HONORED: September 2017



There are still scholarships available to attend the 2017 Conference in Atlanta... and don't forget about NCHC's Student of the Year Award! It's your time to let your honors accomplishments shine! Hurry and submit your applications for the awards below... deadline is Friday, September 8!

  • NCHC Student of the Year Award
    (closes Sept. 8)
    (2) $1,000 Scholarships: $500 to you, + $500 to grow your honors program!
    One winner from a 4-yr Institution, and one from a 2-yr Institution!


Check out the student events you can enjoy in Atlanta this fall!


  • Student Open Mic Night: Share your talent and meet students from across the country!
  • Student Orientation: Get all the tips you'll need to make the most of your time in Atlanta
  • Students in Honors (SIH) sessions: presentations planned for students, by students
  • Publications Table: browse NCHC books, and learn how to publish your research in UReCA, NCHC's Student Journal!
  • Special Dance and Photography Workshops - come as you are and learn a new skill!
  • City as Text: explore the city of Atlanta on a City as Text adventure! (pre-registration required)
  • Keynote Speaker from Gallup: watch your email for a special code to take the Clifton Strengthsfinder test from Gallup! Then, come and hear Tom Matson, TedX speaker, talk about your Strengthsfinder results and challenge you to live out your strengths.
  • NCHC After Dark: The annual student party is full of dancing, music, photos and great prizes! Dance the night away with students from around the world!
  • Sponsors and vendors sharing information about graduate program and internship opportunities, classroom technologies, honor societies, study abroad excursions, and more!


  • Sunrise Yoga
  • Idea Exchange: Pick up breakfast and discover ideas and innovations happening at honors programs and colleges throughout the country.
  • Graduate Fair: Some of the country's leading graduate programs will be on hand to discuss options and opportunities for your future! Stop by for some swag and great conversation.
  • a two part Major Scholarships session: learn about what scholarships are available, and what they're looking for!
  • Student Affairs Committee Meeting: check out what NCHC's Student Board of Directors does to prepare for their roles as honors leaders.
  • A history-making partnership with the NAAAHP (the National Association for African American Honors Programs) for our plenary speaker Bryan Stevenson (author of award-winning "Just Mercy", and nationally-known civil rights lawyer), and for joint museum tours at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights.
  • Sponsors and vendors sharing information about graduate program and internship opportunities, classroom technologies, honor societies, study abroad excursions, and more!


  • Sunrise Yoga
  • Annual Business Meeting: want to run for a position as a Student Board Member? Make sure to attend the Annual Business Meeting!
  • Keynote Speaker from the Centers for Disease Control: Hear from honors graduate Dan Jernigan about the mission of the CDC and his path from honors into this exciting field of study.
  • Student Poster Sessions: explore research and learn about topics submitted from every discipline
  • Master Class Showcase: See top performances and works from NCHC students in conference masterclasses in drama, film, music and poetry!
  • Portz Scholars Presentations: NCHC Award Winning research & creative papers presented by the four winners
  • Sponsors and vendors sharing information about graduate program and internship opportunities, classroom technologies, honor societies, study abroad excursions, and more!
  • NCHC Awards: See who wins the coveted Student of the Year awards, as well as several other special recognitions!
  • Peace, Love & Honors - Saturday Celebration: Party through the decades, from the 60s to today! Enjoy food, music, and celebration to close out the conference week.

Register Today!

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Call for 2017 Student Moderators

Students – we need you!

Have you ever wanted to be able to tell a faculty member or honors director that their time was up? If so, you will enjoy being a Student Moderator at the 2017 NCHC Conference in Atlanta!

Honors Directors: If you would like your students to participate as student moderators for General Sessions at the 2017 NCHC Conference in Atlanta and be included in the program, please submit the online application by August 1, 2017. Students will receive information about their responsibilities and will be expected to contact the presenters of the sessions to which they have been assigned.

If you have any questions about the Student Moderators or submitting a candidate, please contact Jack Rhodes at rhodesj@citadel.edu.

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Master Class Proposals for NCHC17 Still Being Accepted

Master classes are performance classes in drama, music, poetry, and film and allow for individual or group creative presentations. In all areas, submissions that emphasize the conference theme will be given priority for acceptance. The culminating master class showcase will feature selected presentations from each master class. Applicants for the music master class must submit a recorded audition piece. Applicants for the poetry master class must submit samples of poetry.

  • Drama (Depending on the enrollment, drama students may give monologues or small group scenes.) – The drama master class will be facilitated by Donna Clevinger. Questions should be directed to dclevinger@honors.msstate.edu.
  • Poetry (3 poems required. Poetry participants will have the opportunity to present and to discuss their work.) – The poetry master class will be facilitated by Tricia Baar, College of the Ozarks and Toni Lefton, Colorado School of Mines. Questions should be directed to tbaar@coto.edu or tlefton@@mines.edu.
  • Music (Soloists [instrumental and vocal] and small instrumental ensembles [trios and quartets] are encouraged to apply.) The music master class will be facilitated by Donzell Lee. Questions should be directed to dlee@alcorn.edu.
  • Film – the film master class will be facilitated by Michele Forman, Director of the Media Studies Program at the University of Alabama Birmingham. Questions should be directed to mforman@uab.edu.

General questions regarding the Master Classes should be directed to Brent Register at register@clarion.edu or 814-393-2473.

Submit Your Master Class Proposal


Travel stories from three honors students

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From Seattle to Atlanta

Jared Parks, Northwestern State University
NCHC Student Affairs Committee Member

When I first found out about the possibility of going on last year's trip to the NCHC Annual Conference, I really had no recollection of what to think other than, "I have to go."

I must admit most of my desire to go stemmed from my love for the city I had yet to visit; the city where rain never really seemed to stop, coffee was better than ever, and of course my favorite sports teams called home. You could imagine my excitement when my director, Dr. Kirsten Bartels, asked me if I wanted to attend. When she asked, she made it known why we would be there and what the purpose of the trip was supposed to be: to go to all the presentations we could, network, and represent the college to the best of our abilities. That dampened my excitement because of the crippling shyness I used to experience when I would have to step into a crowd much larger than a classroom—much less an airport, or a conference, or even a city. Never once did I imagine the impact going on this trip would have on me, nor did I think I would forever be taken from my shell and actually comfortable with speaking and networking with others.

The moment we arrived at the conference I had already spent the whole day flying with some of the people I think I will always consider some of my dearest friends, but I had stepped foot on a plane for the first time, for the first three times actually. I had ridden on a train through a city for the first time. I had walked down the sidewalk of a city (of that scale) for the first time. I even got to walk into a hotel that I would be staying in for the first time. These all seem menial to some and massive to others; I am one of the 'others'. This was a day full of firsts and I hadn't even gotten to really start the actual conference portion. I have said all of this to tell you that what I experienced at the conference itself, among some of the smartest up-and-coming students and dynamic directors and administrators, swallows the incredible day of firsts.

The NCHC conference effortlessly blew my mind. It was a place that I was extremely foreign to, and I grew substantially. From each and every presentation I attended, to the poster sessions, to getting to have one on one conversation with innovative minds, I grew. I learned so much—and not in the reading of a book or the lecturing of information—but just by listening and being open to others' ideas and perspectives. Summing up the conference into words is an injustice to me and I don't see it being possible. I could share every experience, every adventure, every conversation and until you have given it a chance, I don't think words will help. I had the time of my life doing something that even just two years ago would have terrified me. There are so many things I haven't touched on from the trip like the people truly involved in NCHC, the performances and speeches through the week, the get-togethers hosted for the students, and the sushi. Those things topped with the incredible fulfillment from the intellectual and social growth made a week in October of 2016 one I will never forget.

Now, as you could probably guess, I am brimming with excitement for Atlanta and can't wait to meet all kinds of new faces and hopefully stumble across some faces from the previous year. I am very happy to say I will get to be more involved this go-around with other students now that I have the great honor of being a part of the Student Affairs Committee for NCHC. This position was very graciously given to me based upon my impressions made at the conference and I am very grateful to be part of something that made me open up more, and I hope to help other students have the same experience I did. I plan on taking my experiences and learned skills to Atlanta and having an amazing time getting to expand and learn so much more alongside more of my colleagues.

I'll see you all in November!

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Travel to the IHC Conference

Mary Kate Andrepont, Loyola University New Orleans
NCHC Student Board Member

I loved the Netherlands the moment I stepped foot in Amsterdam. Renaissance-era architecture and curving canals stood before me. Flower pots were perched on the bridges. And, a funny transit driver-- whom seemed to know many locals--pointed us in the direction of our hotel. Despite an overcast day, the atmosphere in the Netherlands was bright--maybe, it was the curious excitement of my first time in Europe; or maybe it was the opportunities that lied before me. I was in the Netherlands to attend the 2017 International Honors Conference at Windesheim University, and from what I heard (and googled), I knew Holland would not disappoint. However, I could have never guessed the depth of this experience.

Before travelling to Zwolle, where the conference was taking place, my group and I roamed the streets of Amsterdam. While we visited many of Amsterdam's treasures--a hidden Catholic church, the infamous red letters of "I amsterdam," and delicious Dutch restaurants--my favorite attraction was the Anne Frank House. The experience was incredible--entering through the bookcase, tracing the steps of the Franks through each room of the Secret Annex, and finding those very posters still intact on Anne's wall that I had read about in her diary. Through the magic of my Honors director, we also met with Barry van Driel, the International Director for Teacher Training and Curriculum Development at the Anne Frank House. Around a small table in a conference room behind the exhibit, we discussed an array of relevant and fascinating topics, from the importance of remembering the past and understanding all sides of an issue to growing anti-Semitism in the Netherlands and the rise of the far right in Europe. Our conversation was guided by the role of education in navigating these topics. With our conversations fresh in mind, I attended the International Honors Conference.

At the NCHC annual conferences, there is something special about being surrounded by students from all over the country, united under the cause of higher education and the Honors experience. The same struck me at IHC--that I was a part of something bigger. The conference included students and faculty from all over the world, which made for interesting and open dialogue in panel sessions, at student events, and even on our lunch breaks. However my favorite discussion took place in a session on "Body Language and Art." As someone who is in no way--like, at all--talented in the arts or remotely perceptive in analyzing art, I am not really sure what compelled me to go to this particular session. Nonetheless, I went. The instructor was amazingly quirky. Everyone attending the session initially exchanged wary looks when she asked us to examine the body language of the stranger sitting next to us, but soon enough we were all lost in laughter at her commands to copy the poses of classical paintings and sculptures. From this seemingly silly activity, the instructor's message was profound: by copying the body language of individuals in various artwork, we can also empathize with their emotions and better understand them, despite the apparent barriers of culture, era, or background.

This theme of unity seemed to run throughout my time in the Netherlands, and I discovered an important truth from it: When students and faculty come together, either at NCHC or IHC, we are making a greater statement than our individual interests of professional development or presenting a poster; we are building a bridge to collaboration and coalition, holding accountable the standards of education, and pushing the boundaries of inclusivity and transparency. By coming together, we help insure that no barrier can befall our united interests of education.

I encourage you to experience this truth for yourself and be a part of the coalition for international education, whether in Atlanta in November or Northern Netherlands next June!

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A Partners in the Parks Adventure

Anne Livingston, Grand Valley State University
NCHC Student Board Member

In May of 2016, I flew across the Pacific Ocean in a plane with about fifteen other passengers. I was going to Hilo, Hawai'i, the Big Island. I can remember looking out the window, and feeling so small. Having never left the continent before, I had no idea how strange it would be to move over water, without anything underneath me besides the blue. The water, and the sky blurring together, it seemed like I was leaving the world I had known my whole life, flying out of the skin I had lived in for so long.

The person I was before NCHC would not have been able to do this. Flashback to the national NCHC conference in Chicago that November, where a student had very literally pulled my shoulders and pointed to the Partners in the Parks sign during the gala. She shook me, gently, but shook me, nevertheless. Saying something like, Partners in the Parks changed my life!" or, "You have to do this." I don't remember exactly what Tiffany Ernst said that night, but I know it stuck. Because a few weeks after that, I was sitting in the office of Dr. Jeffrey Chamberlain, the director of the GVSU Honors College at the time, and pitching this insane idea. I do remember Dr. J's laugh accompanied by the words, "...and you picked Hawai'i?" I knew it sounded a little crazy. Lucky for me, honors, Dr. J, and GVSU, all happen to believe in crazy (to a certain degree, anyhow).

Funny where belief can go. How it led me to Hilo, and the incredible PITP trip I participated in there led by Vernadette Gonzalez of University of Hawai'i at Mānoa. Along with ten other students and an incredible geology student from UH at Mānoa, we seemed to trek across the entire island, as we ventured out into the Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park. We spent many of our nights at the Jaggar Museum, staring at Halema'uma'u in the Kīlauea Caldera, as the darkening sky allowed the crater to glow brighter and brighter. Huddled around telescopes and hanging on the words of park rangers, I remember feeling a little like that sparking light in the distance, thinking that I was finally able to recognize my own luminous qualities.

During the days, I found myself stretched in every way possible. We hiked for miles and miles, engaging in day-long adventures and an overnight backcountry trip. We visited Kīlauea Iki and Iliahi Trail, ventured out with an ornithologist, engaging in bird survival monitoring. We met the Natural Resources Management Team, the Cultural Resources Management Team, and talked about invasive species, Hawaiian history, the current political schema of the island. I remember learning so much about Pele, the fire goddess who, according to Hawaiian culture and legend, created the islands. Everyone addressed her with such respect. Her image was everywhere, a beautiful woman with glowing skin, eyes, occasionally fire in her hair. Locals said things like, "Today was a lucky day, must've been Pele," or "I lost my necklace last week and I bet Pele found it". She was everywhere. We were not supposed to take anything from the volcanoes, out of honor for Pele and respect for her home. Also because the National Parks say so, but honestly both reasons were equally compelling. There was something about learning the geology of the islands, in tandem with the culture and spirituality that left me in complete reverence for nature and what we may never understand

I specifically remember the Thurston Lava Tubes, a sort of tunnel carve out by a river of red lava that once rushed through it. Inside what had once been a source of active lava flow, it felt to me that I was walking through Pele's veins, a guest in her heart. This closeness to nature is a lesson that had never been imparted before then, a lesson I could not have learned without incredible park rangers, and Vernadette's guidance over those seven days. When I left the island, beginning a day long journey of plane rides and airports to Grand Rapids, Michigan, I remember looking out the window. I didn't really feel so small anymore. Instead, it just seemed that the world was so much bigger.

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Graduating Soon?

For only $35, you could be a student member of NCHC and proudly wear the green & gold cord representing your national commitment to honors education! Contact the NCHC Office to JOIN TODAY and get your cord in time for May or December commencement!

Coming to Atlanta this fall? Your membership also entitles you to apply for NCHC Student of the Year, one of NCHC's biggest student awards! You also get to vote in the NCHC Elections (or even run for a position on the Board of Directors!)

For the cost of a tank of gas or a couple large pizzas, you could make a personal contribution to building honors education everywhere, and get some cool perks along the way.

More details on how to join right here!

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Explore the Great Outdoors with PITP!

One last chance to experience Partners in the Parks in 2017! How about watching the New Years Eve fireworks from the Everglades National Park?

Join faculty and staff from Hillsborough Community College as we explore the "river of grass" during the holidays – the best time to be in Florida. Slough slog to cypress domes, nature's cathedrals. Paddle untamed marshland among gators and crocodiles. Observe birds from a bygone era. Celebrate the new year watching fireworks across Florida Bay along the Florida Keys with new friends. Your adventure awaits!

Click here for more information on the 2017 Partners in the Parks projects and registration!

Each year the NCHC Partners in the Parks committee develops projects in national parks across the country. These projects bring small groups of honors students into our nation's most beautiful and unique natural spaces for experiential education unlike any other. Students can take advantage of exciting recreational opportunities offered in the National Parks, along with seminars led by university faculty and park personnel that include historical, scientific, and cultural themes. But students don't get to have all the fun – The Bryce Canyon faculty-specific project lets members experience the thrill of a PITP project with an in-depth look at the hows and whys of experiential education.

Look for 2018 Project Announcements at #NCHC17 in Atlanta!