The candidates for your 2021 NCHC Board of Directors are listed below.
Because there will be no in-person annual business meeting in 2020, details will be shared for a virtual Business Meeting via Zoom in Fall 2020. We encourage members to nominate additional students for both the 2-Year and 1-Year Term positions; any additional nominations will be accepted during the virtual Business Meeting, just as in the in-person meeting.
If you are a current member of NCHC, and are listed as the contact for your institution, you will receive an email invitation to vote in early December 2020. Elections are held by an independent vendor, Big Pulse, and results are vetted through NCHC's accounting firm, HBE.
If you have questions concerning this vote or process, please contact the NCHC office at firstname.lastname@example.org
When the COVID-19 crisis arrived a month or so after I first began to contemplate becoming a candidate for the Vice-President of NCHC, I paused a bit, wondering how the organization would change and my role in it would be different, unsettling, and even uncomfortable. It is clear that the world of higher education and the context for honors education will be profoundly transformed along with much else in our lives. As a membership organization, NCHC will face challenges that will profoundly reshape the way it operates, how it works with and provides services to members, and how we rethink and create opportunities for our students. In my past few years on the Board, I have had the opportunity to help craft the current strategic plan with its five main Initiatives, detailed below. While the action items contemplated under each initiative will surely undergo major revisions, it is clear to me that the broad categories remain the right ones as we strive to define honors for the post-COVID era.
- Organizational Excellence: the last five years have seen major changes in the operation of NCHC with balanced budgets and a more transparent reporting structure; these improvements and continued focus on this aspect will be critical for NCHC to work within the new reality. Finding the right balance between the austerity that may be necessitated by tight budgets and the need for strategic investment in new programs and technologies will be very important.
- Professional Development programming will be even more critical as new ways to teach, advise, and mentor students will be necessary to help all of us continue to create the kind of community that is the hallmark of honors.
- Research into honors programs, demographic trends, and the experiences and goals of our students and faculty will take on an even greater immediacy and importance in a quickly-changing landscape of higher learning.
- Advocacy & Partnership will only become more critical for the sector as a whole as it continues to serve as an engine of opportunity for our regions, states and the country as a whole. The NCHC must continue to foster honors as a laboratory for educational innovation and help lead the national conversation on the direction of higher education.
- A focus on Diversity & Inclusion must go to the heart of the inequalities in our society and in our higher educational system that too often reinforces the status quo. We must promote excellence and foster opportunity for those who have been denied access to educational settings that both support and nurture deep learning and provide pathways to social and economic success.
Reflecting on my seven years in the role of Dean of the Honors College at the University of Maine, it is clear that my job was made easier by the wealth of experience and resources provided by NCHC and its members. In putting my name forward for Vice President of the organization, I choose to embrace the challenges ahead: My goal is to help NCHC maintain its central role in developing and promulgating best practices in honors education across its key strategic directions.
I am running for Vice President because I would like to bring my energy, enthusiasm, and passion for honors education to the NCHC Board. I have 20 years of experience as an honors administrator and educator at three very different institutions. I currently serve as dean of the Honors College at Adelphi University, a private institution on Long Island, and I have previously served as director and dean of the Pforzheimer Honors College at Pace University, a private university in New York City and Westchester, and director of the Honors College at William Paterson University, a public institution in New Jersey. I understand the constraints under which private and public institutions operate, which allows me to understand policy decisions from the perspectives of colleagues at different types of institutions with different levels of administrative and financial support.
I am a strong strategic planner. At Adelphi, I was hired after the retirement of its long-serving, beloved founding dean and am responsible for articulating a new vision for the college. During my first year, I created a strategic plan with my staff and provost and began the process of transforming the curriculum. As Vice President of the NRHC I led a team that planned a successful regional conference.
I am a collaborative leader who works effectively with administrators, faculty, staff, and students to create change. I have partnered with residential life offices on two campuses to create honors learning communities, with student councils to plan events and reconsider curriculum, with faculty to create new honors classes and tracks, and with fellow deans to develop programs such as a proposed 3-year accelerated Bachelors of Nursing degree for honors students.
I am a careful listener and an effective communicator in advising sessions with students, in meetings, and at large events. Such skills were crucial during this spring’s coronavirus crisis, as I updated students and faculty on institutional decisions and provided them with the ability to pose questions and concerns to me.
At different institutions, I have balanced the competing needs of programmatic coherence and local identity to create better aligned and coherent programs that allowed students and faculty to pursue their unique passions. Honors is about creating space for creative pursuits and individual initiative while making sure that students benefit from coordinated honors pedagogies and practices.
I look forward to bringing this student-centered approach to my work with NCHC, where I hope to see us use technology to bring more of our members together for webinars and conversations and to share faculty and student research projects. NCHC needs to continue to embrace greater diversity and inclusion and model this as a priority for individual honors colleges and programs and in higher education overall. From narrow conversations about how to admit students without standardized test scores to broader ones about creating equitable, just, and kind communities we are capable of reimaging higher education and owe it to our students to do so.
It would be an honor and a privilege to serve as a member of the Board of Directors for the National Collegiate Honors Council. I believe that my experience as an honors college dean for the past two years, as well as an honors program director at another institution for eight years prior to that, make me strong candidate. In 2017 I served as President of the Northeast Regional Honors Council and was chair for our annual conference in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 2016. In addition, I also serve on the Publications Board as well as the Place as Text Committee. I have published in both HIP and JNCHC, as well as delivered several presentations at NCHC conferences. If elected, I will work tirelessly to help support and maintain NCHC’s mission and goals. I believe that honors education serves a greater good by helping to raise the level of conversation on numerous levels. One aspect of honors education I am particularly interested in advocating for is the expansion and articulation of that mission and vision beyond the greater honors community, striving to foster a more collaborative atmosphere with our non-honors colleagues through an articulation of and advocacy for educational theory and practice. I am also interested in working to maintain and enhance the interdisciplinary nature of honors education and using that interdisciplinary perspective to open up new pathways to thinking about honors and educational practices in general. I believe in the ability of honors education and its practices to transform the lives of our students, our faculty and staff, as well as our institutions.
At Montgomery College, the research-based mission to offer interested and qualified students an enriched learning experience initially attracted me to the honors world. Being an honors mentor is a wonderful journey of discovery. My students’ projects lead me to subject matter beyond the regular course content which expands my knowledge. It is thrilling to watch a student find their academic voice as the honors experience has the capacity to help students grow as scholars and as individuals. As an anthropologist working in honors, I have focused on the importance of creating community both for my students as well as for faculty and staff. For more than a decade my involvement in three honors organizations, the National Collegiate Honors Council, the Beacon Conference and the Maryland Collegiate Honors Council helped me understand the broader honors community and the opportunities offered. I enjoy working as part of a team but also am willing to lead when I believe I can make a difference. My tenure as a Co-Chair of Major Scholarships, Conference Host and Steering Committee Member for the Beacon Conference as well as MCHC Board Member and Past-President provide a rich foundation for serving as a member of the Board of Directors for NCHC. At the NCHC conference, I am always revitalized by being with colleagues and friends who are so willing to share their ideas about how to be innovative while retaining core academic values. NCHC is also about creating community and I want to work to be sure that engaging with NCHC will be as meaningful to future members as it has been to me.
The vision of honors programs is aspirational, how can we create better opportunities for our students. At a time when Inside Higher Education is often highlighting declining enrollment, budget challenges and program cuts, honors programs are unique. They can inspire our students to do their best work and the work we do with these students often reminds us about the transformative possibilities inherent in being an educator. Working at a two-year institution, I worry about the high cost of education for many of my students who are first generation in their family to attend college, returning students and veterans and international students. These worries have increased for many of my students and colleagues with the coronavirus. Creating access and a culture of inclusivity is vital to the success of honors education and reduces stratification in higher education. I would like to support NCHC’s rich legacy of defining honors education, serving diverse constituencies (students, faculty and honors directors from various types of institutions).
This spring, COVID-19 has challenged education and many other social institutions as well as our students. In honors we pride ourselves on creating enhanced learning experiences and building community for the students in our programs. The rapid switch to remote learning in March forced us to innovate as we worked to preserve the essential characteristics of our academic initiatives and events. It has also been a time of reflection as we think about our mission as honors educators. For some institutions, there will be a greater continued virtual presence in honors after the pandemic. There has traditionally not been a lot of honors coursework in the online environment. This is an opportunity for NCHC to help its members strategize and define how to translate what we do in this new way of interacting with our students. Supporting our honors faculty, some of whom may not be as comfortable with remote teaching is also important. Creating a space to explore and share best practices with structured learning, online learning, and blended classes is the next frontier. Sharing the types of events and activities that we are hosting via Zoom, Blackboard Collaborate, and other platforms for students and colleagues would also be valuable. These discussions can help us assess what are the characteristics of honors in a more virtual world. I would like to contribute to the exploration of pandemic pedagogy and honors programs. I am committed to helping NCHC plan for the future in a rapidly changing educational environment.
I have been a faculty-leader at California State University, Fullerton for 20 years. I have participated as a member and leader in a range of committees focused on curricular, personnel, awards, student leadership, international education, and more. However, my more significant leadership roles have included my roles as Modern Languages & Literatures department chair; Coordinator for the Latin American Studies Program for 15 years; Campus Representative, Southern California Representative and President of the CSU World Languages Council for two terms (2015-2019); director of the University Honors Program for 5 years; and faculty coordinator for various graduate student programs and grants including the Department of Education CSUF UpGrads Grant.
Qualifications for Holding Office
Beyond meeting the requirements for NCHC board, I would like to support issues of diversity and inclusion that impact NCHC and its members. Last October 2019 I hosted the 4th annual National Society for Minorities in Honors Conference with support from NCHC colleagues as well as joined the NCHC Diversity Committee this past November 2019. I am a committed NCHC member, I have great admiration for the work and support the organization provides, especially through the Beginning in Honors program. I would look forward to engaging in the organization’s issues, providing feedback, and collaborating with colleagues to move forward as we recover and rebuild from our current global pandemic. My strengths include my experiences as a 1st generation, Latinx faculty leader who has worked hard at my own institution to open honors education to all students, particularly underrepresented and underserved students. I am a collaborative leader who can engage in differing views and respond with compassion and professionalism to all students and colleagues. My goals as part of the board would be to contribute my particular perspective to decision-making, especially in regard to serving Latinx students and faculty. I am a dedicated leader who will take on shared tasks with dedication and professionalism. I will contribute my time and energy for the collective well-being of the NCHC members.
Having been involved in honors leadership positions at two different universities, I have cultivated a deep understanding of the opportunities and challenges that face us as honors educators. I began my honors career at Dillard University in New Orleans, LA, where as Dean I increased student participation in Honors and enhanced the profile of the program. For the last decade I have been the Director of the Clara I. Adams Honors College at Morgan State University in Baltimore, MD. During that time, I have increased enrollment in the Honors College, founded the Greater Baltimore Collegiate Honors Council (GBCHC) to increase collaboration between honors programs at universities in the Baltimore metropolitan area, and extended our involvement in state, regional, and national honors organizations. I currently serve as Vice President of the Maryland Collegiate Honors Council (MCHC) and am a member of the NCHC Advocacy Committee and the Editorial Board of Illuminate , the student journal of the Northeast Regional Honors Council (NRHC). Most recently, I have launched, with the strong support of senior leadership, Destination Honors , a comprehensive initiative to make Morgan State the premier location for honors-caliber students seeking the HBCU experience. I would look forward to bringing the perspective of my long experience to the NCHC Board.
One of my greatest strengths is my commitment to creating and sustaining an environment of mutual respect and collaboration among professional colleagues. As a person of color, I have also devoted my professional life to promoting diversity. My work on the Advocacy Committee has given me insight into ways in which Honors education could be broadened and strengthened, particularly at minority-serving institutions. I believe that NCHC should extend its reach into secondary schools and cultivate the rising generation of honors scholars, especially students of color. And finally, I would look for ways to encourage NCHC member institutions to become more engaged in their local communities, replacing the common stereotype of “honors elitism” with diverse images of honors professionals and students striving to be good neighbors always ready to extend a hand in friendship and service to others.
For the past eight years I have been an enthusiastic leader and advocate for honors education from Virginia State University, the first publicly funded HBCU in the United States. During this time my team and I have wholly transformed the VSU honors experience. Our success has followed from our engagement and full embrace of all that is good and aspirational in the broader world of honors education. Students now attend and present at four key annual honors conferences per year: NCHC, National Association of African American Honors Programs (NAAAHP), Southern Regional Honors Council (SRHC), and the Virginias Collegiate Honors Council (VCHC). VSU students have been recognized at these events, and have served in leadership positions, including recently on the NCHC board.
I have grown immensely from my experiences serving as the president of VCHC for two years, from attending NCHC institutes on honors advising and program review, and from participating in the Honors International Faculty Institute in the Netherlands. Service on the NCHC International Education and Assessment and Evaluation committees, and my related work as an active program reviewer have all provided me with additional insight into the breadth and depth of honors education programming.
It is because of this combination of experiences that I am convinced that I can contribute meaningfully as a member of the NCHC Board of Directors. I will bring a perspective that is particularly informed by HBCUs, programs that are being recast, state level honors councils, and international honors. In short, I would serve as a board member with exposure and experience in some of the key areas relevant for the future strengthening and development of honors education under NCHC. Should I be elected to the board, I would use my position to assist in strengthening, where possible, the relationships between NCHC and the regional councils as well as the NAAAHP, state level councils, and emerging international groupings. I believe there are multiple areas in which deeper cooperation would enhance collaborating organizations, all while strengthening honors education.
I would welcome with enthusiasm the opportunity to bring my voice to the NCHC Board of Directors!
My name is Kristina Pickering. I am a rising junior and I embrace opportunities to serve the communities at my university as well the greater Baltimore area. I seek to use my skills to serve the NCHC community as well.
Through leadership opportunities on the boards of Morrissy Honors Program, the American Association of University Women and the service club Pathfinders, I have refined my skills. Working in our Safety Department, and as a member of our Bonner’s Leaders Program I have interacted with and provided services to my university as well as a local hospital. During the pandemic, I created a social media page to provide a space for people to process issues related to COVID-19.
My passion for equal rights, my hope to serve populations in need and my excitement to engage positively with my community illustrates my enthusiasm for improving the world around me. I have learned how to efficiently manage my time, develop new methods of organization and enhance my communication skills.
I want to be a resource for members of NCHC. I feel embraced by this community. If elected, I would like to provide stress relief programs, encourage networking between students and work to personalize the experiences of all members. To increase communication, I will utilize my skills with video, photography, and editing to provide fun experiences for those across the states. Despite what happens in the future, I want to expand the welcoming and caring community that NCHC has built.