NCHC Sam Schuman Award for Excellence at a Four-Year Institution

“Teachers need to love their subject matter,
and they need to love their students,
and they need to love bringing them together.”

-- Dr. Sam Schuman

NCHC is pleased to present the Sam Schuman Award for Excellence at a Four-Year Institution. Presented to an honors program director or faculty member at the NCHC Annual Conference, this award serves to recognize those who are making outstanding contributions to the honors community at four-year institutions.

Samuel Schuman, who passed away on November 11, 2014 left a legacy as an accomplished scholar, professor, and administrator. As the author of “Beginning in Honors” and an annual presenter at NCHC conferences and workshops, Sam exemplified the spirit of honors education and was passionate about sharing his love of honors with his students and peers. NCHC and the honors community owe Dr. Schuman their continuing gratitude for all that he contributed to the growth and development of honors.

Schuman Award winners will receive $500, along with an engraved plaque. The winner will be announced prior to NCHC's Annual Conference and awarded at the event.

Please complete the application below to nominate an outstanding honors director or honors faculty member for the NCHC Ron Brandolini Award. The application requires detail about contributions to teaching in honors and involvement in honors beyond the home institution. A total of three letters of support, from the applicant’s institution as well as faculty colleagues or students, are required.

Please consider applying or nominating a deserving honors educator. NCHC is committed to recognizing our two-year college colleagues who strengthen honors education.

2022 Winner

Dr. Gregory O'Dea, The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Gregory O’Dea, Associate Dean of the Honors College at University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and “champion of student and faculty development,” has been named this year’s Sam Schuman award winner.

A significant force on the UTC campus, O’Dea collaborates tirelessly with faculty, providing recommendations and guidance for the innovation and design of honors syllabi. His talent for recognizing the possibilities for these creative ideas has resulted in seminars that continue to grow support for the honors college from across campus.

O’Dea has spent a career developing and contributing to the honors culture at UTC. His compassion and dedication to students’ senior thesis experiences are further characterized by UTC Honors’ 90% thesis completion rate. His ability to “cut through students’ veils” - with vision, passion, wit, and accessibility – provides students with great ideas.

Please join us in Dallas to recognize Dr. Greg O’Dea, recipient of the 2022 Sam Schuman Award for Excellence at a Four-Year Institution.


2023 Nominations open March 1, 2023 and close June 15, 2023.

Applications are available via the form below or at this link.