News from NCHC | August 2019

In This Issue...

Positively Disruptive

NCHC19 Summer Giveaway

Call for Consultants Center

Call for Student Moderators

Master Class Submissions Open

Student Awards & Scholarships

Dates & Deadlines

Fall Portz Grants

2020 Membership Dues

JNCHC Call for Papers

GEICO Member Discount

Just for Fun: 101 Ideas for the Classroom

Positively Disruptive

Many believe that change is the only constant.

Unfortunately, little comfort is derived from that statement when the changes come so quickly that you have minimal time to react. Or when the disruption to your personal life is caused by a challenge in your work environment and you can't adapt fast enough in either place: and the ripple effects compound. Or when you realize that you grew a bit complacent in your comfort zone until someone shattered the boundary keeping you safe. Or when the news of the day continues to be filled with confusion, contradictions, and chaos.

When the changes, upheavals, and yes, disruptions, become unavoidable, two options that arise are determining how to better collaborate with others or modifying your behavior to make the change tolerable.

This is the situation on many campuses right now. People may have the same offices, but report to a different administrator. Others may have a reduction in program budgets, significant drops in student enrollment, or a particular inability to fix problems in ways that might have worked in the past. This can cause anxiety, be emotionally draining and leaving one feeling less than creative.

"We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them" [Albert Einstein].

The NCHC Conference in November presents unique opportunities to solve problems with colleagues, to seek innovation with discipline-specific experts, to network with honors-minded people, and to explore solutions with consultants who may send you home with a new definition of "disruption." Instead of the anxiety and chaos of the unknown, you might return to your computer screen and open an email chain with the key to a new conversation, a blueprint for a different approach for the honors space you've wanted, or a fascinating new assignment for the dream session you've carried in your head for years.

Disruption can be negative, sure. It also can force or generate never-before-imagined solutions to complex issues.

Someone who manages a large human resources office for a local business has conveyed repeatedly that one of the most crucial skills necessary in new hires is the ability to understand and act on changes in our environment and behavior: in two words, adaptability and creativity.

We think attending the NCHC conference is one of those critical and dynamic events for honors professionals and students to accelerate their own abilities to generate adaptable and sustainable choices to tackle strategies for today's complex issues.

Because disruption, creativity, and innovation are energizing, too.

We look forward to seeing many of you in New Orleans and for those of you who cannot attend, look for some new opportunities to emerge from the conference.

Laissez les bon temps rouler—as we tackle new challenges and change, turning them into positive disruption.

Elaine Torda
NCHC19 Conference Chair

Mary Beth Rathe
NCHC Executive Director


#NCHC19 Summer Giveaway

NCHC is bound for New Orleans this November! We're giving away THREE FREE REGISTRATIONS to #NCHC19, and all you have to do to enter is register! On September 23, the first name will be drawn from all registered attendees to receive a free conference registration. Registrations must be received by 11:59pm CST on July 14th to be eligible to win. All registrations received by NCHC prior to July 15th are included as eligible for the drawing.

Two more winners will be drawn on August 15 and September 23; the earlier you register, the more chances you have to win!

Register Today

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Call for Consultants Center

One of the conference's signature features, the Consultants Center, will be scheduled at various times on Friday and Saturday of the conference. Our attendees appreciate veteran honors directors, faculty, and advisors who share their expertise with conference attendees. We hope that you will volunteer to serve in the Consultants Center. If you are interested, please complete the form below.

The deadline to submit the form is August 29. If you have any questions about serving in the Consultants Center, please feel free to contact me at

Join the Consultants Center

Thank you for your service to NCHC and your fellow conference attendees.

Lauren Furry
Honors Coordinator, Hillsborough Community College

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Call for Student Moderators

Student Moderators are a very important part of the NCHC Annual Conference! 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 #NCHC19, 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 New Orleans.

If you are a conference presenter, there is a section of the application to indicate the time/date of your scheduled presentation(s).

Click Here to Apply!

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Master Class Submissions Open

Master classes are performance classes in drama, music, poetry, and film and allow for individual or group creative presentations at the NCHC 2019 Annual Conference. In all areas, submissions that emphasize the conference theme will be given priority for acceptance. The culminating Master Class Showcase will feature selected presentations from each master class. Submissions will remain open through September 6.

Directors: Encourage your honors students involved in the arts to apply for this NCHC19 opportunity!

Submit a Master Class Proposal

Student Awards & Scholarships

Don't let these student opportunities for funding and recognition pass you by! Nominate your excellent honors students for:

John J. Hanigan Student Scholarship (closes September 8)
One $500 scholarship toward NCHC19 travel & fees

NCHC Student of the Year Award (closes September 8)
$1,000 to one 2-Year and one 4-Year Institution Winner

Dates and Deadlines

Take note of these upcoming important dates for NCHC members!

September 1JNCHC Final Call for Papers
September 8John J. Hanigan Scholarship Deadline
September 8NCHC Student of the Year Award Deadline
September 20NCHC19 Early Bird Registration Deadline
September 28Fall Portz Grant Application Deadline

Fall Portz Grants

Are you seeking to infuse some energy in your honors program with an innovative project? NCHC wants to assist you in making your dream a reality!The NCHC Awards & Grants Committee invites interested NCHC institutions and professional members to submit an application for an NCHC Portz Grant. These grants are intended to support honors program/college innovation and can be small (up to $500) or large (up to $1,500)! Complete the NCHC Portz Grant Application Form below, including your supporting narrative and proposed project budget.

Fall Portz Grant applications are open August 1 - September 28, 2019.

NCHC Fall Portz Grants

Member Dues

All 2019 members should have received an early invoice for 2020 dues, to aid in planning for the change to a tiered dues structure in 2020. 2020 membership invoices can also be accessed by logging into your Member Portal profile. Have questions? Contact NCHC and a staff member will be happy to assist!

JNCHC Final Call for Papers

The next issue of JNCHC (deadline: September 1, 2019) invites research essays on any topic of interest to the honors community.The issue will also include a Forum focused on the theme "Risk-Taking in Honors." 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 Andrew Cognard-Black. In his essay, "Risky Honors," he surmises that honors educators almost all encourage their students to take risks. Starting with Joseph Cohen in 1966, a recurrent honors mantra has been that honors students "want to be 'threatened,' i.e., compelled to question and to reexamine"; they need and want to question their values and the values of their community. This mandate is now subsumed in the "critical thinking" movement. Cognard-Black challenges us to formulate strategies for implementing this mandate when we know that students have to weigh it against the importance of grades: "higher education is clearly a high-stakes enterprise, and grades are the most visible currency in that enterprise." The motivation for students to play it safe is real and compelling, so honors educators need to come up with strategies to encourage their students to take risks while at the same time acknowledging the forces that discourage them from doing so. Cognard-Black suggests one method for resolving this tension and dares honors educators to come up with others. In addition to meeting Cognard-Black's challenge, Forum contributors might consider other questions such as the following:

  • What might be the benefits and liabilities of the "automatic A" policy that Cognard-Black describes, and how could it be modified?
  • If teachers reward students for risky behavior, is it really risky?
  • Do teachers model risk aversion when they adopt grading or assessment policies that are required by their institution but that they find counter to their values?
  • Tenure, promotion, and salary raises are the currency of academic employment in a way similar to the status of grades for students; are faculty members hypocritical when they preach risk-taking to students but play it safe in placing their personal advancement above, say, long-term research projects or commitments to teaching that do not yield such rewards?
  • Is critical thinking so fully the lingua franca of the academic world now that it is the safe route for students rather than the risky path of stubbornly holding onto their cultural, intellectual, religious, or political beliefs?
Information about JNCHC—including the editorial policy, submission guidelines, guidelines for abstracts and keywords, and a style sheet—are available on the Publications page of the NCHC website.
Please send all submissions to Ada Long at NCHC journals 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.

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!)

Just for Fun

101 Things You Can Do in the First Three Weeks of Class

Do you have a special way you start out the new semester in your classroom? Tips or tricks you employ to make the first day a great one? Enjoy this list of collected ideas for use in the college classroom at the start of the academic year.