News from NCHC | April 2020

In This Issue...

From the ED

2020 Event Updates

Final Call for Board Nominations

Virtual Commencement Premiere Party

JNCHC Call for Papers

HIP Call for Papers

NSCS Upcoming Webinar

2020 Portz Fellowship Winners

GEICO Member Discount

From the ED

Making Stone Soup

It's an old story. About a traveler who makes the best of a rock because he's in a hard place.

It struck me this month that our lives are a bit like those in the narrative. It's possible that your pantry is bare. It's possible that you've felt less than culinary-creative, even though social media has no limit on the number of "eating in a pandemic" groups. It may also be possible that you are feeling isolated, cheated, anxious, fearful, or any combination of emotions that lead to feeling that you have only a "stone" of value.

Everyone has already found the spot between the rock and a hard place.

In the story, the main character convinces other travelers that his stone would benefit from just a little of whatever someone else has. In some versions, the traveler uses wile, and in other versions, sympathy, framing the scenario so the community rallies and brings ingredients to the table, every one encouraged by the opportunity to contribute to this shared experience.

NCHC has all the traits of the community; we've seen the contributions that come together in this network to brainstorm solutions for people weighted down by stones.

The reaction to the recent environment is only part of the story. Individuals have reached out to facilitate discussions, provide instructions, change presentation and technology platforms, and add solutions to conversations, like salt to soup. Even before March 2020, volunteers reached out through consultant opportunities, campus visits, and publications - sometimes predicting the stones – but always looking for ways to create something together with others willing to share both the rocks and the seasoning.

We're in the middle of the recipe. We know what the stones are, but we're not quite sure of their potency or quantity. We know, of course, there's no shortage of hot water.

New and varied opportunities to add to the community are still evolving as NCHC and leadership continue to evaluate the changes that will impact membership needs, as well as conference,this fall and into the next several years. The significant participation in the online networking and training options offered this spring has caused us to evaluate the ability of adding more options through the summer to maintain the strength of your work in honors education.

Your ability to share experiences, skills, talking points, or other areas of expertise will impact the network in ways that may never be measurable, but for the person bearing the rock, it could very well impact the strategy for survival.

I know that you may have a pocket, or a briefcase, or an over-active brain heavy with the rocks you carry. I encourage you to find someone who can share your perspective. If you're new to NCHC and not sure where to look for a mentor, send us an email and we'll find someone to talk things through with you.

Look for more ways to collaborate soon. In the meantime, I hope that you can find a time to relax before the summer session starts.

Be well!

Mary Beth

2020 Event Updates

Finall Call for 2021 Board Nominations

Two weeks remain to complete your nomination materials and run for a seat on NCHC's Board of Directors!

Deadlines for self-nomination materials are June 1, 2020,. All you need to know about running for the board is contained at this link.

We currently invite nominations for the position of vice-president, as well as for both professional and student members of the board, which are three-year terms. If you want to learn more about how satisfying this service is, please feel free to reach out to any member of the current board.

You may also contact Richard Badenhausen, chair of the Nominating Committee, at or at 801.832.2460.

Honors Virtual Commencement Address

Tomorrow is the big day! On May 20 at 6pm central, please join us for the Worldwide YouTube Premiere of a special Virtual Commencement Video from award-winning filmmaker Brett Culp!

Join YouTube Premiere Party

Download Invitation to Share

JNCHC Call for Papers

The next issue of JNCHC (deadline: September 1, 2020) invites research essays on any topic of interest to the honors community.

The issue will also include a Forum focused on the theme "Big Hearts, Big Minds," which is also the theme for the 2020 NCHC conference. 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 Suketu P. Bhavsar. In his essay "Teaching from the Heart," he coaxes the reader toward a perception and practice of teaching that includes our spiritual and emotional, as well as our cognitive, selves. He suggests that honors should lead in a paradigm shift valuing the expression of our whole selves in our connections with students and colleagues. He provides three examples from his own experiences as a student and as a teacher; these stories illustrate that through a careful expression of compassion and authenticity, we may deepen our and our students' experience in the academy. He proposes that becoming a compassionate educator is a skill that can be learned, and he offers some lessons for readers to start on that path.

In Appendix B of his essay, Bhavsar has supplied a list of possible topics to which readers are invited to respond. Other possible topics and questions for Forum contributors to consider might include the following:

  • Bhavsar asks his readers to tell their own stories of practicing authenticity and compassion as teachers, so tell yours.
  • Respond to Bhavsar's challenge to "contribute thoughts, examples, experiences, successes, and failures" to a debate about why or whether a paradigm shift is what we need in honors.
  • Discuss Bhavsar's comment that in his early days of teaching, his kindness "was based on personality rather than compassion." What is the difference, and why does it matter?
  • Describe problems—be they practical, ideological, or pedagogical—that you see in Bhavsar's advocacy of compassionate teaching.
  • How would it be possible to implement Bhavsar's approach to teaching in our age of assessment and evaluation?

Information about JNCHC—including the editorial policy, submission guidelines, guidelines for abstracts and keywords, and a style sheet—are 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.

* * * * *

Call for HIP Submissions

(including a special section on the coronavirus)

Honors in Practice is accepting submissions for Volume 16 (2021). The deadline is January 1, 2021.

Editorial Policy for Honors in Practice

Honors in Practice (HIP) is a refereed journal of applied research publishing articles about innovative honors practices and integrative, interdisciplinary, and pedagogical issues of interest to honors educators. HIP employs a double-blind peer review process. Authors should include discussion of how central ideas and practices may be applied in campus settings other than their own, and the thesis should be located within a larger context such as theoretical perspectives, trends in higher education, or historical background. Essays should demonstrate awareness of previous discussions of the topic in honors publications and other relevant sources; bibliographies of JNCHC, HIP, and the NCHC Monograph Series are available on the NCHC website.

Brief Ideas about What Works in Honors

HIP also publishes short descriptions of a successful course, project, idea, or assignment. Submissions should be 500-750 words long; they should have three keywords; the abstract should be short (preferably one sentence); and references (if any) should be internal.

Special Section on Dealing with the Coronavirus

For the 2021 volume of HIP, we invite contributions to a special section on how honors faculty and administrators have been dealing with the coronavirus. Submissions might focus on the difficulties or delights of online teaching in honors, any challenges you have faced resulting from anxiety (mental, emotional, medical, or technological) among your students and/or you, any unexpected experience you have had, and any advice you have for other honors educators based on your experience. We suggest an essay length of 1000-2000 words but do not plan to be strict about word count.

Submission Guidelines

We accept material by e-mail attachment in Word (not pdf). We do not accept material by fax or hard copy, nor do we receive documents with tracking.

If documentation is used, the documentation style can be whatever is appropriate to the author's primary discipline or approach (MLA, APA, etc.), employing internal citation to a list of references (bibliography).

All essay submissions to the journals must include an abstract of no more than 250 words and a list of no more than five keywords. For a submission to "Brief Ideas about What Works in Honors," the abstract should be short (preferably one sentence) and include a maximum of three keywords.

Only the "Brief Ideas" have minimum or maximum length requirements; the length should be dictated by the topic and its most effective presentation.

Accepted essays are edited for grammatical and typographical errors and for infelicities of style or presentation. Authors have ample opportunity to review and approve edited manuscripts before publication.

Please send all submissions to Ada Long at

Abstracting and indexing services providing coverage of HIP are Academic OneFile; Cabell's Directory of Publishing Opportunities in Educational Curriculum & Methods and Educational Psychology & Administration; Current Abstracts; Education Abstracts; Education Index; Education Research Complete; Education Source; Educator's Reference Complete; ERIC; InfoTrac; and OmniFile Full Text Mega. Current and back issues of HIP are available in the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Digital Commons repository and for purchase on the NCHC website.

Upcoming Webinar

Click here to register for this NCHC Virtual Meeting

Portz Fellowship Winners

Six students have been selected by NCHC's Portz Fellowship Committee as recipients of 2020 Portz Interdisciplinary Fellowship awards. Three $5,000 awards and three $1,500 awards were distributed to recipients to support their original research projects.

The Portz Interdisciplinary Fellowship program launched in 2010 through a gift from John and Edythe Portz, who were pioneers and advocates of honors education. These awards support creative and innovative endeavors that cross boundaries, inviting application from individuals who wish to undertake cross-disciplinary research or from a team of two students from different disciplines who propose a single collaborative project.

Congratulations to 2020's Portz Interdisciplinary Fellowship Winners!

Ariadna Guevara, St. Edwards University ($5,000)
Project Title: Depictions of 1989 in Germany and China: An Analysis on Portrayal of History, Collective Memory, and their implications on Political Orientation.

Gabriela Masztalerz, University of Northern Colorado ($5,000)
Project Title: Accent Modification and Identity: A Phenomenological Study Exploring the Experiences of International Students and Immigrants/Refugees

Mia Nguyen, Dominican University of California ($5,000)
Project Title: Furthering Cultural Competency in Psychological Research: A Case Study with Vietnamese Seniors in Marin County

Kamyar Kamyar, Drexel University ($1,500)
Project Title: Do Employers Screen Applicants Based on Work History? A Text Analysis of Help-Wanted Ads

Waheed Khalili, University of North Florida ($1,500)
Project Title: The Long-Term Effects of Health Disparities in Refugee Communities

Nastasiya Zborovitskaya, Siberian Federal University ($1,500)
Project Title: Art in Honors: The Pedagogical Potential of the Work of Art in Honors Education

Member Benefit: GEICO Discount

With your NCHC membership, you could save even more with a special Member Discount on auto insurance. Get a quote today! (And when you've completed your free quote, GEICO makes a contribution back to help support NCHC!)