News from NCHC | November 2020

In This Issue...

From the ED

NCHC20 Virtual Events

Sponsor: Phi Kappa Phi

We're Thankful For You!

2021 Renewals

2020 Fellows

Outgoing Board Members

Student Board Nominations

2021 Candidate Interviews

Annual Business Meeting

HIP Call for Papers

JNCHC Call for Papers

GEICO Member Discount

From the Executive Director

November is one of the months in the year in Nebraska that isn't always the most beautiful. The landscape is mostly brown, the skies can be overcast, the trees have lost their vibrant color, and unless there's a crisp, white snow, the visual leaves us all wishing for warmer climates.

On a recent walk, I thought about how easy it is to resent the dusty path. We all know that the world has been a little more problematic in the last nine months – almost as if 2020 were an entire year of Nebraska Novembers. And yet one of my most favorite holidays arrives in the upcoming week, and I wonder if the stark exterior of our world is meant to guide us to some internal reflection?

I'm personally grateful to so many of you who helped shape the work of the past months as NCHC shifted a strategic plan, a conference, and many other activities to better serve the membership. It took your time, expertise, and collaboration to provide resources. You've served as facilitators, authors, committee members, and consultants. We are grateful. The board and leadership thank your for your time.

I'm also grateful for those of you who invested in NCHC in 2020. Your ongoing support of the association continues to build a network of honors professionals who provide support to more honors students than you realize. I've been thinking about how we might utilize the newly coined phrase "contact tracing" to see where graduates of honors programs and colleges overlap in time – to think about how we might begin to more fully realize the extent of NCHC-specific research, pedagogy, and activity as it impacts students moving forward into leadership roles. (One of the sessions available on the NCHC20 events platform highlights a group of honors directors who were once honors students. The leadership pipeline!)

In the spirit of gratefulness, I would like to provide you with an opportunity to fill our virtual gratitude wall. If you have a moment, leave a note for a colleague! Share what you're grateful for in this season. Maybe you can even build a gratitude wall for your own family and campus friends.

View NCHC's Virtual Gratitude Wall

We look forward to the expressions of support and thankfulness, whether you share them with us or do so directly with a friend. Your strength and vision, particularly as they contribute to the network are valued assets in this work.

Wishing you all a grateful holiday break,

Mary Beth

#NCHC20 Virtual Events

NCHC20 Virtual Events have been a great success - and it's all thanks to the over 1,200 NCHC community members that participated!

But don't take it from us: here are just a few comments about NCHC20, as submitted through our evaluation responses!

"It was great to be able to interact, connect and learn from Colleagues across the country, since it has been so long since we've been able to do so. Surprisingly, Zoom almost made it feel even more connected, in a strange way, since you can interact screen to screen with each person- and are right there in their offices or homes with them. It was an interesting experience!"

"It was wonderful to attend my first conference and to see such willing and helpful colleagues from all over the country."

"I love the mix (of) live and recorded. And I LOVE the on-demand option for a year. That's the BEST EVER because right now my brain capacity is a bit low. So, to have an option to soak in the information at my own pace is brilliant."

"I had a wonderful time, such a lovely community of heartfelt and intellectual individuals. I am excited to continue reviewing the honors projects and posters throughout the year!"

Whether you presented information, attended as a learner, or both - your voice and participation in the NCHC community made our first virtual events series a great adventure. Thank you for all you do to keep honors growing and moving forward!

Live session recordings, materials, and on-demand sessions will be available to all attendees through your event platform login until September 1, 2021. Registrants will receive periodic reminders about the content available, and we encourage you to keep returning to absorb the many great sessions available to you!

Discussions on any of the subjects from NCHC20 can be continued by members in the NCHC Discussion Forum and on SocialLink, our member newsfeed. We hope you'll renew your 2021 Membership to continue the conversations on these important subjects!

NCHC20 Sponsor Article
Introducing The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi

The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi is pleased to serve as a sponsor of the NCHC virtual annual meeting. We're sorry we can't be together this year; the virus has impacted so many of the events we look forward to. NCHC is high on that list!

Phi Kappa Phi is the nation's oldest and most selective honor society for all disciplines, with chapters on more than 325 four-year campuses across the country. When extending invitations to membership, we look for students who have sustained records of academic excellence after several semesters of study.

We're often asked about the value of joining a collegiate honor society. Our members tell us that the number one reason they accept the invitation is the recognition of their achievement and the hard work that led to it.

Apart from the recognition, Phi Kappa Phi offers its members eligibility to apply for some of the $1 million in awards and grants we distribute each year. Additionally, we offer career and networking resources and much more.

Best wishes as your semester winds down. We hope to see you next year in person!

Membership Renewal Reminder

Don't forget that 2020 Memberships expire December 31! Invoices are available in your member profile for payment online or by check. Please contact the NCHC Office at if you have any questions about your 2021 membership. We can't wait to share what's in store for you in the upcoming year!

2020 NCHC Fellows

NCHC Fellows are distinguished individuals who have given substantial time and energy to furthering the cause of honors education. Their years of dedication and leadership, paired with recognition on their home campus for outstanding honors teaching, make them invaluable sources of knowledge in the honors community.

Join us in congratulating the 2020 Class of NCHC Fellows!

Linda Frost

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

What is your favorite NCHC memory?
There truly are too many to even imagine distilling them down to one. Pub Board has been my NCHC home since I joined and it's allowed me to maintain and build incredible relationships. My PIP experience in the Rocky Mountains was singular and led me into more truly life-changing friendships. Working on the Board became another amazing way to connect with my honors besties through work we all care so much about. And every conference is, I swear, a family reunion of honors colleagues, past and present work colleagues, and students--current and past too. NCHC is one huge happy memory for me and more in the making.

What do you consider to be your greatest professional achievement?
Beyond some pretty tricky curriculum revisions, advocating for UReCA, and who knows how many letters of rec written and students in trouble consoled, I would have to say that it is being whatever it is we've all had to be in order to do anything really right in this very difficult historical moment.

Mary Beth Rathe

NCHC Executive Director

What is your favorite NCHC memory?
Working with the talented staff during conferences, I think the best memories are those in the room where it happens. The 50th Anniversary conference & gala were monumental, both for the history and the unique experiences planned for the event, including HR 360 recognizing 50 years of NCHC. On the other side, casual conversations with NCHC members, times when the passion for honors education and the desire to collaborate with others across the organization led to projects or programming through the national office that others continue to find instrumental to the NCHC identity.

What do you consider to be your greatest professional achievement?
Since nothing is ever really achieved alone, I'd hope that to date the most recognizable achievement is our ongoing, strategic work to create efficiencies in the processes: from finances and resources, to the transitional work for virtual and equitable access. Specifically, my personal singular achievement has been the compilation of data from more than 35 program reviews, giving NCHC a picture of a single year of reports, driving some of the current programming and advocacy tool development.

Outgoing Board Members

NCHC would like to thank the members of the NCHC Board of Directors whose terms end in 2020. We appreciate your service to the organization and all the work you have contributed to grow the field of honors education and better our membership. Best wishes as your year comes to a close, and we look forward to continuing work with you in the future!

  • Richard Badenhausen, Westminster College - Immediate Past President
  • François Amar, University of Maine
  • James Buss, Northern Kentucky University
  • *Olivia Fuson, Creighton University (student)
  • *Vi Kinney, Northwestern State University (student)
  • Quakish Liner, Broward College
  • *Aline Webb, University of New Mexico (student)

Student Board Nominations

Students: Picture Yourself at the NCHC Board Table...Nominations are still being accepted for student positions on the NCHC Board of Directors, including both 1-year and 2-year terms. Because student nominees must have support from their honors director to run, nominees can download the form below, and return it completed to the NCHC Office by the close of the business meeting December 4. Accepted nominees received in advance will be presented as part of the slate at the online Annual Business meeting. Nominations will still be accepted at that meeting, date yet to be determined..

...but what's in it for you?

"Running for the board provides a unique opportunity to voice your opinion, and bring the perspectives from your school and community. Our organization is made up of a bunch of different universities and programs, and being part of the board gives us a chance to collaborate on the future of honors."

Amber Rolland, University of Central Arkansas
Past NCHC Student Board Member

2021 Candidate Interviews

Elections for your 2021 NCHC Board of Directors will be coming up in early December! All members will receive an email direct from BigPulse with their individual ballot links. To give our members a better glimpse at those in the running for 2021 Board positions, our Executive Director recorded brief interviews with each Vice Presidential and Professional candidate. You can find these seven interviews on our Youtube Channel to better inform your vote in December!

  • François Amar, University of Maine (VP)
  • Susan Dinan, Adelphi University (VP)
  • Lucy Laufe, Montgomery College
  • Andrew Martino, Salisbury University
  • Sandra Perez, California State University-Fullerton
  • Darryl Peterkin, Morgan State University
  • Daniel Roberts, Virginia State University

View 2021 Candidate Interviews

2020 Meetings

2020 Annual Business Meeting
All NCHC members are invited to attend the 2020 NCHC Annual Business meeting. NCHC President Elaine Torda will give her presidential address, and NCHC Treasurer Keith Garbutt will report on the financials of the organization. Members will also have the opportunity to approve any additional nominations to the slate of candidates for the 2021 Board of Directors, prior to the December elections.

Friday, December 4th
1:30 PM - 2:00 PM CST

2020 Annual Business Meeting Agenda (draft)

2019 Annual Business Meeting Minutes

Committee Meetings

Each year, NCHC Committees hold open meetings as a part of the Annual Conference so that members can get a glimpse into the work they do, and consider joining a committee for the following year. Many of our committees will be holding virtual meetings before the end of the year, and we invite you to take part! You can find these open committee meetings on the NCHC Event Calendar; once you RSVP, you will receive an email with information on how to join.

December 4 - International Education Committee

December 9 - Research Committee

NCHC standing committees are currently accepting nominations for new members. We invite you to review the available options and consider investing in the organization by serving on one, but not more than two, committees of your choosing. This is an excellent opportunity to share your expertise with your NCHC colleagues, and participate in the work of advancing honors education. Committee nominations close on November 20.

Appointments to committees will be considered upon submission of a completed Committee Nomination Form. The Committee Nomination Form can be completed online.

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.

* * * * *

Call for JNCHC Submissions

The next issue of JNCHC (deadline: March 1, 2021) invites research essays on any topic of interest to the honors community.

The issue will also include a Forum focused on the theme "The Boundaries of Honors." We invite essays of roughly 1000-2000 words that consider this theme in a practical and/or theoretical context.

In his lead essay for the Forum, Christopher Keller of East Tennessee State University considers whether the boundaries of honors are or should be permeable. While the outside world impinges on honors in obvious ways that include institutional, state, and federal mandates, he questions whether honors can or should break through its traditional boundaries in order to admit and impinge on the world outside of it. In his essay, titled "‛Mad and Educated, Primitive and Loyal'": Comments on the Occupations of Honors," he notes that outside forces like "economic injustice, systemic racism, and anti-democratic movements" inevitably break through boundaries to occupy a space within honors curricula and scholarship. A more compelling question is whether honors should break out of its boundaries in order to become an active participant and interlocutor in these same forces. In an essay that primarily raises questions, Keller asks us to consider whether honors has any power outside itself, whether it has a voice or an audience to hear it, whether it has any business impinging on social movements and issues outside its domain, and whether it brings help or harm outside its own sphere of influence.

Contributors to the Forum on "The Boundaries of Honors" may, but are not obliged to, respond directly to Keller's essay. He has, however, asked a broad range of questions that should suggest approaches to the general topic. Distilled and added questions might include the following:

  • If honors has identifiable boundaries, what are they?
  • If honors does not have identifiable boundaries, is that a benefit or a deficit?
  • Is promoting direct involvement of honors students in activist movements appropriate, effective, moral, wise?
  • What does honors have to offer to movements like Black Lives Matter or Occupy Wall Street?
  • Given a widespread and powerful contingent of American society that denounces academic outreach into social issues or activism, is moving beyond a purely academic boundary dangerous to the future of honors education?
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

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