News from NCHC | August 2023

In This Issue...

From the President

From the ED

NCHC23: Early Bird Rate Ending Soon

NCHC23: Summer Giveaway

NCHC23: Call for Arts Master Classes

NCHC23: Call for Student Moderators

Dates & Deadlines

Call for UReCA Submissions

JNCHC Call for Submissions

Open NCHC Awards

Student Award Winners


From the President

Dear Colleagues, 

Happy August!

I know we are all very busy preparing for or starting the new academic year.  I hope this year proves to be a wonderful one for you and your students.

NCHC has also had a busy month.  I am delighted to welcome James Zebrowski as our new Executive Director and I have been heartened to hear positive reports from him and other members of our professional staff in Lincoln, NE.  He is spending a great deal of time listening to the staff, members of the Board, and leaders of committees as he learns the ins and outs of NCHC and its culture.  In early September we will host a meet and greet so James can speak with all members of the Board.  We will arrange a member-wide meet and greet for a bit later in fall.  There will also be opportunities to meet James at our annual conference in Chicago.

I wish you all the best for the fall semester!

Susan Dinan
National Collegiate Honors Council


From the ED

Dear Members of the Council, 

It is with great enthusiasm that I write to you today as the newly appointed Executive Director for the National Collegiate Honors Council. It is an incredible honor to join this passionate and diverse network of institutions, scholars, and educators. Today marks my thirteenth day with NCHC, and I am so encouraged by the welcoming atmosphere exhibited throughout our community, leadership, and of course the headquarters team. 

When I was recruited for this opportunity, the organization sought a dynamic, mission-driven leader, passionate about leading operations and fostering growth via programmatic initiatives. Given my expertise in the field of entrepreneurship, it was the growth-orientation that originally piqued my interest. As I further explored NCHC alongside the search committee, I recognized an attribute that encouraged me to begin a new journey with each of you.  This can best be described as network activation. I remain so impressed with the sheer volume of engagement throughout the NCHC community.  This demonstration of diverse community participation indicated there would be great support from the membership, and this was my deciding factor in joining the NCHC team. 

As we embark on this journey together, my goal is to build upon the rich and longstanding legacy of NCHC while fostering innovation and growth. Your dedication, passion, and insights will be invaluable as we steward NCHC into the future. To that end, I look forward to connecting with and learning from the various communities within NCHC, and of course, meeting each of you at the upcoming National Conference in Chicago. 

Given this is an opportunity to introduce myself, I’d like to share the results of a personal Gallup® assessment. You’ll find that the nature of these results yields leadership characteristics that align well with the NCHC Executive Director profile. Humbly, it gives me great confidence in my ability to serve NCHC well. After years of research, Jim Clifton and Sangeeta Badal, Ph.D. identified ten innate talents that successful business “builders” share. They assembled these talents into three builder archetypes. According to my Builder Profile 10™, I am a Rainmaker. This indicates that I am boldly self-confident in my capacity to succeed, I apply clear growth strategy to my endeavors and measure success by key performance indicators, such as profitability or sustainability. I have an inherently optimistic perception of risk and I manage that risk analytically. Lastly, I develop authentic relationships that energize communities and teams with a vision of the future. 

I will apply these characteristics in how I collaborate with the board to develop strategic priorities and advance program alliances with other organizations, government agencies, and higher education. I will seek to identify the greatest needs of the network and provide value to membership whenever possible, and I look forward to learning from each of you what makes NCHC special and how we can best plan to amplify and scale those elements to impact the grander membership. 

In summation, I am thrilled to be here, and I’m looking forward to the future.  I am excited to share this journey with each of you and look forward to your input and guidance along the way. 

Best Regards, 

James N. Zebrowski, Jr., M.S. 
Executive Director
National Collegiate Honors Council



Early Bird Registration Closes August 31!

Have you secured your best deal to attend NCHC23 in Chicago? Early Bird registration pricing and 10+ Student Group pricing ends August 31, in just a few days! We can't wait to welcome you back together for a wonderful event this fall.

Don't forget: If you're a presenter at NCHC23, you must be registered AND paid by August 31 to secure your presentation in the schedule. If your plans have changed and you won't be presenting, please let us know as soon as possible by completing the Presenter Change Form.

Register Today!



Join NCHC as we Celebrate in Chicago this November! We're giving away one final FREE REGISTRATION to #NCHC23, and all you have to do to enter is register! On September 1, the last name will be drawn from all registered attendees to receive a free conference registration.

Registrations must be received by 11:59pm CST on August 31 to be eligible to win. All registrations received by NCHC prior to September 1 are included as eligible for the drawing.



Call for Arts Master Classes

"(At the Master Classes) I learned the importance of being mindful of your acoustics. The way I perform a monologue may not be the same if I perform it in another place.
The Research (Poster) Showcase was one of my favorite things about NCHC22 and it really opened my eyes to what research could look like."

--Maddy Green, Mississippi State University
Anthropology Major  |  Drama Master Class


Arts master classes are performance workshops and clinics that allow for individual or group creative presentations, coached or facilitated by experts in the discipline. This year we are offering master classes in drama, film, microfiction, and music. 

Applicants for the music master class must submit a recorded audition piece.

Audiovisual (AV) technology is available for arts master classes. All AV requests must be made at the time of proposal submission. Late AV requests cannot be accommodated.

DRAMA: The drama master class will be facilitated by Donna Clevinger (Mississippi State University). Questions should be directed to

FILM: The film master class will be facilitated by Michele Forman (University of Alabama Birmingham). Questions should be directed to

MICROFICTION - New this year! The microfiction master class will be facilitated by Jennifer Cognard-Black (St. Mary’s College of Maryland). [We all know what short fiction is—but what is a microfiction? At its most basic, a microfiction is a story told in 280 words or less. Yet this form must also catch a reader’s breath, offering compelling characters, a central problem, efficient plots, and resonant endings. As the well-known microfictionist Jerome Stern has asked, “What can be done on a single typed page in this oldest of ways of telling? What bright shapes can it contain?"] Questions should be directed to

MUSIC: The music master class will be facilitated by Galit Gertsenzon (Ball State University), Bernardo Scarambone (Eastern Kentucky University), Larry Smith (Missouri Baptist University), and Rebecca Sorley (University of Indianapolis). Questions should be directed to

Evaluation of applicants will begin on May 26, 2023, with participants being selected on a rolling basis through August 31, 2023. The earlier you apply, the greater your chance of acceptance and the more time you will have to arrange funding and transportation for the conference. Successful application by July 1, 2023, will ensure inclusion in the prepared conference materials.

General questions regarding the NCHC23 Arts master classes should be directed to Steven Edwards at or (504) 234-4457.

Steven Edwards (Delgado Community College)
Coordinator, NCHC23 Arts Master Classes

Submit for the Arts Master Classes


Call for Student Moderators

NCHC23 will be filled with opportunities to learn, engage, share, and make meaningful connections. Students can make the most of their conference experience by volunteering as a session moderator! This is a great way to network and lead in our honors community. (Training will be provided.)
Student Moderators are assigned to conference sessions upon review of a student's application to participate. Responsibilities of Student Moderators include—but are not limited to—the following:
•    Arriving early to assigned General Session room
•    Ensuring presentation room is set up correctly
•    Introducing session presenters
•    Keeping track of time for each presentation
•    Reminding presenters of time frames
•    Encouraging and facilitating discussions following each presentation
If you are interested in serving as a Student Moderator at #NCHC23, please fill out an application below. Before you fill out the application, please reach out to your honors director and verify that your institution will be paying for your conference registration, as well as your travel/lodging in Chicago.
If you are also a conference presenter: there is a section of the application to indicate the time/date of your scheduled presentation(s). Times for #NCHC23 presentations will be released soon; please wait until you find out your scheduled presentation time to complete your application.
Applications close Monday October 2, 2023!

Apply to be a Student Moderator

Dates and Deadlines

Take note of these upcoming important dates for NCHC members!

August 31 NCHC23 Presenter Registration and Payment Deadline
  NCHC23 Early Bird Pricing Ends
September 1 JNCHC Submissions Deadline
September 8 Student of the Year Award Deadline
September 15 UReCA Submissions Deadline - 2023 Issue
September 15 Fall Portz Grant Deadline



UReCA Seeks Submissions for the 2023 Issue

UReCA, the NCHC Journal of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity, is seeking submissions from all currently enrolled undergraduate students. The deadline to submit is September 15.

Works submitted may be works produced for classes or works produced outside of a classroom environment. Undergraduate students who are currently enrolled in any college or university are eligible to submit. Do not include any identifying information (name, address, institution) within your document as we follow a double-blind review process.

The next issue will be released in November 2023. We look forward to receiving your works.

Submit works here:


Call for JNCHC Submissions

The next issue of JNCHC (deadline: September 1, 2023) invites research essays on any topic of interest to the honors community.

The issue will also include a Forum focused on the theme “Creating an Honors Faculty,” in which we invite honors educators to examine how honors faculty are defined, selected, recruited, retained, and rewarded. We invite essays of roughly 1000-2000 words that consider this theme in a practical and/or theoretical context. 

The lead essay for the Forum is by Lynne C. Elkes of Loyola University Maryland. In “Creating and Celebrating Honors Faculty,” Elkes applauds the unique quality of honors educators, who approach their students and their work with a passion beyond what is expected of higher education in general. Teachers attracted to honors become part of a community of learners along with their students, contributing not just their academic expertise but their whole selves to their shared love of learning, going beyond any expected job requirements to partner with their students, to mentor them in their research, and to help them become better people as well as students. At the same time, honors programs tend to lack structure compared to typical academic disciplines, which have defined hierarchies and systems of rewards such as tenure, promotion, and salary protocols. Honors programs typically attract different kinds of faculty at different ranks and with different levels of job security, from tenured to contingent. This flexibility and ineffability—sometimes controlled chaos—can create authenticity, but it can also lead to abuse when faculty are taken for granted and expected to take on significant extra responsibilities without attendant expectations of reward. Elkes suggests that some standardization within the practices of hiring, retention, compensation, and job responsibilities could reduce this kind of abuse, acknowledge the special dedication of honors faculty, and evoke a higher level of respect not just for honors teachers but for the kind of devotion they commit to teaching and learning.

Contributors to the Forum on “Creating an Honors Faculty” may, but are not obliged to, respond directly to Elkes’s essay. Questions that Forum contributors might consider include:

  • Is the loose structure and hierarchy of honors faculty a benefit, liability, and/or inevitability?
  • How should honors faculty be selected, and who should select them?
  • Is there any hard evidence for the assumption that honors faculty are exceptionally dedicated to teaching?
  • Would a traditional academic reward system disrupt the passion and personal dedication we associate with teaching in honors?
  • Does honors have—or can it create—a just and satisfying reward system different from that of a typical academic discipline?
  • Can a different kind of reward system for honors faculty promote diversity, equity, and inclusion?
  • How is an honors faculty created on your campus, and does it work?
  • What character traits are essential for a good honors teacher?
  • What academic credentials (if any) should be required to teach in honors?

Information about JNCHC—including the editorial policy, submission guidelines, guidelines for abstracts and keywords, and a style sheet—is available on the NCHC website.

Please send all submissions to Ada Long at

NCHC journals (JNCHC and HIP) and monographs are included in the following electronic databases: ERIC, EBSCO, Gale Cengage, and UNL Digital Commons. Both journals are listed in Cabell International's Directory of Publishing Opportunities.


NCHC Awards

  • NCHC Student of the Year Award
    (closes September 8)

    The NCHC Student of the Year Award is presented to honors students who are student members of NCHC, have made an impact on their honors program, and who have participated in honors at the regional and/or national level. Nominated by their honors director, two students will be selected by the NCHC Student Affairs Committee: one from a 2-year institution, and one from a 4-year institution. $500 will be awarded to each winner, and also $500 to their respective honors program or college. Winners will be announced at the NCHC Annual Conference awards ceremony.

    Nominate your outstanding students today!


  • NCHC Fall Portz Grants

    Fall Portz Grant applications are now open and close September 15, 2023! 

    Do you have an innovative honors project or course that needs grant assistance?

    The NCHC Awards & Grants Committee invites interested NCHC institutions and professional members to submit an application for an NCHC Portz Grant. NCHC Portz Grants exist to support honors program/college course innovation and can be small (up to $500) or large (up to $1,500)!


NCHC Awards: Congratulations!

Congratulations to the following 2023 NCHC Student Award Winners!

      2023 John J. Hanigan Scholarship Winner

Helen Yousaf, William Paterson University

2023 Freddye T. Davy Scholarship Winners

Ava Grace Lee, The University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Betzy Balladares Oviedo, George Mason University
Eric Phann, The University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Kennedy Brooks, The University of North Carolina at Charlotte

2023 Portz Scholars

Alicia Callahan, Washington State University
Serene Hawes, Kent State University
Ethan Lambert, University of Mississippi
Maile Wong, University of Hawai'i at Manoa

2023 Community Engagement Award Winners

Serena Truong, Florida Gulf Coast University
Andrew Parra, Florida Gulf Coast University


Be sure to attend the Awards Ceremony on Friday, November 10th during NCHC23 to congratulate all our 2023 award winners and celebrate with a dessert reception to follow!