News from NCHC | September 2021

In This Issue...

From the Executive Director

Annual Conference

Call for Poster Judges

Call for Student Moderators

Call for Student Fishbowl

Advocacy Committee: New Resources

Open Call for NSSE

Virtual Pro Dev Options

2021 Ballot Proposal: C&B Revisions

JNCHC Call for Papers

HIP Call for Papers

GEICO Member Discount

From the ED

Words of the Year: Pandemic Edition

I've started this message no fewer than a zillion times in the last week. The ability to focus enough to put large conversations to paper seems overwhelming. Famous people can, perhaps, utilize stream of consciousness and their readers may be amazed by the brilliance of the interconnected thoughts.

And yet it seems like there is so much to say, so much to do, while trying to maintain self-awareness. So many needs, and so many options for engagement and resource development. The opportunities for honors students and research continue to evolve. Individual reflections and honors community design continue to create meaningful interactions for campuses, local communities, explorations beyond the immediate. And yet everyone in those honors circles is also impacted by the same emotional and physical trauma as everyone else.

So, here's a random set of thoughts from the scratched paragraphs, based on the phrases that the pandemic has created over the past year, but applied to ways our network might fight the skepticism and embrace the ability to find shared resources for broader solutions.

  • Anticipatory Grief
    Things are not the same as they were. How can the honors network acknowledge that there's going to be an emotional reaction to the traditions that were lost, and the people that we miss? How can we help each other get through the losses? Where can we connect, embrace our community, and support each other in the here and now?
  • Uncertain/Unprecedented Times
    Honors has long been considered the incubator for best practices: can we analyze the scenarios, temper it with human responses, and work toward creative solutions and adaptations? Even in uncertainty, the ability to collaborate and determine pathways forward exist.

  • Pandemic Flux Syndrome
    In some cases, what we thought we could recreate or revert to for normalcy just isn't the same. If we've learned something out of the isolation, PPEs, social distancing, and other pandemic protocols, I think we've maybe learned that on some level, most of us didn't mind slowing down, meditating more, scheduling more personal time. (If not, and you're feeling anxious or depressed, please talk to someone on your campus.) Perhaps in honors, we can model hopefulness amid all the change and transition.
  • Doomscrolling
    While we all question the role (power) of media in shaping our opinions and actions, we certainly have freely given our screentime in the past year to being as up-to-date as possible for news. Is this time providing us with information to change our community? Is there an alternative? Hopescrolling? Honorscrolling?

  • Zoom Fatigue
    This hardly warrants notation. And yet, travel and face-to-face meetings still have some of the optional feel of the former attitude we had toward virtual events not even 18 months ago. Will honors help us create different technology? Different meeting styles? Different pedagogies? Or will this be a human adaptation?

  • Time Affluence
    A new study in The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology proposes that we feel most satisfied with 2-5 hours of free time a day. I thought the phrase was interesting. How does the honors community use its free time? Is the honors community time affluent, time impoverished, or time abundant?

Choose the term you most relate to right now, and join the conversation on our NCHC newsfeed by sharing your experiences. You're most certainly not the only one.

Focus seems to be a precious commodity, but I hope that you all find a way to use that resource to the best of your personal capacity, for the good of your honors community.

Take care of yourselves and each other,

Mary Beth


Early Bird Pricing ends September 30!

* * Reminder: If you have booked more sleeping rooms than you'll need at NCHC21, or have had to cancel a presentation due to travel restrictions, please be sure to contact the hotel and release any extra rooms under your name. We want to be sure all who are looking for rooms in the NCHC block are able to find them! * *

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Call for Student Poster Judges

If you are a faculty member, honors director, or dean attending the Orlando conference, please consider devoting less than two hours of your time to serving as a judge for the student poster competition in one of the categories listed below. The Student Poster session is the main mechanism through which students participate in our annual conference and judging posters is a wonderful way in which to interact with students and give them feedback. Please contact Mike Sloane at providing him with your areas of expertise and judging category preferences. (see below)

Judges must be available to review posters and talk with about 8-12 student presenters during one of the hour-and-a-half sessions on Friday, October 29th at the NCHC conference in Orlando. Before committing to a particular session, presenters should check the time(s) of their own presentation(s) to make sure they are available for the student poster session period. Exact judging times will depend on your discipline and are indicated below. Judges interact with students and submit ratings and some written feedback which the presenters will receive back.

We need judges in the following poster groupings at the following times:

Friday October 29, 8:30am-10:00am

1. Arts & Humanities
2. Arts & Visual Media
3. Diversity
4. Education & Pedagogy
5. Social Justice

Friday October 29, 10:15am-11:45am

6. Environmental Sciences
7. Social & Behavioral Sciences

Friday October 29, 1:30pm-3:00pm

8. Business, Engineering, & Computer Science
9. Health Sciences
10. Natural Sciences & Mathematics

Please contact Mike Sloane at and indicate: a) your first and second category preference; b) your academic discipline and areas of expertise.

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Call for Student Moderators

NCHC21 will be filled with opportunities to learn, engage, share, and make meaningful connections. Students can make the most of their conference experience by volunteering as a session moderator! This is a great way to network and lead in our honors community. (Training will be provided.)

Student Moderators are assigned to conference sessions upon review of a student's application to participate. Responsibilities of Student Moderators include—but are not limited to—the following:

  • Arriving early to assigned General Session room
  • Ensuring presentation room is set up correctly
  • Introducing session presenters
  • Keeping track of time for each presentation
  • Reminding presenters of time frames
  • Encouraging and facilitating discussions following each presentation
  • If you are interested in serving as a Student Moderator at #NCHC21, please fill out an application below. Before you fill out the application, please reach out to your honors director, and verify that your institution will be paying for your conference registration, as well as your travel/lodging in Orlando.

    If you are also a conference presenter, there is a section of the application to indicate the time/date of your scheduled presentation(s). Times for #NCHC21 presentations will be released soon; please wait until you find out your scheduled presentation time to complete your application.

    Student Moderator Application

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    Call for Student Fishbowl

    Dear honors friends,

    I am Jim Ford, and I am Co-Chair (with John Zubizarreta) of the Teaching & Learning Committee. Every year we sponsor the Student Fishbowl, a signature NCHC event in which a group of students from different honors programs and colleges have an honest conversation about their experience in honors—what they love, and what they don't. It's time for me to recruit students for the Fishbowl. I want to find a diverse group of eight outstanding honors students to participate.

    The Fishbowl is a tradition, and one of my favorite sessions at the conference. A group of students sit in a circle in the center of the room, facing each other, with a larger group of faculty, staff and other students seated around them. The student "fish" have a conversation with each other about honors, answering a series of questions about their own honors experience—what they love about honors, and what they might change. It's a fascinating conversation, and one that new honors directors are often encouraged to attend.

    I ask you to recommend one student for the panel. These should be students that are definitely attending the conference, and that you believe would present an interesting perspective on honors. Please send me a name and email address for any potential students by October 16 so that I can begin assembling the group. I hope to get a balance of majors, backgrounds, kinds of programs/colleges represented, etc. I will email the students selected to let them know you have recommended them, ask them if they are willing, and let them know everything they need to know. The Fishbowl itself will be on Saturday, October 30th at 4 p.m.

    I would love to have one of your students in the Fishbowl this year. Either way I hope you will join us in Orlando, and at the Fishbowl. Thanks for your help.


    NCHC Advocacy Committee

    New Member Resources

    The goal of the NCHC Advocacy Committee is to help honors programs and colleges understand and articulate their own worth and that of honors education more generally. To that end, the committee has recently developed two resources for NCHC members: a concise Fact Sheet on the Value of Honors Education and a more detailed Honors Advocacy Toolkit. The fact sheet is designed to help you advocate for your own honors program or college at your institution by focusing on how honors adds measurable value in key areas of higher education. This document draws on the experience and research of established honors educators, and it includes specific citations to substantiate its claims. Your NCHC membership gives you access to the fact sheet, which is now available on the NCHC website.

    NCHC will also soon release the Honors Advocacy Toolkit, which the Advocacy Committee developed (along with the fact sheet) to support honors programs and colleges in building awareness of their institutional value. The toolkit is a comprehensive overview of how to advocate for your program to your stakeholders, including links to many important publications and valuable resources that can help you make the case for your program or college. Look for a coming announcement about this new Honors Advocacy Toolkit, another benefit of your NCHC membership.

    National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE)

    Open Call for Participation in the Fourth Year (2022) of the NSSE Honors Consortium

    Deadline: September 22, 2021

    The NCHC Research Committee is pleased to announce a call for interested parties at NCHC four-year degree member institutions to join the Honors Consortium for the Spring 2022 administration of the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE). The NSSE is one of the most widely used surveys of undergraduate student experience in the United States, asking questions on high impact practices and dozens of other items of special interest to honors educators. This will be the fourth year in a multi-year effort to maximize participation among interested schools that participate in NSSE in alternating biennial or triennial cycles.

    This project opens up to participating institutions the possibility of comparing honors to non-honors students on every item in the standard NSSE survey, as well as a small set of additional questions designed by a special working group of the NCHC Research Committee. More than 20 schools have already participated in the last three administrations of NSSE, generating rich student-level data for comparison of the honors student experience with that of the general student body. For instance, evidence from the NSSE Honors Consortium Survey has shown us that honors program participation in the first year of college is a positive predictor of intention to return to an institution the following school year.

    For full details, please visit

    Honors program leaders who are interested in this project should work to secure commitments from campus stakeholders and submit a signed NSSE data sharing agreement by September 22, 2021. Those pursuing such commitments are encouraged to indicate their intention to join the Honors Consortium as soon as possible.

    For those interested in joining the NSSE Honors Consortium, please contact consortium coordinator Dr. Andrew Cognard-Black (e-mail:, co-chair of the NCHC Research Committee.

    Virtual Pro Dev

    Take advantage of these opportunities to connect online with your NCHC Community!

    Constitution and Bylaws Committee

    2021 Ballot Proposal: Constitution and Bylaws Revision


    The NCHC Board of Directors requests your review of the proposed changes to the NCHC Constitution and Bylaws prior to the 2021 Election and Membership Vote to be held in December 2021. You are receiving this information as you are a voting member of NCHC.

    You can find complete information about this ballot proposal on the 2021 Election Page.

    Thank you for your interest in the work of the organization.

    Wishing you a successful start to the fall semester!

    Call for JNCHC Submissions

    The next issue of JNCHC (deadline: March 1, 2022) invites research essays on any topic of interest to the honors community.

    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.
  • Please send all submissions to Ada Long at

    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 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

    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.

    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.

    All submissions and inquiries should be directed 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. Get a quote today. (And when you've completed your free quote, GEICO makes a contribution back to help support NCHC!)