HLC, I spend time connecting with Honors students and learning about their various needs. If chosen as a Student-Representative, I could bring insight I gain directly from my peers to the council. Listening to others is one my strengths. I want to learn as much as I can so I can understand how to best help.

A leader must be able to listen, but they also need to be able to act. I am a driven person, and my drive is demonstrated through my involvement in various activities, such as Timmy Global Health. When I take responsibility for projects, I ensure they are completed to the best of my ability. For example, with the Escape Room, I designed the puzzles, found funding for the supplies, worked with administration to approve the event, and ran the room.

Not only am I driven, but I am responsible and trustworthy. When assigned a role in a project, my teammates can count on me to fulfill or exceed my duties. I bring energy and efficiency to any team I join.

Another key aspect of a leader is experience, and fortunately, I have extensive leadership experience. I held leadership roles in high school, I now hold some in college, and I have also attended summer leadership training camps. These experiences have helped me gain tools and skills that I could apply as a Student-Representative on the Board of Directors.

Although I have leadership experience, I have never held a position on a national board. If chosen as a Student-Representative, I would like to learn more about leading a group on a national scale. On a small scale, issues, such as representing a diverse group of people with diverse ideas, aren’t too difficult to manage. However, these issues compound in intensity as the size of the group increases. I hope to learn how these issues may be addressed so I can become a more efficient and fair leader. Additionally, I would like to gain insight into how the Board functions. If I understand how the Board functions and what it can achieve, I will be able to better support my peers and address their issues.

Finally, if chosen as a Student-Representative, I would like to help the Honors Program grow and maintain membership nationwide. At Purdue, the Honors College occasionally experiences a retention issue as students progress through their undergraduate degrees. They become busy with other activities, stressed with their studies, and don’t feel like they have time to remain in the Honors College. I would be surprised if Purdue was the only school in the nation experiencing this issue. Hopefully, as a member of the Board, I would learn how to possibly address a large issue and then also gain experience implementing a solution nationwide.

I believe I could contribute much to the Board as a Student-Representative: insight into lives of Honors Students, drive, energy, and new ideas. However, this opportunity would also be an incredible experience. It would allow me to grow as a leader and learn how I can give back to the Honors community in a meaningful and impactful way.

Sabrina Maristela

Sabrina Maristela

I am distinctly qualified to hold NCHC office because of my years of large-scale leadership service which have taught me to consider the big picture, remain organized, value people as unique individuals, and think creatively, all of which will help me be an active and innovative addition to the NCHC Board of Directors. I am passionate about the work I have done to bring about positive change in my own honors community, and would be honored to have the opportunity to do the same on an even larger scale.

Bailey Skidmore

Bailey Skidmore

The Purdue Honors college has been the defining component of my freshman year of college. Now, as I move into my second year, I want to be able to give other students that same pivotal honors experience that developed my grit and motivation. That is why I am looking to serve on the NCHC Board of Directors. The Honors College has given me such unbounded opportunities in this past year, such as the opportunity to start a residential club and the opportunity to found a go-karting Grand Prix team for honors engineers. All of these opportunities have only motivated me to seek out further chances to strengthen the honors culture around me, to allow more students like me the opportunity to make their wildest goals a reality.

I am also drawn to NCHC because of its work to provide a platform for development and improvement of honors curricula. Even more than Purdue’s Honors College has developed me through extracurricular activities, it has transformed me in the classroom. This past year I took two semesters of honors engineering, a team-focused class built around projects and professor-student interactions. This class was vastly different than non-honors engineering, and the results of these differences were amazing. By being pushed incredibly hard in this one class - over 30 hours of homework and team meetings every week - I developed a stamina and a drive to do my best that I never felt in high school. The amount of satisfaction I gained from studying at an honors level make the stressful hours and long nights something I now look forward to at the end of the summer. Additionally, I spent significant time this year reflecting on how to improve the honors experience. I took an honors class this past semester on the topic of utopias. Interestingly enough, this class did not focus on historic attempts at utopian civilizations but rather on how to make the honors experience as close to a utopia as possible. We discussed the incorporation of faculty-student relations into residential life, common honors courses, service-based honors curricula, and honors living communities. Now that I have put thought into the subject of improving the honors experience, I am eager to get to work further developing and implementing my ideas and the ideas of those around me, which NCHC gives me the opportunity to do.

With these experiences driving me, I believe I would be an asset to the NCHC Board of Directors. I am a motivated, passionate, and optimistic young worker - one who is always eager to lead, and I desire to make my dreams of improving honors education a reality.