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2013 Conference


The theme of our 2013 New Orleans conference is “Conflict Transformation  Creolization.” I have increasingly seen this theme as a functional metaphor for honors pedagogy: the continual, though often tentative, resolution of variant points of view through engagement and metacognitive resolution. A student once remarked to me, “Honors education is where the interesting things are happening.” I believe she was right and that this is clearly reflected in our program.

The Smoking Time Jazz Club will welcome you with 1920s style New Orleans jazz at the opening reception on Thursday night ( Our Thursday keynote speaker, Ruby Bridges, was the first Black student to integrate Louisiana Public Schools; she will reflect upon her compelling story (, beginning with the desegregation of New Orleans schools in 1960. On Friday afternoon, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Taylor Branch ( will highlight his work narrating the Civil Rights era. Branch, who is also a strong advocate of honors education, will appear on the program again as part of a panel on another NCHC hot topic, MOOCs and online honors education. On Friday evening, an in-hotel, before-dinner celebration accompanied by light food and significant music, including – it is likely – a marching band, will allow you to use the rest of the evening to enjoy the rich culture of this remarkable city. Early Saturday evening will feature NCHC Awards, celebrating colleagues and students of remarkable achievement.

The program is exciting, the result of significant participation and logistical challenges. Over 780 proposals were submitted, an increase of about 16% from the previous record set for Boston; some 600 presentations of one form or another will be given November 7-9. Because of the increase in proposals and accepted proposals, and because of the more limited space in the Sheraton New Orleans, with rare exceptions General Session presentations have been paired. This will be a new experience for many of us. When you received your notification of acceptance, you also had information about the presentation with which you were paired. Please be aware that each paired presentation has about 20 minutes with about 5 minutes for transition to the second presentation. The program already lists the order of the presentations.

And there continues to be a series of pressing, distinct but related, important issues for the organization, all reflected by formal presentations in the program. On Saturday morning following the Annual Business Meeting, there will be a “Hot Topics” session that will attempt to summarize (but not debate) the state of the question on four topics on which the Board will either make decisions or continue to advance the discussion in 2014: defining honors education; a position about online honors; a response regarding for-profit honors; and certification.

The imminence of the annual conference is always brought home to me by an almost ritualized sequence of announcements: first, registration opens, followed rapidly by the availability of hotel reservations, and then the announcement of the program. What seemed fairly distant just a month ago, has now leapt to the fore: it’s “only” August, but the opening of classes leaves little time in September, and October means the conference is practically here. I look forward to seeing you all very soon!

Jim Ruebel
2013 Conference Chair
NCHC President Elect

President's Column

2011-fellows-scott-rick-1I hope the summer months are treating you well, providing much needed rest and recreation before we start anew in the fall.  I want to provide you with an update about strategic initiatives that NCHC is pursuing in 2013.  The action items you find in this column correspond to the list I provided in December, 2012, to guide NCHC during 2013.

Despite having our Winter Board Meeting cancelled by a blizzard in Omaha, we completed our work by way of the electronic discussion forum on the following motions:

  • Approved the fourth quarter financial reports.
  • Approved the proposed 2016 Conference site to be the Sheraton Seattle.
  • Approved folding the Personnel Committee into the Finance Committee.
  • Approved the budget for New Old England Institute.
  • Tabled the proposed NCHC Draft Code of Conduct Agreement until the summer meeting (and the Board will vote on an amended agreement in August).
  • Approved the Fellows of NCHC Voting Change proposed by the Awards and Grants Committee.
  • Approved the conference AV fee from $50 to $75.
  • Approved the revision of student conference registration discounts.
  • Approved the Honors Semesters Committee proposals for 2014, a Faculty Institute in Lyon, France, and a Winterim for students co-sponsored by Florida International University.
  • Approved the proposed uses for the 2012 year-end surplus.
  • Approved the Awards and Grants Committee’s recommendations for Spring 2013 NCHC Portz Grants.

What follows is a review of progress in achieving other strategic goals for 2013:


  • Construct a concise description of variation in operations to deliver honors education
    • Action: I formed an Ad Hoc Task Force that has completed the first part of its charge.
    • At the Summer Board Meeting we had a good discussion about defining honors education, and the task force has continued to elaborate on the definition.  I expect to have a more comprehensive draft available for the membership to discuss prior to the conference in New Orleans.
  • Collect data covering institutional characteristics of NCHC members
    • Action: I worked with Carolee, Trish, and Teri of NCHC Headquarters to raise the response rate to at least 50% for the short survey and with Andrew (Cognard-Black) of NCHC to check the representativeness of the resulting sample.
    • Action: A table of results was disseminated in June as a special edition of the newsletter and posted to the front page of the website along with a narrative analysis that I wrote.
    • At the Summer Board Meeting we discussed the next foci for follow-up surveys.
  • Have a Board of Directors discussion about holding the New Directors Institute for free
    • Action: We estimated the cost and discussed it at the Summer Board meeting.  The idea will be forwarded to the Finance Committee for review and a recommendation.
  • Create online content and make it a prominent member benefit
    • Action: Videos from 2012 NCHC Conference have been placed on the members’ side of the website.
    • Action: Syllabi from Faculty Poster Session presentations at the 2012 Conference have been collected and placed on the members’ side of the website.


  • Have the NCHC Board of Directors be a presence at regional meetings
    • Action: We ensured that at least one member of the Board of Directors attended each of the six regional meetings and discussed with the regional members and leaders their needs and interests.
  • Have a regional caucus at NCHC Conference
    • Action: We are scheduling a breakfast meeting at the 2013 NCHC Conference with the NCHC executive committee and presidents, vice-presidents and secretary-treasurers of the regional honors councils to discuss shared needs and interests.
  • Work with regional conference planning in 2013
    • Action: NCHC staff is working with the Northeast Region this year in planning and helping arrange the 2014 Regional Conference in response to a request by the Northeast Region.
  • Have regions featured in the NCHC e-letter
    • Action: We will discuss at the breakfast meeting in New Orleans having quarterly articles from the regions in the NCHC e-letter.


  • Relationship between for-profit educational organizations and NCHC
    • Action: In reaching out to see what kind of assistance or relationship for-profit schools and for-profit honors organizations want from NCHC, we determined that for-profit groups do not want anything specific from NCHC.
    • Action: Learn what the Two-Year College Committee wants from NCHC in relation to for-profit groups.
      • Elaine Torda (committee chair) reached out to committee members and asked for a statement by NCHC supporting the voice of honors directors, and that NCHC make it a priority to help develop articulation agreements.  We discussed this at the Summer Board meeting.
    • Action: The Board passed a motion that contained a public statement by NCHC supporting directors and deans in decision-making that was sent to the membership in July.  In August NCHC will survey members of two-year institutions to identify the top benefits of NCHC membership and learn what needs they have of NCHC that are not currently being met.  In addition, the Board made it a strategic priority to pursue formation of articulation pathways between honors programs at two-year and four-year institutions.
  • Explore needs from honors programs overseas
    • Action: Contact NCHC members of honors programs and colleges outside of the United States to learn what kinds of assistance they need from NCHC
      • The Board supported having NCHC be a sponsor of international honors conferences.  In addition, we are sustaining the new practice of having a reception at the Conference for honors faculty from outside the United States.
  • Explore delivery of honors courses by distance education
    • Action: Consider forming an Ad Hoc Task Force on honors distance education, once the task force on describing the delivery of honors education has posted its white paper
      • I expect to form an Ad Hoc task force this fall to study the issue of online honors education.
  • Trademark Honors Education and explore how to have NCHC indexed on Google
    • Action: NCHC Staff has investigated these proposals, and the advice is not to trademark. NCHC will investigate ways and costs associated with having it come up first on searches via Google, Yahoo and Bing.


  • Use the Website to provide professional development training and assistance
    • Action: Hold monthly web-based Consultants Center
    • Action: Develop webinars / five-minute-long “How To” videos
    • Action: Develop promotional video to post on YouTube (NCHC youtube channel)
    • Action: Post institute highlights in e-newsletter
  • Develop and post “How To” videos for students:
    • Action: How to develop an honors capstone/thesis project
    • Action: How to prepare an honors conference presentation
    • Action: How to construct an honors course contract
      • We ran out of time at the Summer Board Meeting to discuss these action items; consequently, late this summer I am going to form subcommittees to investigate the best ways to accomplish them.
  • Promote professional development at regionals
    • Action: Work with the conference planners at the regionals to gauge needs for consultants for the Consultants’ Center and BIH/DIH/BHAP sessions at the regional meetings
      • We are going to put this item on the agenda for the breakfast meeting with the regional councils at the conference in New Orleans.
  • Arrange mentors for new directors
    • Action: Use NCHC database to connect veteran honors administrators with new honors administrators
    • Action: Develop a handbook for new honors administrators
      • I will work with the National Headquarters Office in the months prior to the conference in New Orleans to develop this.

In addition, the Board heard a presentation from Hallie Savage, co-chair of the Assessment and Evaluation Committee, about a process, in draft form, for voluntary certification.  The proposed process was a response to a charge by the Board made in 2010.  Work has been underway since then on research to ground and contextualize the effort.  A subcommittee of A&E members met in Chicago in June to draft the process based on that research, and to develop a set of evaluation rubrics.  A lively and substantive discussion followed Dr. Savage’s presentation.  I will present to the membership for discussion the A&E proposal in late September, making possible an electronic give-and-take before the conference.  A thorough discussion of the particulars in the proposal will be critical before the Board takes any action, and I do not expect a Board vote on the issue until 2014.

As always, I look forward to hearing from you.  You can reach me at

Rick Scott
2013 NCHC President

Student Affairs

In late June, I left quiet, sleepy, Charleston, Illinois for bustling Denver, Colorado to take part in my first National Collegiate Honors Council Board of Directors meeting.  After meeting the board and quite a few committee chairpersons, I can honestly say that the national honors community is being well served by a great group of dedicated individuals.  I left the meeting energized and ready for the New Orleans conference!

The Student Affairs Committee is planning three events for conference this year, and we cannot wait to meet students from across the nation at these events.

Honors Student Welcome and Orientation will be the kickoff event on Thursday, November 7th from 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM in Grand Chenier.

Honors students: You have made it to the NCHC New Orleans Conference, now what?  This informative and fun welcome will help you to answer that question, and will give you an opportunity to meet student members of NCHC's Board of Directors.  Come for raffle tickets, prizes, and some great information about conference! This event is designed to welcome students to NCHC and to explain how the conference week works.

Student Party is the next event on Thursday from 8:00 PM - 11:00 PM in the Armstrong Ballroom.

Connect with honors students from across the nation in a fun-filled setting featuring some great local flair!

NCHC Honors Students Tools for Success is the final event for students on Friday, November 8 from 1:-00 PM-2:00 PM in Grand Chenier.

Do you like scholarships, t-shirts, and fun?  Find out what NCHC can do for you at this session with the NCHC Student Affairs Committee.  NCHC funds research and creative activity through the Portz Fellowship, offers scholarships through the Student of the Year Awards, and does so much more.  Find out how you can be successful as a member of NCHC! This meeting will discuss how to further your involvement in the National Collegiate Honors Council and how to apply for some scholarship opportunities!


conf tshirtThe Student Affairs Committee in partnership with the National Office will be selling conference t-shirts this year in New Orleans! The shirts are purple with the conference logo on the front.  The best part is that the shirts are only $10.00 with proceeds benefiting a local charity.

If you are a student and are planning on coming to conference this year either as a participant, moderator, or presenter, consider joining the National Collegiate Honors Council as a Student Member!  Check out for more information!

As always, feel free to contact me if I can be of any assistance.  Enjoy the rest of your summer!



Zach Samples
Co-Chair, Student Affairs Committee

Student of the Year

Nominations for the NCHC Student of the Year Award are now being accepted by the Student Affairs Committee. There will be two NCHC Student of the Year Awards presented- one to an honors student from a 4-year institution and one to an honors student from a 2-year institution, who has made an impact on his or her honors program, and who has participated in honors at the regional and/or national level.

If there is an honors student currently in your program you would like to nominate for this award, please complete the online form and submit an optional resume or list of accomplishments.  You must also provide a letter in support of your student's nomination.  The Student Affairs Committee would like you to elaborate on why this student should be chosen NCHC Student of the Year. Please nominate only one student from your program for this award.

The Student of the Year Award is the ONLY NCHC award designed, judged, and presented by honors students. Since the award will be judged by members of the NCHC Student Affairs Committee, committee members are ineligible.

Each winner will be recognized during the 2013 Conference in New Orleans, and will receive a $1,000.00 cash award, a medallion and the auspicious recognition the two Students of the Year deserve.

Nominations must be received by Tuesday, October 1, 2013 at 11:59 PM to be considered.  We will be unable to accept nominations after the deadline.  Any questions should be directed to Emily Jones at

Call for Student Moderators

Honors Directors: If you would like your students to participate as student moderators for General Sessions at the 2013 NCHC Conference in New Orleans, and to be included in the printed program, please complete and submit the online application by September 1, 2013. Students will receive information about their responsibilities and will be expected to contact the presenters of the sessions to which they have been assigned.

If you have any questions about the Student Moderators or submitting a candidate, please contact Jack Rhodes at

Graduate Fair Exhibit Hall

Deadline: September 1, 2013
A Graduate Fair exhibit hall will be a special feature of our New Orleans conference on Friday, November 8, 2013, providing tables for our institutions and other organizations to promote themselves.

If you are interested in being an exhibitor at the 2013 NCHC conference, please complete the exhibitor application by September 1, 2013.  The member rate is $250.00 and the non-member rate is $500.00.

The exhibitor application provides all the information needed to reserve a table in the NCHC Annual Conference Graduate Fair Exhibit Hall on Friday, November 8 from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm in New Orleans. Each exhibitor will be listed in the online program and the final conference program, once payment is received.

Please contact us at or 402-472-9150 with any questions.

New Directors Institute

NCHC Faculty Institute for New Deans and Directors was held this year in Lincoln on the UNL campus from June 27 through June 30.  UNL proved to be a gracious host even allowing us to visit their honors program facilities.  In attendance were 47 new Deans and Directors representing a full spectrum of institutional types.  Facilitating this year’s Institute were Laurie Smith–Law, Maureen Connelly, Ted Estess, and Frank Provenzano. The Institute employed small group process, individual consultation, and participant networking as the primary vehicles for accomplishing the Institute’s primary goal of increasing each participant’s confidence as they take on the challenges of their new position.

As had been the case with past New Director’s Institutes, it was made clear that there is no “one size fits all” model and no set of formulae that could address every problem.  Rather, using Sam Schuman’s approach in his Beginning in Honors: A Handbook, participants were given a number of ways to view issues from budgets, to curriculum, to recruitment and retention, and to administration.  Participants then engaged in problem solving exercises using their own institutional context as the basis for solving the problem.  While it was a bit disconcerting for some at first not to receive nuts-and-bolts instruction, participants learned quickly what would work for them might not work elsewhere.  Participants embraced the process and recognized how best to approach their own specific issues. Many of the sessions were videotaped and will be available in the future through the NCHC Members Only area.

New to the “Camp” this year was a student panel session.  Laurie Smith Law brought 4 of her honors students to the institute.  In an unstructured Q and A, participants asked the students about all facets of honors participation.  The students were poised and provided wonderful insights about how students view programmatic issues. The panel was well received by the participants.  Ms. Smith Law, Iowa State, and honors education have every right to feel pride in how these students comported themselves.

Based on past feedback, the Institute lasted three full days but allowed significant time for individual consultations which was well utilized by the participants.  Current feedback supported the three day model.  Feedback also rated the individual consults as very helpful.  More feedback will be solicited at the annual conference in November.  A one hour follow-up session has been scheduled on Thursday, November 7, 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM in Napoleon A2 to bring participants together to continue the dialogue started in Lincoln in hopes of strengthening the community established at the Institute.  Given the positive evaluations the participants gave the Institute, it is expected that session will be well attended and our new deans and directors will approach their jobs with energy and creativity.

Frank Provenzano
Co-chair, Professional Development Committee

ADA Statement / Sign Language Interpreters

If you have any special needs/requirements to attend conference, please advise us as soon as possible.

The conference program will be made available in accessible formats upon request.    If you have a physical disability that requires special consideration in order for you to attend the NCHC Annual Conference, please notify NCHC.

Sign language interpreters will be available for sessions at the 2013 NCHC annual conference.

Please email   with your preferences or call 402-472-9151 for information.

Call for NCHC Portz Grant Applications

The Awards and Grants Committee invites interested NCHC institutions and professional members to submit an application for an NCHC Portz Grant.  These grants are intended to support honors program/college innovation and can be small, up to $500, or large, up to $1,000.

To apply, submit the NCHC Portz Grant Application Form and supporting narrative to committee co-chair Kate Bruce by September 15, 2013. Applications that demonstrate clearly the way in which the proposed innovation will be of benefit beyond the confines of the institution's own honors program/college are normally favored as are applications that demonstrate commitment of the institution's own funds.

The narrative statement should address the way in which an NCHC Portz Grant will help your honors program/college in terms of one or more of the Basic Characteristics of a Fully-Developed Honors Program or College. NCHC Portz Grant award recipients are expected to present the results of their grants at a future NCHC or regional honors conference.

The 2013 Spring NCHC Portz Grant recipients were:

  • Baldwin Wallace University, Berea, Ohio: “Honors Symposium Series”
  • Grayson College, Denison, Texas: “Sustainable Farming through Aquaponics”
  • Muhlenberg College, Allentown, Pennsylvania: “RJ Fellows Alumni Network”

Further details about these projects are available on the NCHC website.

For questions or more information, please contact Kate Bruce at

2014 Student Logo Contest

2014 NCHC Conference, November 5-9, 2014
Denver, Colorado

The National Collegiate Honors Council is looking for creative students to participate in the 2014 Annual Conference logo design contest. NCHC member institutions are invited to submit up to two original, student-created logos. The student creator of the winning logo will receive complimentary registration to the 2014 Conference, a cash prize of $500 ($250 to the student and $250 to the honors program), recognition in the online preconference program and in the final printed conference program.

The theme of the Denver conference will be “Thrill of the Climb.”


1. The logo must reflect the theme and locale of the 2014 conference.

2. The logo must be scalable--from as large as the front of a t-shirt to as small as the cover of the printed conference program and must render well in color as well as grayscale.

3. The logo must be submitted by the honors director, dean or coordinator of the member institution accompanied by a cover letter on the honors program letterhead verifying the following:

  • The institution is a current member of NCHC.
  • The student is in good standing in the honors program/college during the current academic year.
  • The logo is the student's original work and includes no copyrighted or otherwise protected information material other than the NCHC logo, if used.
  •  The student understands that, upon submission, the conference logo becomes the property of NCHC.

The cover letter must also include the student's name, complete mailing address, telephone number, and email address. Both the honors director, dean, or coordinator and the student creator must sign the cover letter. If the student needs an electronic copy of the NCHC logo to incorporate into the design, please e-mail the request to

Please note: Logo entries must be submitted electronically (pdf, jpeg, or tiff) by Monday,
October 14, 2013 at 11:59 PM. Entries received later than this date will not be considered.

Forms are available here. All documents may be uploaded via the online form or e-mailed to There is a limit of two submissions per institution.


Deborah Sell Craig, 61, of Kent, passed away after a long and courageous battle with cancer on July 2nd, 2013.

She was born December 6th, 1951 in Salem, OH to Robert Elton and Judith Mae (DeJane) Sell. Deborah graduated from Wittenberg University in 1973 with a B.A. in political science. She received her M.Ed. in educational administration in 1976, an M.A. in political science in 1980, and a Ph.D. in evaluation and measurement in 1987, all from Kent State University. Deborah began her career with the Honors College in 1976 as a graduate Honors counselor. Deborah was the current coordinator of recruitment, scholarships, and the Guest of Honor University Artist/Lecture Series, and served as

the I.L.S. advisor and liaison with Kent, Salem, and East Liverpool campuses of Kent State University. Deborah enjoyed time with her beloved dogs, traveling, and vacationing in the Outer Banks with her family.

Memorial contributions may be made to Deborah S. Craig Honors Scholarship for Study in New York, C/O Kent State University Honors College P.O. Box 5190 Kent, OH 44242.

Deb was a past NCHC board of director, research committee member, and publication board member. The NCHC family offers its deepest condolences to Deb's family and her colleagues at Kent State University.

NCHC Officers, Board, & Staff


Rick Scott, University of Central Arkansas

President Elect
Jim Ruebel, Ball State University

Vice President
Barry Falk, James Madison University

Kyoko Amano, University of Indianapolis

Gary Bell, Texas Tech University

Past President
Greg Lanier, University of West Florida

Board of Directors
Suketa Bhavsar, Cal Poly Pomona
Lisa Coleman, Southeastern Oklahoma State University
Emily Jones*, Oklahoma State University
Joe King, Radford University
Jonathan Kotinek, Texas A & M University
Cheryl Lauersdorf*, Lee College
Franklin McGuire*, The Citadel
Soncerey Montgomery, Winston-Salem State University
Mary Kay Mulvaney, Elmhurst College
Barbra Nightingale, Broward College
Fatima Ojeda Rojas*, Paine College
Marjean Purinton, Texas Tech University
Jeremiah Sammons*, Gallaudet University
Zachary Samples*, Eastern Illinois University
Laurie Smith Law, Iowa State University
Art Spisak, University of Iowa
Elaine Torda, Orange County Community College
John Zubizarreta, Columbia College, South Carolina

*Student Board Member


Cindy Hill, Executive Director

Carolee Martin Brink, Membership Director

Teri King, Finance Manager

Kristi Smith, Project Coordinator

Trish Souliere, Technology Manager

Betty Talley, Director of Operations


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