News from NCHC | June 2020

In This Issue...

From the ED

2020 Events

Fall Reopening Plans

Spring Portz Grant Recipients

Student Awards & Scholarships

JNCHC 21.1 Out Now

JNCHC Call for Papers

HIP Call for Papers

GEICO Member Discount

From the ED

The NCHC staff is preparing for the summer board meeting this week, our first virtual meeting setting a new precedent for conducting business in the organization. It's a little bit of excitement amid the indecisiveness of these turbulent times.

What I've realized is that the shift in our meeting approach is perhaps the simplest meeting planning we'll do in the upcoming months and years ahead.

The demands to do something, produce something, react to something are everywhere.

By now everyone has reconciled to the fact that working/teaching/learning from home is part of our culture. But in addition to that acceptance is the ongoing mind-swirl to make sense out of all the conflicting information on every media channel about social distancing as it now applies to protests. About admission of microaggressions and biases embedded in each individual, most businesses, and many organizations. About confronting apathy and policy, and knowing how and what to say to be both heard and impactful.

Recognizing the delicate balance of compassion to capacity, managing personal and professional energies.

It's been an interesting time, Spring 2020. Isolating at home, changing habits, meeting new challenges, replacing outdated concepts.

Change is always difficult, and this summer will no doubt continue to highlight the changes necessary for both more inclusive and progressive communities. Change is also exciting, as it forges pathways to new research, new collaborations, and stronger commitments. Staff at NCHC are working to facilitate changes in our fall productions as we look at more efficient ways to provide networking and professional development to replace the annual conference. Difficult discussions about necessary changes to organizational guiding documents are underway, taking people out of comfort zones and challenging foundations and traditions.

The conversations for NCHC in the upcoming months will no doubt force hard looks at core values, resource development, leadership. But beyond that, those conversations will no doubt also encourage us to change habits, meet new challenges, replace outdated concepts. Part of that organizational growth will add to our already uncomfortable growing pains, as we balance resources for membership, technology, and capacity. Deeper, I suspect these conversations will challenge expectations and timeframes based on individual investments in the organization, as well as personal priorities for cultural change.

The demands to do something, produce something, react to something are everywhere.

This is a time for NCHC to be proactive for professionals in honors education: efforts to initiate strategic, purposeful, supportive, effective change on campus and in the broader community require the pedagogies, research, and networking at the core of honors education and our organization.

Nothing less will do.

It's professional. It's personal.

Mary Beth

2020 Event Updates

Coming Soon to Your Local Screen!

NCHC staff and committees are dedicated to developing summer and fall virtual events for our membership. At the time of this newsletter, we've got a number of activities in various planning stages, but here's a sneak preview:

  • New Directors Institute: Virtual Connections (July 13-14) Open to anyone, but specifically for those with fewer than three years' experience as an honors dean or director, we invite you to learn alongside your colleagues with veteran honors facilitators Francois Amar (University of Maine), Lynn Preston (Tarrant County Community College), and Aron Reppmann (Trinity Christian College). Look for more specific details coming soon!
    $250 per person
    Registration Coming Soon
  • City as Text Faculty Institute: Reading the Local in the New Now (Dates TBA) This virtual event reimagines CAT in a flexible, hybrid, and even virtual space. Participants will develop their understanding of CAT strategies - Mapping, Observing, Listening, Reflecting - while they design ways to make CAT work regardless of context or setting. A new emphasis on multimedia platforms will be central to the Institute, providing participants with experiences with platforms they may employ in documenting student learning in a variety of contexts.
    $25 per person
    Registration Coming Soon
  • NCHC Unconference Events Organized through NCHC's Professional Development committee, three upcoming virtual opportunities are planned, including: Digital Honors, Honors in the Two Year College, and "What Went Wrong?"
    Free Meetings
    Registration Coming Soon

From our affiliates at the Honors International Faculty Learning-Online: The following online sessions are full, but a recording link will be shared with NCHC members at a later date.

  • Creating Online Community- Experiences from Honors : Full. Join us for both full- and small-group conversations; sharing of resources, tools, and experiences; and modeling of strategies for mirroring and sustaining the bonds of community that distinguish honors and all good teaching and learning.
  • Remote Honors: Teaching for Deep Virtual Learning: Full. Our online event will provide engaging conversations, examples of effective virtual teaching and learning, shared resources and tools, and opportunities to exchange ways to enhance learning with "remote honors."

Fall Reopening Plans for NCHC Members

Beginning in April, The Chronicle of Higher Education began tracking the individual plans of when and how college campuses will reopen in the fall of 2020. Of 972 institutions listing their plans, 461 are current NCHC members. NCHC staff has crossreferenced the submitted data with our own membership lists, including 286 public institutions and 175 private institutions. Below is a snapshot of NCHC member plans, from data updated June 12. Complete data and individual reopening plans can be found on The Chronicle's website.

*no member Private Institutions submitted plans for online only as of June 12*

Spring Portz Grants

Congratulations to the recipients of our 2020 Spring Portz Grants! We're excited to see how these grants further the honors experience at your institution. Fall Portz Grant applications will open August 1 and close September 28.

Katherine Echols, Texas A&M University--Galveston
Intercultural Development Inventory - Diversity Initiative
"Research on the relationship between service-learning and cultural competence suggests that participation in a service-learning course encourages students to be cognizant of how they engage with other cultures outside their own. The service-learning seminar is just one opportunity for honors students to recognize that they are not simply community members but global citizens. As a member of the Cultural Literacy, Inclusion, Diversity and Equity (CLIDE) committee who recently became a qualified administrator (QA) of the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI), I believe the IDI and the companion Intercultural Development Inventory (ICS) will be valuable tools for engaging honors students in conversations about cultural diversity as well as an opportunity to fully and deliberately support campus inclusion and diversity initiatives.

Administering the IDI to the honors students enrolled in the Service-Learning and Connections seminars will raise our students' cultural consciousness and allow the TAMUG honors program to fully engage and support the campus diversity initiative. The goal is to have all of the honors students take the IDI and the Intercultural Conflict Style (ICS) Inventory on entering the honors program. This project will make a positive impact on the honors students and the campus community at large as the majority these students hold campus leadership roles. IDI training is important to the personal and professional development of our honors students."

Sylvia Pamboukian, Robert Morris University
Accessibility and the Honors Communication Skills (HCS) Program
"The RMU Communication Skills (CS) program is a series of four interlocking courses that were developed in response to employers' need for graduates with strong abilities in writing, reading, listening, and speaking. Since the CS program predates the Honors program, the Honors CS classes (HCS) are simply versions of the regular courses (entitled Argument and Research, Public Speaking and Persuasion, Professional Communication in the Workplace, and Intercultural Communication).

The now-dated HCS courses are currently under major redevelopment. So far, CS and Honors jointly have developed new HCS program goals using the American Association of Colleges and Universities VALUE rubrics. The next step is creating interdisciplinary teams for each course so that they 1. prepare students for the thesis; 2. follow the NCHC best practices in General Education; and 3. address diversity and accessibility at every level."

Cindy Ticknor, Columbus State University
Civil Rights & Social Justice: Walking Trails and Talking Histories
"This innovative, immersive course is inspired by scholarly work in the digital humanities. We will leverage our students' interest in content creation to help them think critically about the history of the civil rights movement and promote public engagement with current issues of social justice. During the course, students will use podcasting equipment to both record reflections and to document interviews and encounters as they walk civil rights trails and listen to oral histories. Sites that will be visited include: Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park (Atlanta); The National Civil Rights Museum (Memphis), The National Museum of Peace and Justice & Legacy Museum (Montgomery); The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (Birmingham); National Voting Rights Museum (Selma), and the Little Rock Nine Memorial (Little Rock), the MLK Historical Trail (Columbus)."

Student Awards and Scholarships

Applications are still open for the following student awards:

JNCHC 21.1

The latest issue of JNCHC is now complete! If you receive print copies of your NCHC member publications, watch your mailbox! The latest issue will be available digitally to all members on the Digital Commons in the next few days.

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

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.

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!)