NCHC Ron Brandolini Award for Excellence at a Two-Year Institution

This award, presented by NCHC and the Valencia College Foundation, recognizes a two-year college honors director or faculty member for their outstanding contributions to the honors community. The selected winner will receive $500, along with an engraved plaque. The award will be presented at the NCHC Annual Conference.

Ron Brandolini, founding director of Valencia College’s honors program in the 1980s, served in that capacity for 20 years. During that time he recruited top students and teachers for the program, elevating the program’s stature throughout the country. Ron was a frequent presenter at NCHC conferences and a session leader for Beginning in Honors for many years. He served on the Executive Committee and the Two-Year College Committee as well as serving on the conference planning committee for at least five years. Ron also served as the president of the Florida Collegiate Honors Council.

Please complete the application below to nominate an outstanding honors director or honors faculty member for the NCHC Ron Brandolini Award. Three letters of recommendation are required.

2021 Winner

Dr. Bruce Thompson, Frederick Community College

Jeffrey Portnoy

Whether you’re a student, a staff member, or an administrator, all can agree honors education is a field in which a leader needs to wear many hats. Those who work closely with Dr. Bruce Thompson say no one wears them better than him.

“He is the Department Chair of Social Sciences and Education. He is a civil rights historian. He has been a faculty member for close to thirty years,” Dr. Brian Stipelman, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs/Dean of Liberal Arts at Frederick Community College shares of Thompson. “But what he is best known for, and the work he is most passionate about is facilitating honors learning. He has served as the Honors Coordinator at FCC for over a decade and infuses the philosophy of ‘Deeper, Broader, or More Complex’ into all aspects of his work. I cannot imagine anyone who is as dedicated to an Honors program as Bruce.”

In addition to the pursuit of academic excellence, colleagues say Thompson has infused a spirit of personal growth, leadership, and development into the program. “Mentorship programs are difficult to establish under ideal circumstances, let alone at a two-year college with high student turnover, but Bruce has managed to make it a success,” Stipelman shared. “This is no doubt in part to the palpable sense of student community he has managed to foster. This supportive community has helped to motivate students stay at FCC to complete their honors work.”

Colleagues share the program thrives at FCC because of how effective Thompson is in sharing that passion with others, how well he mentors, nurtures, and develops honors students and the faculty who work with them. FCC even recently recognized his commitment by awarding him the 2020 Presidential Leadership Award. “The Honors Program is a point of considerable pride for FCC, and that program is synonymous with Bruce Thompson,” Stipelman humbly states. “He does it because honors is his passion.”

The National Collegiate Honors Council is proud to award Dr. Bruce Thompson of Frederick Community College as recipient of the 2021 NCHC Ron Brandolini Award for Excellence at a Two-Year Institution. Thompson will be presented as the recipient of this award on Saturday October 30th, during the NCHC Awards presentation in Orlando, as part of NCHC21.


2022 Nominations open January 25, 2022 and close June 15, 2022.

Applications will be available via the form below or at this link.