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 an engraved plaque along with $500 for the honors program to be used at the discretion of the director. The winner will be announced prior to NCHC's Annual Conference and awarded at the event.

2019 Recipient

Dr. Linda Frost, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

To those closest to her, there is one way to describe Linda Frost: “A human whirlwind.”

“One minute, she’s three inches from your face, waving her arms in excitement about some new idea she has for an honors project,” 2017 NCHC Founders Award recipient, Dr. Ada Long, recalls of the exuberant presence of Frost, “the next minute she is running off to hug a former student, and then she is ducking into a conference room to give a presentation.”

A professor of English, Frost has been active in honors since 2004, first as Associate Director at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, then as Director at Eastern Kentucky University, and now as Dean at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Frost is a member of the NCHC Board of Directors, co-chair of the Publications Committee, and a member of the Conference Planning Committee. For six years, she ran the NCHC Newsletter Contest, and she has served in the gamut of offices, including president, of the Southern Regional Honors Council.

In honors, Frost has published four articles in JNCHC; co-edited the monograph Honors Housing, in which she also has a chapter; took the lead in founding UReCA: The NCHC Journal of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity in 2018; and at latest count has given nineteen presentations at NCHC conferences. The latest edition of The Journal of the National Collegiate Honors Council (JNCHC 20.1) is also dedicated to Frost and her contributions to NCHC publications.

In her field of American Studies, she has also published numerous articles, given countless presentations, and published two books with the tantalizing titles Never One Nation: Freaks, Savages and Whiteness in U.S. Popular Culture, 1850-1877 and Conjoined Twins in Black and White: The Lives of Millie-Christine McKoy and Daisy and Violet Hilton. She also founded and edited for seven years PMS PoemMemoirStory, a journal of women’s literature that became a nationally recognized, award-winning publication, and she has published twenty-four of her own poems in other literary journals.

Colleagues say Frost’s tireless work ethic is what has made her such a trusted person within the honors community. “Linda’s record of professional service clearly demonstrates her dedication to honors, the noble pursuit of education and scholarship, and, moreover, to the honors students, faculty, and other people lucky enough to work in her orbit,” NCHC Board of Directors member, Dr. Andrew Cognard-Black, says of Frost. “Linda is a renaissance woman, a poet, an event planner, a teacher, a mentor, and a scholar. Linda is a force.”

“Linda has had hundreds if not thousands of honors students at the three universities where she has been a teacher and administrator,” Long added. “They all remember her with love, and—more impressively—she seems to remember all of them with love.”


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

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