In This Issue...
From the ED
We made it. Again! It's the end of another semester, and better yet, it's the end of another year.
We've certainly learned a great deal during the last 18 months: we've learned about expectations and anticipation, about loss and grief, but more importantly about resiliency and genuine relationships.
By now, your inboxes have been filled with artwork depicting doves, trees, snow, holly, or maybe even more iconic symbols of the season. The attached messages draw on the power of the memories of the past year, evoking emotional responses to everything from political to personal visuals.
And we nod, probably more than a little desensitized to it all. Because we've seen it online. Repeatedly. Perhaps the era of the holiday newsletter is drawing to a close, as we rarely delay our day-to-day communication with more texting, zooming, and gaming than ever before. Who needs a summary of the year when you can read my page? Follow my history?
In reflection, I'd argue that we need to take the time to relive and relish the positive moments. It's been hard, all that pivoting and reevaluating, especially in a year that many had hoped would offer less ambiguity and more decisiveness.
2021 has been rewarding. At NCHC, we have created a space for honors professionals to gather, support, and engage with each other. Thanks to our members, we've been able to increase the number of online opportunities for connection, maintain the publishing schedule, and even re-establish our in-person conference. We've leaned on each other for shared expertise to design workshops, provide consulting, establish mentors. Our volunteer base has continued to contribute time and energy to a growing list of projects and resources through committees and individual research. Student and professional leaders have weathered countless meetings as the changes to operations impacted our budget and priorities.
It was challenging, but it was good. There may not be pictures, but there were smiles. There may not have been gatherings, but there were moments of support and comradery among colleagues. There were finished projects and reports. It was really good.
In 100 years of honors, do you suppose there's ever been anything to compare to these last 18 months?
If I had to guess, I suspect almost everyone would respond with a "no," if we think only about the world around us.
And yet, I suspect the hearts and generosity of your honors colleagues haven't changed. As you wrap up another semester, and before you head home to rejuvenate among family, I hope you find a moment to email, phone, or text someone you've met through NCHC, and leave a quick message of appreciation.
From the staff and Board of Directors: Thank you all for sharing your gifts of time and expertise for the network, and for sending honors education forward into the next 100 years. We couldn't do it without you.
Until the new year,
A Farewell from Rob
When I attended and graduated from college, I wholeheartedly believed I was an honors student, simply based off my GPA. I was wrong.
Working with the National Collegiate Honors Council for the past seven years has taught me the meaning of honors. This impalpable culture of academic exploration that spans past classroom walls; this intangible excitement shared across our membership, regardless of one's stage in their academic career, from student to staff to faculty to administration; this warmth of collegiality that inspires you to push farther, and support those who are also pushing to raise the standard of honors education. After nearly a decade, I'm finally starting to get it. Much more than one's GPA, honors is the journey you take yourself on, collaborating and sharing with colleagues along the way—and remaining a student for life, even after graduation, always keeping that hunger to learn open to new possibilities.
Before my career in honors, I worked within the broadcast journalism field. What I thought would be a temporary job here for a few months before moving onto another TV station, has truly been a transformative experience for me. Under the direction of former executive director, Dr. Hallie Savage, the NCHC took a chance on hiring me in the beginning of 2015, and for that, I am forever thankful to have had this opportunity.
In my time here, I've sat through the organizational leadership of seven different presidents, nearly 100 members on the Board of Directors, eight office co-workers, two executive directors, and one meeting planner. To each of them, I want to say a genuine thank you. I've said this many times to our members, and I want to reiterate this: our NCHC office staff may be small in number—now decreasing to four, for the time being—but our strength is in the passion we have for furthering the work of the NCHC, and perpetuating the connections of our membership across the nation, and around the world. You are in great hands with these four incredibly strong women I've grown to regard as my extended family. When I tell you 2022 is going to be the best year for our organization yet, I truly mean it.
This farewell is difficult to write, but absolutely necessary to convey how grateful I am to you, our members. Operating what I called 'the honors switchboard,' and building meaningful connections with so many of you over the years has made me feel so fulfilled within my work here. Celebrating your victories, whether it be transitioning from an honors program to an honors college, connecting you to another job opportunity, or personally calling to inform you you've won an NCHC award—and even the life-changing milestones: toasting your weddings, having your first child, or first grandchild. These connections and conversations are truly what has meant most to me here.
For every picture taken together at events across the country, for every handshake that turned into hugs over the years, for every tambourine I shook on-stage, for every scientific term I butchered during the awards ceremonies, and so many more memories: thank you. The honors community we have built within this organization has been made stronger because of you. Though I never had the pleasure of being an honors student or an honors professional, after nearly a decade within this organization, I'm more than happy with the classification of honors-ish. I sincerely hope the NCHC has benefitted from the impression I've left, as I certainly have from the impression it's left on me. I genuinely believe our paths will cross again some day, and would love to stay in touch with whomever would like to, as I finish this chapter of my life. It's truly been an honor.
As my fellow NCHC office staff and I work through transitioning different projects, please send any inquiries you would usually send to me, over to email@example.com. My last working day with the NCHC will be Wednesday, December 22nd.
9 Ways to Connect with Your Honors Community
'Tis the season for reflections and resolutions, as we look toward a new year and a fresh start in 2022. Many people, including your NCHC Staff, like to take the blank slate of a new year to plan, strategize, and build some positive habits that will set us up for success in the year ahead. If you are also the type to use your break as a reset button, consider using some of the resources below to get 2022 off to a great start!
1. Share on the SocialLink newsfeed
The SocialLink feed in your member profile is a great place to connect and share news about your program and your students!
2. Ask/answer questions on the NCHC Discussion Forum
The NCHC Discussion Board is a great place to pose questions and gather feedback - and also to contribute your expertise for others that are looking for answers! Find a thread or start your own, and enjoy watching the resources build.
3. Join NCHC Social Media
Connect your program to NCHC's social media on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and personally on LinkedIn, to share news and achievements! You can also share NCHC posts to get the word out to your faculty and students about projects and resources they might be interested in.
4. Check your Mailing Preferences
NCHC shares the most current content directly to your inbox, so be sure to add firstname.lastname@example.org to your safe address list. University email filters are notorious for blocking messages, and you might be missing important info! If you aren't receiving messages from email@example.com but would like to, please reach out and we'll be sure you're opted-in!
5. Set Up an Information Flow
Forward on information from NCHC to your staff and students, or encourage them to sign up for a Contact account under your institutional membership. Emails will still go to you as the director, but they will have full access to SocialLink, forums, and resources! If you've had a change of leadership, be sure to let the office staff know so we can update your member files with the current contact information.
6. Career Center
Use the NCHC Career Center to search or list honors job openings nationwide. It's a great way to post open positions and recruit experienced honors faculty and staff!
7. Brush Up on NCHC Publications
As a member, you have access to the full library of NCHC Publications online! Watch your inbox for publication calls if you are interested in publishing your honors research – and your students can publish with UReCA as well!
8. Browse the NCHC Online Resource Center
NCHC is building a library of online resources and toolkits, both developed by NCHC committees and submitted by members as examples and templates. Browse or submit your own materials!
9. Watch for Faculty Awards & Grants in January
Several faculty recognition awards and grants open up at the end of January 2022; browse through the options and consider submitting an outstanding colleague or excellent project for recognition in 2022!
NCHC Holiday Hours
The NCHC Office will be closing Wednesday, December 22 for the holiday season, and reopening on Tuesday, January 4. We wish you all a safe and happy holiday season, and we'll see you in the new year!
Membership Renewal Reminder
Don't forget that 2021 Memberships expire December 31! Invoices are available in your member profile for payment online or by check. Please contact the NCHC Office at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about your 2021 membership or accessing your invoice. We can't wait to share what's in store for you in the upcoming year!
Election Results Coming Soon
Affiliate Event: Grand Canyon Semester
Grand Canyon Semester
hosted by Northern Arizona University
Final Registration Deadline: February 18, 2022
The Grand Canyon Semester investigates the landscape, cultures, and politics of the greater Grand Canyon region. The Grand Canyon Semester offers a life-changing learning experience in the high mountains of northern Arizona and the deep canyon country of the Colorado Plateau. Students with a wide variety of interests and passions come from across the United States and around the world to join faculty in the natural sciences, social sciences, arts, and humanities to investigate how humans impact, manage, interact with, and value the natural world. On backcountry field trips, in classrooms and art galleries, around campfires, in traditional hogans, and floating down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon, we confront key environmental and social challenges in these diverse natural and cultural landscapes.
The Grand Canyon Semester's broad theme, Boundaries and Borders, evokes a deep exploration of the complex issues that influence and shape natural and cultural worlds. Using interdisciplinary and experiential approaches, students will explore the economic, political, artistic, ecological, social, and spiritual forces of the greater Grand Canyon.
Honors students and honors-eligible students from across the country are encouraged to apply.
Pro Dev Committee
The Professional Development Committee of NCHC is seeking feedback regarding two forthcoming initiatives: a Mentorship Program and a Virtual Consultant Center.
NCHC Mentorship Program
NCHC has a long history of providing consultants at conferences to provide assistance for specific requests. The ProDev committee is looking to offer a more relational opportunity through a mentor-mentee program. We hope that this community will deliver both one-to-one mentoring and small-group mentoring opportunities to serve professionals who are new to honors and to advance the skills of those with established careers in honors. This initiative reflects a commitment to the formation of a community of practice that will help develop a culture of mentorship and camaraderie within the NCHC and will serve as a resource for all NCHC members. In order to develop a mentorship program that best serves the NCHC membership, we are hoping to get feedback from existing members.
Virtual Consultant Center
One of the signature features of the NCHC Annual Conference is the Consultants Center, which provides a forum for veteran honors directors, faculty, and advisors to share their expertise with conference attendees. One of the benefits of the digital world we now inhabit is the recognition that we can forge connections across distances much more easily. With that in mind, the NCHC Professional Development Committee is developing a "virtual" consultant center: a database of honors professionals who are willing to share their advice and insights throughout the year. If you are interested in being listed within this database, please complete the form below indicating any areas in which you have the expertise you are willing to share.
We request your assistance in sharing this with all members of your institution who support honors education:
Honors Publications Survey
The NCHC Publications Board has created a survey to get a better picture of the different kinds of publications honors programs/colleges produce. Please take a moment to share about the publications created by your honors program or college!
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Final Call for HIP Submissions
Honors in Practice is accepting submissions for Volume 18 (2022). The deadline is January 1, 2022.
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.
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 email@example.com.
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.
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Call for JNCHC Submissions
In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the importation of honors from England into the United States by Frank Aydelotte of Swarthmore College, this issue will also include a Forum titled "The Value of Honors to its Graduates."
We ask all honors teachers and administrators to solicit one or at most two submissions to this Forum from alums of their program or college. We hope to receive submissions from a wide range of years, regions, and types of honors programs/colleges, and we hope to publish about fifty of them.
Submissions should be limited to no more than 750 words, and selections for publication will be made based on the following criteria:
- Specificity in (1) describing the values—personal, professional, or civic, for instance—to the author and (2) explaining with precision what in honors embodies or produced these values.
- Authenticity and detail in describing the values and what benefits they have facilitated.
- Avoidance of boosterism in praising a particular program or college.
- Strength and originality of writing style.
- Interest to an audience of honors faculty and administrators who might use these essays to improve their programs and/or to understand the history and diversity of honors.
Each submission should include at the top:
- A title.
- The author's name.
- The institution at which the author was an honors student and the years of participation in the honors program or college (e.g., 2002-2006).
- The author's current occupation, profession, vocation, or calling.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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