In This Issue...
From the President: Voting Season
Now that summer vacation has come to a close, November, it seems, is right around the corner. Elections are very much in the news these days, causing tensions and even conflicts as we weigh economic considerations against issues of justice and equity. How will you vote this fall?
Of course I am talking about the three ballot initiatives NCHC members will have to decide upon right after conference. The proposals include changes to our membership structure -- for example, if passed, every student at a member institution would have full student membership benefits, becoming eligible to participate in programs such as Partners in the Parks and the UReCA editorial board. Also included is our first dues increase in well over a decade.
As president of an organization whose primary focus is on supporting students and their success (whether directly or indirectly), I am not particularly apprehensive about the future of a membership initiative designed to ensure students greater access to benefits and experiential learning opportunities. I am, however, concerned that, in these economically challenged times in higher education, my colleagues may not feel as positively about an initiative that, while providing needed support to NCHC, might cost their own institutions more money per year.
It is important to remember that we are not talking about an across the board increase in dues. Rather, we have proposed a progressive dues structure, designed to promote fairness for our members. Since NCHC membership is institutional (that is, XX university is a member, not the XX university honors program or college), dues would be based on institutional size (as determined by IPEDS). A small college would pay less than a very large research university.
Of course there are cases where an honors program at a small college may have more institutional support than a large R1 honors college but a research institution's budget is typically larger than that of a small college. And in choosing a progressive dues structure, NCHC is following what many other national organizations – CUR, NASPA, and AAC&U, for example – model as best practice.
But I would like to argue that this is a justice issue, as well. The idea of a progressive tax is grounded in concepts of both fairness and the common good. That is, each pays according to their ability, in order to support efforts that benefit the whole. Although NCHC is composed of member institutions, our mission is "to support and enhance the community of educational institutions, professionals, and students who participate in collegiate honors education around the world." In other words, honors is not a checklist of experiences but a community of relationships. We can continue to build, support and enhance that community by each committing to pay our fair share.
Naomi Yavneh Klos, Ph.D.
2018 Ballot Proposals
Use the link below to join the virtual meeting room on Thursday, or use the call-in information if you will not have access to a computer at the time of the meeting.
If you are not able to attend one of the sessions, or would like to submit a question about the proposals in advance, more information can be found on the 2018 Ballot Proposals page. Recordings of each of the informational sessions will be posted there after they take place.
Early Bird Registration Closes September 21!
Go Green and Download the Conference Schedule Draft for free...
(Final Program and Mobile App available in October!)
Remember, printed programs are $10 with your registration!
Already Registered for NCHC18?
If you have reserved more rooms at the Sheraton Boston than your group will require, please call and cancel any available rooms. The conference hotel is near capacity - so if you can free up space, let your colleagues join you at the Sheraton!
Don't Miss These Add-Ons to the NCHC18 experience! Plan now to include them in your traveling schedule:
- Pre-Conference Workshop: International Education (Workshop fee: $50)
Wednesday, Nov. 7 :: 2:00-5:00 PM
Interest in international study and globalization opportunities for honors students has increased in recent years, yet the prospect is daunting for program directors, particularly those with little international experience. This short course offers concrete and practical guidance for creating and sustaining international short-term experiences.
Critical elements of pre-program and post-program planning are covered as well as strategies to make the international component of the experience truly honors worthy. Participants will workshop a possible program for individual institutions with particular attention to pre- and post-program development.
- Beginning in Honors (BIH): No additional fee
Wednesday, Nov. 7 :: 12:00-4:00 PM
Beginning in Honors is a workshop designed for new honors directors and deans or those leading or creating new honors programs and colleges.
This workshop starts off in a large group, and then is broken down to small groups, focused upon specific institutional types -- large universities; medium-sized institutions; small public, private, and faith-based colleges; and two-year schools.
- Post-Conference Workshop: Small Teaching for High-Achieving Students (Workshop fee: $150)
Sunday, Nov. 11 :: 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Intensive post-conference seminar for honors faculty with pedagogy expert James Lang, author of the acclaimed book Small Teaching: Everyday Lessons from the Science of Teaching.
NCHC's Summer Registration Giveaway
NCHC is Boston Bound this November! We're giving away one final FREE REGISTRATION to #NCHC18, and all you have to do to enter is register! On September 21, the last name will be drawn from all registered attendees to receive a free conference registration, and announced on September 24!
NCHC Faculty Award Winners
Congratulations to our 2018 Faculty Award winners! These two recipients will be presented with their awards on Saturday, November 10th, during the NCHC Awards Ceremony at the 2018 Annual Conference in Boston.
2018 Ron Brandolini Award for Excellence at a Two-Year Institution
Dr. Eddie Weller, San Jacinto College
The art of working a crowd and trying to build a network among nearly 2,000 attendees at the NCHC Annual Conference isn't exactly a simple task to complete. However, very few people can win others over like Dr. Eddie Weller.
Colleagues say the only things that shine brighter than Weller's boisterous laughter and infectious charm are his integrity and his commitment to honors education.
Dr. Weller holds a doctorate in history from Texas Christian University. He has been at San Jacinto College for nearly 30 years, and the honors program director there since 2013. Within the honors community, Weller has served as president of the Great Plains Honors Council, has become a National Collegiate Honors Council Program Reviewer, and has attended the NCHC Annual Conference since 1996. Outside of the classroom, Weller has served on the board of directors for the Houston History Alliance, East Texas Historical Association, Southwestern Historical Association, Texas State Historical Association, and the Southwestern Social Sciences Association.
San Jacinto College Deputy Chancellor and President Dr. Laurel Williamson says Weller's energy, intelligence, creativity, and staunch belief in honors are why he was chosen for the job at San Jacinto College. "He took over a faltering honors program at San Jacinto College and made it the thriving, student-centered department it is today," Williamson said. "In four years since he became director, enrollment in honors has increased over 300%, and the activities and events associated with honors have tripled. Faculty participation has increased, and the breadth of course offerings as well."
San Jacinto College Provost Dr. Brenda Jolivette Jones says Weller is a self-starter, and consistently seeks opportunities to expand his knowledge and experience base. "He relates well to our students," Jones said. "I've had to the pleasure of witnessing firsthand how very well-respected he is in the honors community among educational institutions throughout the nation."
Williamson added that Weller shares the same passion for honors as the person whom this award is named after: Dr. Ron Brandolini. Williamson—who worked alongside Brandolini at Valencia College—says Weller took the idea of an honors program, and made it a reality. "Dr. Weller has led our honors program to a level of excellence that deserves to be recognized," William said.
"Dr. Weller is committed to the success of students and to the success of his colleagues. He has contributed to program development, faculty and staff professional development activities, and the creation of innovative curriculum and instructional delivery strategies," Williamson added. "His resume bears testimony to his professional contributions to the field of history and to educational leadership."
Contributed through nomination letters from Dr. Laurel Williamson, Deputy Chancellor and President, and Dr. Brenda Jolivette Jones, Provost, at San Jacinto College.
2018 Sam Schuman Award for Excellence at a Four-Year Institution
Dr. John Zubizarreta, Columbia College
"If Sam Schuman were alive, I would bet my pension that he'd be nominating John Zubizarreta for the award in his name. I have no higher praise for anyone than to compare him or her to Sam, and John is fully worthy of that comparison. In character, dedication, temperament, authenticity, and (Sam would approve of this word) righteousness, John Z. exemplifies the best of the NCHC, of honors, of higher education, and of humanity.
Anyone in the NCHC who is not familiar with the name "John Zubizarreta" is no doubt new to the organization. Some of us know him well enough to have learned how to spell his name, but most people just call him "John Z." If you haven't met him at conferences or workshops, then you surely have seen his regular messages on the listserv. In person or in writing, in formal or casual settings, John is generous with his advice and has the expertise to give it wisely.
Professor of English and Director of Honors and Faculty Development at Columbia College in South Carolina, John has been active in honors at the local, regional and national levels for over two decades. He held the four-year series of NCHC offices from 2008 through 2011, serving as president in 2010. He has been elected to three terms on the Board of Directors, where he held a seat through 2015. He has also chaired the Teaching and Learning Committee and is currently a member of the HIP editorial board as well as an NCHC-Recommended Program Reviewer.
In addition to being a nonstop mentor and consultant, John has delivered well over 30 keynote addresses on campuses in this country and beyond, not counting numerous other plenary speeches, and has had about the same number of engagement as an invited workshop leader. In recent years he has been instrumental in establishing collaborative projects, workshops, publications, and Institutions with honors scholars in the Netherlands. He has some 60 or more publications, including 10 in NCHC journals and monographs, two of which he co-edited. Finally, he has delivered some 300 conference presentations, many at NCHC and SRHC conferences.
John is known nationally and internationally in the field of assessment as an expert on teaching and learning portfolios, a subject on which he has published a book (The Learning Portfolio: Reflective Practice for Improving Student Learning, 2004; 2009), authored many articles, and given numerous presentations at conferences and campuses in this and other countries. His other publications include the NCHC monograph Teaching and Learning: Perspectives on Teaching Academically Talented College Students (2008) and articles on topics ranging from T. S. Eliot to Facebook.
NCHC members are not alone in valuing the exceptional contributions that John has made to the field of education. In 2010, he was awarded the Carnegie Foundation/CASE U.S. Professor of the Year for Baccalaureate Colleges, and he has received recognition for his scholarship and teaching from the American Association for Higher Education, the South Atlantic Association of Departments of English, the South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities, the National United Methodist Board of Higher Education, and the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education. He has twice won the Outstanding Honors Faculty Award at Columbia College.
For evidence of John's dedication to teaching, you need only chat with his students, who are almost as ubiquitous at conferences as he is. They might tell you about his prowess not only as a teacher but also as a husband, father, telemark skier, runner, and fisherman, not to mention his six gold medals in national whitewater canoe competition. They might tell you that they can't figure out, as none of us can, how he has time to do all that he does. Above all, they would tell you, as we all know, that John Z. is a natural-born teacher—not just to his students but to his colleagues as well.
The NCHC has benefited beyond measure from the voice, activism, and presence of John Zubizarreta for decades, and no one is as worthy as he is to receive the Sam Schuman Award for Excellence at a Four-Year Institution."
Contributed by Ada Long, Emerita Professor of English and Founding Honors Director (1982-2004) at University of Alabama-Birmingham; Editor, Journal of the National Collegiate Honors Council and Honors in Practice; 2017 NCHC Founders Award Recipient
UReCA is now accepting Editor Applications for 2019!
The Journal of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity, UReCA, is nationally recognized and sponsored by the NCHC. The only student-led and peer-reviewed journal for undergraduates, UReCA showcases competitive multi-disciplinary works produced by honors students from across the U.S. Selected editors will be invited to a 4-day training session at Bryce Canyon National Park where they will learn about the academic review process and take part in strategic planning for the upcoming edition. The application for editors is available here.
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!)