In This Issue...
From the ED
Analysis paralysis, perfectionism, and (haphazard) self-care in isolation
It's the anxiety trifecta of the last four months as a professional.
Am I the only one who feels like since March, every question thrown leads to at least a dozen more? And in that formula, the volume of questions continues to explode exponentially, as the scenarios and details change by the moment, outdating some of the older questions, but spawning more complicated replacement inquiries and unknowns?
And somehow, do each of these unanswered questions suddenly feel inordinately burdensome, gigantic reminders of the solutions that we haven't uncovered yet? Questions that now seem to be urgent-out-of-necessity, begging us to find sage and timeless answers to save the community, the campus, our sanity.
That's a lot of pressure. More coffee. Another thirty-second mediation. A hike around the block. A guilty binge of mind-numbing television. Watercolor painting.
In the past month, the NCHC leadership and staff have been at work developing opportunities for the fall, transitioning conference, outlining networking options, reimagining virtually – pun intended – everything.
The fear and doubt looms, as we've never done a conference this way. But with every decision, there is a growing sense of excitement about building an inaugural professional development plan. We're so close to laying out a fall schedule with NCHC events that includes Jennifer Eberhardt, the 2020 plenary speaker; an event in September specifically for students; pre-conference events for professionals in October; and two full intensive days in November.
That's a lot of pressure. A cup of tea. Yoga with a friend. Canoeing across a lake. Baking cinnamon rolls until you run out of flour. Dancing like no one's watching.
The fear and doubt looms, as NCHC has never created a public statement about diversity and inclusion. The board of directors spent careful deliberations in crafting a statement for the membership. It's a start, and one that marks the initial steps of the organization as it moves forward in an environment that demands attention. It's not perfect, but the compassionate conscientiousness of this group, the vision and intention, has generated revived energy for programming and research for resources.
That's a lot of tension, exposing a shortcoming. Shooting free throws in the park. Aromatherapy in the herb garden. A drink with a friend. A good night's sleep.
As NCHC professionals, we're looking for ways to continue to support your needs this fall. More details will come your way in the near future.
The fear and doubt will perhaps continue to ebb and flow as time speeds from fall to spring, and outside decisions from a myriad of administrators and leaders impact our own function and purpose. Perhaps the better approach to that anxiety trifecta is to manage only what we can control: maintaining our composure, exemplifying compassion, and checking on the coping skills of our friends and family.
That and a lot of laughter might just keep us from overthinking too often!
This week, NCHC pioneered its first-ever Virtual New Directors Institute. In a typical summer, directors in the early stages of their honors career gather at the national office for some nuts-and-bolts training about what honors is, and how they can excel in their new roles. This event also serves as a chance to welcome in new NCHC members and introduce them to the community and resources that NCHC has available for them through membership.
In case you need a refresher, here are some of the ways we suggested that new directors plug into the NCHC community. We invite you to connect as well - welcoming and mentoring our growing community! If you have wisdom, tips, answers, or knowledge to share from your experience in honors, there are plenty of ways for you to contribute:
- The SocialLink feed in your member profile is a great place to connect and share news! You can also post questions for conversation in the NCHC Discussion Board.
- Connect your program to NCHC's social media on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and personally on LinkedIn, to share news and achievements!
- 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!
- 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!
- Career Center Use the NCHC Career Center to search or list honors job openings nationwide
- 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!
- Online Resources 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 materials here.
- Student Awards & Scholarships Recognition and funding available for NCHC students
- Faculty Awards & Scholarships Recognition and funding available for honors professionals
Advanced Renewal Reminder
Exciting things are ahead for NCHC in 2021, and we want you to be a part of it!
If your honors budget is facing a use-it-or-lose-it situation, consider getting a jump-start on your NCHC membership for 2021 with an advanced renewal!
If you would like an invoice for advanced membership renewal, simply email email@example.com and office staff will generate and send an invoice to you. In the meantime, more information about the Institutional Membership dues structure can be found on our Membership Categories and Dues page.
As a reminder, your current membership does not expire until December 31, 2020.
Thank you for your dedication to NCHC, and for being a part of the national honors community!
Diversity and Inclusion in Honors
In NCHC's recent communication about Social Injustice, we emphasized:
NCHC will continue and increase our efforts to find, develop, and make available to our membership resources that assist in anti-racism and anti-discrimination discussions and practices designed to create a more inclusive and equitable organization and honors community.
Below are collected resources that might assist you as you work toward antiracism pedagogy and practices in your own honors program:
#BlackLivesMatter Lib Guide (Broward College Library)
developed by Quakish Williams Liner (NCHC Board Member and Honors Director at Broward College):
"During the summer of 2016, a pre-reckoning began in the town of Sanford, FL with a young man named Trayvon Martin. He was killed after purchasing Skittles from the local convenience store. Outcry was imminent and while there was incremental change on the horizon, the bigger change began when Opal Tometi, Patrisse Cullors and Alicia Garza created a movement called #BlackLivesMatter. The impact of this movement is once again resonating across America— with the New York Times deeming it "the largest protest movement in U.S. history."
As the Honors Director at a majority minority institution, I saw a need for the discussion social justice topics reflected in the polarized, public reaction to the acquittal of George Zimmerman. This was an opportunity for our students to expand their capacity for critical thought about an issue for which there is no easy answer. With help from colleagues who had experience teaching in honors (Thanks, Jason, Zakiya and Jacob) and discussing the role of social movements, we provided information and context for those who saw value in this discussion.
We hoped this presentation would spark a little interest in the focus of the #BlackLivesMatter movement. We were overwhelmed by the size of the response. Our reference librarian (thanks Cristy) proposed taking the seeds of that event and creating a living resource guide for the discussion to continue. That guide has now been accessed 3,805 times since its creation in 2016 including 2,570 times in June 2020 alone. The work goes on."
Debbie Irving is the originator of the 21-Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge, which has been adapted and spread by many local communities and organizations, such as the YWCA of Greater Cleveland.
This Smithsonian museum has an extensive collection of resources to empower and inform the conversation about race. Sort resources by audience (including educator, parent, or individual), by subject matter, and more.
Student Awards and Scholarships
Applications are still open for the following student awards:
- Freddye T. Davy Student Scholarship (closes August 1)
Four $1,000 scholarships toward the costs of an honors event or activity
- Community Engagement Award (closes August 1)
*NEW in 2020*
Online platform to promote community project + national recognition
- John J. Hanigan Student Scholarship (closes September 8)
One $500 scholarship toward the costs of an honors event or activity
- NCHC Student of the Year Award (closes September 8)
$1,000 to one 2-Year and one 4-Year Institution Winner
Meet the 2021 Board Candidates
Below is the slate of candidates for the 2021 Board of Directors, as voted on by the current board at the Summer Board Meeting in June. Additional student nominees will be accepted through the fall, in the absence of an in-person annual meeting. More details on candidate forums, nomination deadlines, and the NCHC election process will be announced to the membership as the governance calendar is revised in the next 30 days.
Congratulations to the nominees!
Call for Submissions: NCHC Monograph
Honors Online: Teaching, Learning, and Building Community Virtually in Honors Education
Abstracts Due: October 15, 2020
Papers Due: June 1, 2021
Editor: Dr. Victoria Bryan, Dean of the Honors College (Cleveland State Community College)
This collection will include theoretical approaches to honors education in virtual environments and more tangible examples of reimagined course design and assignment design tailored for an online classroom. The purpose of this volume is to offer the honors community an opportunity to see how honors education can be reimagined for virtual learning while keeping the importance of community, student voices, and student needs at the center of our course design and classroom discussions. Articles should present and discuss demonstrable evidence of the effectiveness of their online/virtual instruction practices. While the collection will give space to voices cautious about what is actually possible in an online environment, my hope is that contributors can use that sense of caution to design honors experiences that serve our students well.
Honors faculty, administration, and current/recently graduated students are welcome to contribute to this volume.
Ideally, this collection will include contributions organized into two sections:
- Structural, theoretical, and pedagogical approaches to online education in honors programs and honors colleges (4,000-7,000 words).
- Shorter pieces that outline assignments, lecture structures, social events, and extracurricular activities that work well in a virtual learning environment (1,000-1,5000 words – flexible depending on content, formatting, etc.).
*Abstract for either classification of contribution should be 200-300 words.
For further details about style and content, please see the full Call for Proposals.
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 was the intended 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 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.
* * * * *
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.
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.
Member Benefit: GEICO Discount
As NCHC members, you could be already eligible for a special discount on GEICO car insurance. But now through October 7 th , GEICO is proud to combine the GEICO Giveback – a 15% credit for both current and new customers, and in addition to your special discount. Get a quote today. (And when you've completed your free quote, GEICO makes a contribution back to help support NCHC!)