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 an engraved plaque, along with $500 for the honors program to be used at the discretion of the director. 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.

2019 Recipient

Prof. Kathleen King, Hillsborough Community College

When you step foot on any of the six campuses of Hillsborough Community College in Tampa, Fla., the first thing you may notice is the humidity. The second will most likely be the welcoming culture HCC has fostered, exemplifying the “community” in Hillsborough Community College.

“HCC Honors students make our college a kinder and more beautiful place, that treats people more justly,” Dean of Associates of Arts Degree Programs, Dustin Lemke, graciously shared, adding “this does not happen by accident. Kathleen King works tirelessly to facilitate this change.”

To many of her colleagues, King has made such a significant impact in honors—at the state, regional, and national levels. King has served on the National Collegiate Honors Council Board of Directors from both student and professional perspectives—as a student member while completing her undergraduate work in honors at University of Maine at Augusta, and as director of the Honors Institute at Hillsborough Community College. King has also served as co-chair of the NCHC Partners in the Parks Committee, as well as the NCHC Advocacy Committee.

Those who have worked closely with her say King is always inventive, creative, and passionate—continuously working to connect not just those who work as honors professionals, but also her honors students to the opportunities and possibilities that await their discovery.

“She is a ‘MacGyver’ with honors budgets, and can create an international trip for less money than any other honors guru I know,” NCHC Board of Directors member, Dr. Linda Frost, says of King. “I love her as a dear, dear friend, but I am in awe of her as someone who has literally taken the honors community by storm and made us all better for it.”

Faculty members from the Honors Institute at HCC say King truly immerses herself into the honors community. “Kathleen is always encouraging faculty and staff to get more involved in projects, and offers her support in doing so, she advocates for the students and the program at HCC, she is well-respected, and she welcomes conversations about how we can better serve our students and their ever-changing needs,” HCC counselor and professor, Angela Mick, recalls of King. “I truly admire Kathleen and the way her brain works. She is creative in her approaches, and is always thinking about ways in which she can make the program better.”

Perhaps what shines the most about King from the different nominations submitted in her name, is her commitment to growth and experiential learning, no matter what your background may be. “Students at HCC are typical community college students: they have money struggles, they are from under-served minority groups, and they are intelligent but often lacking academic support at home,” Lemke shared. “Kathleen bridges the divide between what they have been given in life, and where their hopes and dreams are aiming.”

“Kathleen enacts her beliefs about bringing people together and generating a bond between them. I am so glad and so grateful that I have had the chance to be a part of that excellent energy,” Frost lovingly said, adding “Kathleen should receive this award for her skills as a [Partners in the Parks] van-driver on the treacherously thin highways of high mountaintops. She is a queen at the wheel, I tell you.”


2020 Nominations open January 25, 2020 and close June 15, 2020.

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