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March 2012

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In This Issue


NCHC Board Nominations

Deadline: May 1, 2012

Nominations are now being accepted for NCHC leadership positions. As your Immediate Past President and Chair of the Nominating Committee, I urge you to consider getting involved in leading our organization into the future as we move toward becoming a more visible participant in the national conversation on higher education. We need your talents, skills, motivation, creativity, energy, and wisdom. The Board of Directors is not a closed society: we enthusiastically welcome bright, new minds and eager hands. Nominate now!

The Nominating Committee is accepting nominations for the following positions:

Vice President (1 year term*)
The Vice President serves as chair of the planning committee for the 2014 national conference, serves as a member of the Executive Committee, and performs other duties as provided in the Bylaws or as assigned by the Board of Directors consistent with the Constitution and Bylaws. *The candidate elected as Vice President is committed to serving four years on the Board of Directors, as Vice President, President-Elect, President, and Past President.

Secretary (3 year term)
The Secretary takes minutes and records votes at Board of Directors meetings, serves as a member of the Executive Committee and performs other duties as provided in the Bylaws or as assigned by the Board of Directors consistent with the Constitution and Bylaws.

Four At-Large Professional Board members (3 year term)
Four professionals are elected to serve as members of the Board of Directors.

Four At-Large Student Members (1 or 2 year terms)
Two students are elected to serve as 1-year members and two students are elected to serve as 2-year members of the Board of Directors.

Nominators should contact the nominee to verify his or her willingness to serve prior to making the nomination.

Nomination forms are available on the NCHC website and must be submitted electronically.

All nomination materials must be submitted online no later than Tuesday, May 1, 2012 at 5:00 pm (Central Daylight Time). If you have any questions about the requirements of these positions or the functioning of the Board, please contact Bonnie Irwin (chair of the nominating committee) at Questions about the nominations process should be directed to Betty Talley at the National Collegiate Honors Council office at or by telephone at 402-472-9151.

Nominees should understand the requirements of the position as noted below:

·All candidates for positions as Officers or Professional At-Large Members of the Board of Directors must at the time ballots are distributed be institutional member representatives, professional members of NCHC, or affiliate members of NCHC and must continue to be members of NCHC during their terms of office. Student At-Large members of the Board of Directors must at the time of assumption of office be student members of NCHC and must continue to be members of NCHC during their terms of office.

·It is expected that officers and members of the Board of Directors will attend the winter and fall Board of Directors' meetings. If a summer meeting is called, officers and members will be expected to attend a summer meeting.

·Please note that NCHC will cover hotel costs for Board members' attendance at the winter meeting and a summer meeting, if one is called.

·Officers who have completed their terms of office may not be elected immediately thereafter to the same office or as an At-Large Member of the Board of Directors, with the exception of the Secretary and the Treasurer who may be re-elected to their respective offices for a second term in succession. An At-Large Member of the Board of Directors who has completed a full term may not succeed himself or herself as an At-Large Member of the Board of Directors.
·Student nominees for the Board of Directors must provide a statement of institutional support for their travel to two or three meetings each year.

Nominations are also being accepted for NCHC Standing Committees. Individuals may serve on a maximum of two standing committees. Please note that if you are already serving on a committee, you must still submit a nomination form indicating your interest in continuing to serve.

2012 Nominating Committee:
Bonnie Irwin, Chair
Lisa Coleman
Emily Jones
Jim Ruebel
Art Spisak

Conference 2012

Boston, Massachusetts November 14-18 2012

More than 650 proposals have been submitted for the 2012 NCHC Conference in Boston-what a wonderful, overwhelming response. Just so you know, with that many presenters we will be staging some of the sessions on the sidewalk outside the hotel, so pack your scarf and gloves. (I kid.)

I hope you are as excited as I am about our gathering this November in Boston. Among the many features that fuel my excitement is the encounter with Michael Sandel. If you have not had a chance to get to know his work, let me tell you about him.

A moral and political philosopher at Harvard, Michael Sandel teaches the wildly popular course on Justice, held at the Sanders Theater. His erudition, Socratic teaching style, vivid examples, and engaging personality have drawn thousands of students to this course over the past couple of decades. You can witness it for yourself, online at least, by visiting and watch him in action with his students. Professor Sandel will have to travel all of three miles from Cambridge, across the Mass Avenue Bridge above the Charles River, to join us at the Sheraton Hotel in the Back Bay.

Last July Professor Sandel appeared on The Colbert Report. Mr. Smarty Pants-that would be Professor Sandel-played the part of the communitarian. Mr. Truthiness-that would be Faux-Journalist Colbert-played the part of the free-market libertarian. They were discussing "what is the right thing to do," but the seven-minute clip of the tete-a-tete ends before it really gets started, given the time limits of TV ( I would have enjoyed seeing the conversation play out further, even if one of the partners had jokes more than justice in mind.

When Mr. Smarty Pants appears before us at the NCHC Conference, he will speak about civility in public discourse, a talk that is exquisitely timed, occurring as it does the week following the 2012 Presidential Election. (Notice I am making an assumption that by then we will have completed a months-long slog through political mud and be searching for a civil shower and warm towel.) I expect his keynote to be rich in substance and memorable in delivery. Immediately following Michael Sandel's plenary, we are planning to hold discussion sessions about his ideas that will keep the conversation going.

I hope to see you at the plenary this autumn, not to mention at the other important sessions and meetings and get-togethers being planned for Boston. In fact, if you don't mind, I will mention them in upcoming newsletter columns that will lead us month by month to our November assembly. In the meantime, if you have any questions or suggestions, don't hesitate to contact me at

Rick Scott
2012 Conference Chair

Call for Panelists: Developing in Honors

Deadline: March 30, 2012

Dear NCHC Colleagues,

Thanks to all of you who submitted possible topics for the annual "Developing in Honors" (DIH) Workshop at the 2012 NCHC conference in Boston!

Now it is time to ask our colleagues to volunteer to share your expertise with other honors professionals at this signature NCHC workshop for experienced honors administrators, faculty, and professional staff (defined as having at least one year's experience in one's current honors position by the time of the 2012 conference).

DIH panelists make very brief (5 minutes, maximum) initial comments, and the remainder of the session is for interaction with the audience. DIH sessions should generate conversations among colleagues and not be formal paper presentations.

We hope that we can have a mixture of types of institutions represented on almost all of the panels, but we plan to keep the panels small to allow time for audience interaction. No presenter may be a member of more than one of the morning DIH session panels.

Please note that DIH takes place on Thursday, November 15, 2012, so you will need to plan to arrive in Boston by Wednesday, November 14, 2012 night if you would like to be on a panel.

Again this year we will have several afternoon DIH Extended Discussion Sessions in addition to the 17 morning sessions (the General Opening Session and two rounds of eight breakout sessions). Most of the afternoon sessions are "constituency" sessions organized by NCHC committees (Small Colleges, Large Universities, Two-Year Institutions, etc.), and we will provide additional information a bit later.

To volunteer, please send a reply e-mail to Jessica Roark at Oklahoma State University in which you indicate:

  1. Your Name
  2. Your Institution
  3. Your Honors Position
  4. Your Institution Type (Small College, Large University, Mid-Size Institution, Two-year Institution)
  5. Approximate Number of Honors Students at Your Institution
  6. Your E-mail Address
  7. Your Office Telephone Number
  8. DIH Session Number(s)/Topic(s) to Which You Can Contribute as a Panel Member (See list below, and feel free to provide several options!)

Please respond by Friday, March 30, if at all possible! We would like to be able to have the panels organized by early April.


Jessica Roark, Oklahoma State University
Ricki Shine, Clemson University
2012 DIH Co-chairs

2012 Developing in Honors Panel Topics

Opening session: Retention in Honors: The Arguments to Keep the GPA High or to Keep the GPA Low

Breakout sessions:

  1. Helping Senior Honors Students in their Transition from College
  2. Developing Community Among Upper-Level Honors Students
  3. Working with Faculty, Students, and Administrators to Develop Expectations for Honors Theses
  4. Cultivating Honors Alumni Engagement and Support
  5. Effective Programming in Honors Residences
  6. Recruiting and Retaining Honors Students
  7. What Makes the "Honors" in Honors Study Abroad Programs
  8. How to Define Your Honors Mission
  9. Combating Charges of Elitism as your Honors Program Grows
  10. Alternative Teaching in Honors: Team Teaching, Experimental Approaches, etc.
  11. Honors Curriculum Development
  12. Honors as a Campus Resource
  13. Honors Pedagogy
  14. Why Honors Advising Matters So Much
  15. Maximizing the Honors Budget in Difficult Economic Times
  16. Honors Housing

Call for Panelists: Forum on International Education

Deadline: April 16, 2012

Each year the Forum on International Education addresses pertinent issues facing all honors programs that organize and/or send students on study abroad trips.

Increasingly, study abroad has become a more professionally run, educationally astute venture. Campuses recognize that new challenges have arisen in light of mounting global concerns (environmental impact of travel, major incidents such as riots in Egypt, ethnographic concerns over the impact of visitors on a host culture, etc.). At the same time, old challenges must still be addressed given the current realities facing higher education, not the least of which are questions of value and cost amid the funding crises. Into this challenging potpourri of issues one adds the particular requirements and concerns of offering honors-level quality programs.

The Forum on International Education will offer three panel-led discussions on a set of related topics. Panelists, who will have expertise and extensive experience on their topic, will each offer brief, pertinent comments (5 minutes), before opening up the discussion, engaging all attendees. Each panel will address a set topic for a period of 50 minutes before breaking and switching to the next panel.

The International Education Committee welcomes proposals for those with experience and expertise to address one of the following topics:

  • debriefing students returning from international experiences;
  • managing security for study abroad trips;
  • beginning a study abroad trip or program;
  • evaluating and then developing international partnerships;
  • assessing and evaluating international experiences;
  • using study abroad experiences to enhance the rest of the campus.

All NCHC attendees with interest or concern are invited to come to the Forum. Those interested should contact the International Education chair, Stan Rosenberg at
Please submit a very brief (less than a page) précis of your work and indicate the topic you wish to address, (which would be limited to 5 minutes). Deadline is 16 April.

Call for Master Class Proposals

Deadline: April 16, 2012

The Master Class proposal submission deadline has been extended. Proposals for all four master classes, music, drama, poetry, and film, will be accepted through April 16, 2012.

We are pleased to announce that Michele Forman, M.A., of the University of Alabama at Birmingham has agreed to serve as the facilitator of the drama/theatre area of the Arts in Honors Education thread for the annual NCHC conference. Ms. Forman is Director of Visual Literacy at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Co-Director of the Media Studies Program, an interdisciplinary minor she co-founded in 2003. The aim of the program is to educate college students about media and film history, as well as connect them with crucial community issues in the Greater Birmingham area through documentary filmmaking, digital storytelling, and multimedia-based research. Her work with the UAB Media Studies Program has created a student-produced archive of over 100 community-based social justice short films.

Forman is a documentary filmmaker who gained her experience as an executive in feature films at Spike Lee's 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks. Forman served as associate producer on Mr. Lee's Academy Award-nominated film 4 Little Girls, a feature-length documentary for HBO about the bombing of the Sixteenth Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1963.

Since 1997, Forman has been directing and producing documentary projects for film and television, earning an Emmy nomination in 2001 for Coat of Many Colors. Her most recent feature-length documentary is Climb for the Cause: A Breast Cancer Story (2007) about five women who became activists for women's health after surviving breast cancer. To raise money and raise awareness about what women can accomplish after cancer, they climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa, one of the world's tallest peaks. The film follows their journey.

Forman began her film work at Harvard University, where she double-majored in English and filmmaking. She consults on media pedagogy in higher education and media messaging for a number of non-profit organizations.

For more information regarding the Master Class sessions, please contact Brent Register,

Call for Newsletter Entries

Contest deadline: June 30, 2012

Sponsored by The National Collegiate Honors Council Publications Board

The Newsletter Contest now has two divisions: 1) electronically published and 2) printed. Within each division there are two categories: Student Published or Faculty/Administrator/Student Published.

To enter your honors program or college's newsletter in the electronically published division, complete the online form and attach electronic versions or include live hyperlinks of published newsletters from the current academic year.

To enter in the printed division, complete the online form then print and mail a copy of the form along with 4 copies of each of two issues from the current academic year (a total of 8 newsletters) to the NCHC office. 1100 NRC, 540 N. 16th St, Lincoln, Nebraska 68588.

Entries for both divisions must have a completed submission form to be considered.

A 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place award will be given in each category for each division. Winners in the "Faculty/Administrator/Student" categories are ineligible the year immediately after they have won an award in that category. Entrants in the "Student Published" categories may re-submit their newsletters each year. Winners will be announced at the 2012 NCHC conference in Boston, Massachusetts. If you have any questions about the contest, contact Richard Badenhausen at If you have technical questions, contact Trish Souliere at

Call for NCHC Portz Scholar Nominations

Nomination deadline: June 4, 2012

What a great opportunity for four scholars to be featured in a plenary session at the 2012 NCHC Conference in Boston in November! And one of them could be from your institution. The NCHC Awards & Grants Committee would like to invite all institutional members to nominate one undergraduate paper per institution for the 2012 NCHC Portz Scholars competition. Each NCHC Portz Scholar will receive a $250 award and complimentary conference registration. The student's nominating institution agrees to defray travel expenses.

To submit a nomination, please click here. There is no length limitation on paper submissions but honors directors and deans must submit the nominated paper electronically by June 4, 2012. Additional information can be found on the NCHC website. Previous NCHC Portz Scholar award recipients may be viewed here.

The NCHC Portz Scholars Program began in 1990 to enable NCHC to acknowledge John and Edythe Portz's many contributions to honors education. We continue to honor their memory by selecting the top four research/creative papers by undergraduate honors students who have been nominated by their institutions for their outstanding work.

Let's have a record number of nominations this year!

NCHC Book Fair

What is your favorite book this year? Is it a series or a "one hit wonder"? Each year the NCHC annual conference features a book fair, customized to the interests of conference attendees. This year's book fair will be hosted by Barnes & Noble. To ensure that the widest variety of important and appealing titles is available at the Boston conference, we need your input.

We welcome suggestions for works of all kinds, in particular those dealing with our keynote speaker and conference theme along with books that address and highlight the many important and engaging historical and cultural aspects of the city.

This year's plenary speaker is Michael Sandel, A moral and political philosopher at Harvard, Michael Sandel teaches the wildly popular course on Justice. His presentation will be followed by a book signing session.

Please assist us by submitting requests on the online form or by sending requests directly to Betty Talley at no later than September 1, 2012.

Conference Sponsorships, Graduate School Fair and Exhibit Space

Still Available in Boston

Conference sponsorship is a great way to support NCHC and honors education. The NCHC Annual Conference in Boston offers a variety of sponsorship levels designed to encourage participation. A Graduate School Fair is being considered for the 2012 annual conference along with exhibit space on Friday, November 16, 2012. If your institution is interested in the Graduate School Fair or general exhibit space, let the NCHC office know or call 402-472-9150.

To be considered for sponsorship, please review our materials online and contact us at or 402-472-9150. We look forward to speaking with you about becoming a sponsor of the 2012 NCHC Annual Conference.


New President

NCHC would like to congratulate NCHC Student Affairs co-chair and Student Board member Jared Knight on his recent election to president of the student body at Iowa State University, Jared and his running mate were up against an incumbent team and ran on a platform focused on reducing student debt and the residence halls.

Congratulations and best of luck in achieving your goals.

From the President

Hello again everybody!

As many of you probably know, the NCHC Board of Directors meets every year in February to orient the newly elected members and officers of the organization to their roles and responsibilities, and to chart as well the course of action for the upcoming year. As part of this ongoing process, we started this year by revisiting the NCHC mission, asking ourselves to keep close in mind these governing questions:

  • What is the purpose of the National Collegiate Honors Council as an organization?
  • What does the National Collegiate Honors Council intend to accomplish?
  • How will the Board of Directors and the Executive Director deploy resources toward accomplishing these goals?

As we discussed these questions, we tried to remember that, as an organization, the purpose of the National Collegiate Honors Council is not quite the same as the mission to deliver a high-quality honors education on our campuses. In order to gain focus for the NCHC mission, we also asked ourselves: "What are the tangible benefits NCHC offers its membership?" In a process that is typically used in strategic planning exercises, the Board of Directors and the NCHC staff identified the following items as central benefits of the organization (the number in parentheses identifies the total number of votes each item received in the exercise):

  1. A community of honors professionals and students (29)
  2. Opportunities for professional development (20)
  3. Standards of excellence (18)
  4. A national conference (17)
  5. An organization that is financially stable (16)
  6. Wonderful publications (14)
  7. A competent, productive, and responsive national office (14)
  8. A repository of intellectual concepts for honors education (13)
  9. Support for opportunities in honors (9)
  10. Opportunities for the student voice to be heard in a national organization (6)
  11. Opportunities for service & leadership (6)

With those benefits in mind, we then re-examined the NCHC Mission Statement to see how well it did the two things that are central to workable mission:

  • The Mission Statement explains why the organization exists
  • The Mission Statement describes what the organization does

After a bit of reflection, we concluded that our current mission statement does not really fulfill those conditions, and so a sub-committee chaired by Cindy Hill, our Executive Director, is already hard at work crafting a new and more succinct statement.

We then turned our attention to the NCHC Vision in an attempt to delineate where we wanted the organization to head in the future (never forgetting that we have many wonderful activities currently underway). In that discussion, the Board identified the following priorities (ranked) as important for the future direction and growth of the organization:

  1. Become a truly internationalized organization
  2. Continue to develop and steward the NCHC finances and resources
  3. Establish formal relationships with the regional honors organizations
  4. Develop more extensive means of electronic/social communication
  5. Continue and expand the opportunities for professional development and student mentoring
  6. Expand our reach-out to students

So that's where we came to as a Board. We would like some feedback on all of these items, and if you have other ideas that you would like to see included, or if you think we are totally off base, please let us know.

I hope all goes well for all of you as spring begins to unfold wherever you are!

Greg Lanier
NCHC President

From the Treasurer

NCHC Endowment & Reserve

It is vitally important for the membership to understand that a position of "nearly approached, institutional lack of financial viability", or even outright bankruptcy, starting in 2004, and projected for 2006, has been reversed. It was the calling of our attention to this developing situation that earned the then two co-chairs of the Finance Committee, Jackie Rogers and Gary Bell, the appellations of Doctors Doom and Gloom (it was never really clear who was whom). After this near miss, and thanks to a dues increase that was, in my judgment, wisely approved by the membership plus an increase in conference fees charged, the following has occurred:

  1. NCHC has been able to continue to finance the functioning of a professional central office and staff;
  2. NCHC has been able to maintain conference services at a level that our surveys indicate that the vast majority of the membership expects and indeed demands;
  3. Most importantly, NCHC has been able to build a reserve of monies as well. For the older members of NCHC, this has been the answer to a prayer. A near death experience always sharpens one's focus.


  1. The NCHC endowment as of December 31, 2011 was valued at $1.25 million. The income from the NCHC endowment will serve ultimately to be a source of revenue for the operation of the organization and the benefit of the members. We have a standing order which stipulates that 25% of any annual operating surplus be transferred to the corpus of the endowment.
  2. In addition to the NCHC endowment, we have an endowment called the Portz Fund, named after University of Maryland honors activists John and Edythe Portz, which similarly consists of an inviolable corpus, and which generates revenue for the Portz Fellowship. As of December 31, 2011, its value was $331,924.

Both endowment funds are maintained currently in Smith Barney investment accounts that are designed, by approved investment policies, to secure a maximum rate of return that is consistent with prudent security.


  1. NCHC has two formal reserve funds, both maintained to avoid the vagaries of an unexpected world, national or organizational economic emergency. One reserve is maintained to "back up" a year's worth of NCHC operational expenses, and stands at $550,000. The other is considered a protection against a serious conference loss that could occur for a variety of reasons, and it is evaluated at $250,000. This is not the full cost of the annual conference, but it does provide protection against a serious shortfall. Both of these amounts are maintained in interest bearing CDs.
  2. Lastly, there is approximately $25,000 in the NCHC Wells Fargo savings account, which may be used as a contingency fund for unexpected expenses or for any purpose that the Board may designate.

All of the above represents a serious effort on the part of your Board of Directors to ensure the financial stability, and the continued recent financial good health of an organization that we all value and trust.

There is one final note about which you, the membership, should be apprised. In its last meeting at the end of February in Omaha, the Board of Directors voted, by an overwhelming majority, to begin to anticipate the day when we need either to expand our current national office space, or provide for new space altogether. At the present time, through the very real generosity of the University of Nebraska, we have very good accommodations, and the university provides additional services as well. This generosity is gratefully received and acknowledged by NCHC. The day will come, however, when changes may be necessary, and again, from my perspective, the Board wisely has chosen to build a reserve for this future contingency. That savings account currently stands, by Board direction, at $50,000.

I hope that this explains, to a limited degree, the financial reserves and endowments that the NCHC has been able to build over the last seven years.

Sincerely submitted,

Gary M. Bell
NCHC Treasurer

From the Students

How's your second semester going? I bet one of your first thoughts was "busy." ...Time flies, doesn't it? Before we know it, we'll be in Boston!!! I can't wait to see you there. In the meantime, we have some news to share with you. At the annual NCHC Board of Directors meeting in February, the "Student Concerns Committee" underwent a name change. We are now "Student Affairs." We hope this new name is more indicative of our purpose and more welcoming to students. We will have a Student Affairs meeting at the Boston Conference, and we want to see you there! If you have any questions about how you can get involved or if you have any recommendations, please do not hesitate to contact me or any of the other student board members. You do not have to have concerns, ideas, or a particular reason to come to the Student Affairs meeting in Boston...just come and you'll be glad that you did!

Don't forget that April 13th is a student service day across the nation. We would love to hear what you have planned. E-mail us with your service stories.

Audrey Van Acker
Co-Chair, Student Affairs

Pub Board


The Publications Board held its spring meeting at the home of JNCHC and HIP editors Ada Long and Dail Mullins. Thanks to their hospitality and fueled by their excellent cuisine, the group completed its long agenda. The NCHC membership can look forward to the fruits of the meeting--exciting periodicals and monographs.

Membership Update


MemberPoint software (Microsoft Dynamics CRM Partner) will be introduced to all NCHC members in April, 2012. The NCHC headquarters staff has started training and will continue throughout March in order to make the transition to the new customer relationship management software as seamless as possible. MemberPoint will track all member information in one record. Accessible by members 24/7, members will be able to print invoices and receipts for conference and faculty institute registrations from within their own record at any time. Members will be able to search for other member institutions, committee lists or individuals, and export their list to an Excel spreadsheet with one click. All this and much more will be available with one username and a password of your choice.

Watch for more details to arrive in your email soon!

2012 Institutional Membership at an all-time high

Please welcome our newest members

Central Lakes College
Gainesville State College
Hamline University
Our Lady of the Lake University
Oxford Study Abroad Program
Pearl River Community College
Southwest Jiaotong University - China
St. Joseph's College New York
University of Alaska Southeast
University of California-Los Angeles
University of San Francisco-School of Management

NCHC Student Membership

Student membership is a great opportunity for students to be involved with NCHC before conference. Encourage your students to join as NCHC members before attending conference. For only $35, students receive a great custom-designed t-shirt, a membership certificate, and the current year's HIP. NCHC is a terrific way to network with students who attended a previous conference and paves the way for a much richer experience that will last long past November. If you would like an invitation to send to your students, please contact

NCHC Summer Institute on Assessment and Evaluation

July 15-21, 2012

The Assessment and Evaluation Committee would like to invite NCHC members to attend a Faculty Institute in Lincoln, Nebraska, July 15 - 21. The institute will include an Institute on Assessment and an Institute on Evaluation.

Participants are encouraged to register for either or both of the workshops.

The Assessment workshop will provide in-depth training in the areas of creating an honors program/college assessment plan, including the development of student learning outcomes for honors, writing a self-study, preparing for a program review, and developing a strategic plan.

This workshop will be particularly useful for honors directors or deans who have no experience in preparing for program reviews and/or consultations in honors education or who are charged with institutional assessment for honors. In addition, this session will provide background and preparation for the Site Visitor training offered in the second half of the Assessment and Evaluation institute.

The Evaluation Workshop is designed for honors professionals who wish to develop more effective annual reports, including honors deans, directors, coordinators, and professional staff preparing for a program review and those interested in collaborating about various honors models. Completion of this institution is required for NCHC members who are interested in being designated as an NCHC Recommended Site Visitor.

Attendance at both sessions is optimal for participants interested in understanding current issues in assessment, evaluation, and program review in the context of higher education and applying this knowledge to honors education.

Registration fees are as follows:
Both sessions: $800
Assessment only: $450
Site Visit only: $450
Complete details and registration forms are available on the NCHC website.

Please remember that the early registration deadline is May 1; the final registration deadline is June 1, 2012. Participation in the institute is limited. Register now to reserve your place.

Consultant Mini-Grants

Deadline March 30, 2012

The National Collegiate Honors Council is pleased to announce that applications are now available for grants which support program review and campus consultation visits by NCHC-recommended Site Visitors. These mini-grants will help fund the costs for those NCHC member honors programs and colleges that would like to bring one or more seasoned NCHC professionals to their campus to assist with honors program review or honors educational development.

Honors education implies the highest standards for quality. Therefore, a consistent cycle of meaningful assessment, program review, and strategic planning is important for program growth. The National Collegiate Honors Council offers these mini-grants as a way of assisting honors programs and colleges to implement widely-recommended evaluative practices.

A typical program review consists of a self-study document completed by the program or college and then forwarded to the reviewers in advance of the campus visit. Such reviews will provide recommendations for strategic growth and program development that have been found to be extremely useful in capturing precious on-campus resources. New honors programs or colleges, or those programs or colleges that have undergone recent leadership changes, are especially encouraged to apply.

Applications are available on the NCHC website. Applications must be submitted by midnight CST March 30, 2012 to be considered. Applications received after midnight CST March 30, 2012 will not be considered. For more information contact Hallie Savage, or Douglas Sullivan-Gonzalez,, co-chairs of the Assessment and Evaluation Committee.

Student Service Day

April 13, 2012

Is your honors program looking for a great way to build friendships and give back to your local community? If yes, NCHC Service Day may be the perfect solution! On Friday, April 13, colleges and universities across the country will be performing service projects in their local communities to give back. Email us if you have questions or would like some ideas!

Into the Jungle

Thanks to Carolyn Tiry and The Spectator, the official student newspaper of the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire for the following article on the NCHC Honors Semesters Amazon Winterim.

A three-week sojourn in the Peruvian rainforest seems like an experience best left to explorers and outdoorsmen. But for two UW-Eau Claire honors students, that trip was how they spent their winter break.

Christine Manwiller, a junior bachelor of fine arts student with an emphasis in painting and drawing, and Shauna Stoeger, a senior double-majoring in psychology and Spanish, traveled to northern Peru to study the interaction of the local culture and the environment.

Manwiller and Stoeger were two of 12 honors students who participated in the Honors Amazon Winterim 2012 program, called "Living on the Edge of a Rainforest Frontier." The program was organized by the National Collegiate Honors Council and the honors college at Florida International University. The program was based in Iquitos, Peru, which is the largest city in the northern Peruvian rainforest. However, the group also spent part of their time at the Madre Selva Biological Station, 90 miles east of the city.

The station is run by Project Amazonas, a Peruvian-American non-profit organization that focuses on humanitarian, educational, research and conservation work in the Peruvian Amazon. During the trip, Manwiller and Stoeger enrolled in two three-credit courses - "Living Off the Rainforest: Biodiversity, Sustenance and Sustainability" and "Culture, Identity and the Environment in the Peruvian Amazon" - to learn about the local environment and culture and how they interact.
Each student was required to complete an independent study research project related to their major and each of the classes.

Devon Graham, president of Project Amazonas and professor at Florida International University, said that even though this was the inaugural year of the trip, the group had few problems and gelled immediately.

"It was pretty amazing," he said. "By day two, it seemed as though everyone had gone to kindergarten together."

Both Stoeger and Manwiller said they went in to the experience trying to avoid any preconceived notions about the local culture and people.
"I had absolutely no idea what to expect," Manwiller said, "and I was really nervous because I had never traveled before."

Stoeger had previously spent a semester abroad in Costa Rica and Nicaragua, where she stayed with host families. Because this trip was much shorter and they didn't stay with locals, she didn't think it would be as affecting.

"I didn't expect to get such a life-changing experience out of this trip, but then I did," she said. "So now I'm back, and I'm like, 'Crap, now I have to go through reverse culture shock again.'"

What made the experience so welcoming, Stoeger said, was the openness of the people."You couldn't walk 20 feet without somebody striking up a conversation," Stoeger said, "so you really got to know the people you were working with."

Stoeger attributed the strong sense of community in part to the poverty in the area. Families simply don't have the material possessions to worry about, so they focus more on taking care of each other. "When you're actually immersed in the culture of an impoverished community," she said, "it's so beautiful because people just do let you into their community so readily."

"I kind of went in expecting to feel sorry for people or be ashamed of being an American," Manwiller said, "but at the end of the trip I almost felt like I wished I could live there, mostly because of the community. They just live more."

The complete article is available here.

Memory and Monuments:Ground Zero and Lower Manhattan

Registration Deadline May 1, 2012

The NCHC Honors Semesters Committee and Long Island University Brooklyn would like to invite you to attend the Ground Zero/Lower Manhattan faculty institute this summer in New York City. This institute will focus on the interlocking concepts of memory, change, and time through exploration of the monuments and memorials of lower Manhattan. Home to a wide range of memorial sites, lower Manhattan offers participants the opportunity to consider important questions: What or who determines whether something is a memorial? What motivates people to create different kinds of memorials? What categories of memorials exist and how do we evaluate them? Do material memorials like statues and museums work differently than living memorials like trees and gardens? From small objects to vast complexes, memorials serve different purposes--to both the people who interact with them and the places where they are located. Through readings, discussions, and observations, participants will explore the linkage of site to place and the ways in which our shared sense of place develops.

The Ground Zero/Lower Manhattan Institute is designed for honors and non-honors faculty and administrators who wish to incorporate interdisciplinary and field-based elements into their courses and programs. Alumni of earlier Institutes have used City as Text™ pedagogy in disciplines ranging from the arts and social sciences to math and science. Ideal as integrative learning modalities, these experiential strategies include reflective practices and writing assignments that can be adapted for use in student orientations, campus assessments, and professional development workshops. Identifying and transferring principles of integrative experiential learning are important goals of this Institute.

For more information, please see the Institute brochure on the NCHC website. To register, complete the online form. Questions should be directed to Bernice Braid at

NCHC Officers, Board, & Staff


Greg Lanier, University of West Florida

President Elect
Rick Scott, University of Central Arkansas

Vice President
Jim Ruebel, Ball State University

Immediate Past President
Bonnie Irwin, Eastern Illinois University

Bob Spurrier, Oklahoma State University

Gary Bell, Texas Tech University

Board of Directors

Kyoko Amano, University of Indianapolis
Lisa Coleman, Southeastern Oklahoma State University
Barry Falk, James Madison University
Laurie Fiegel, Iowa State University
Emily Harris*, Montana State University Billings
Jerry Herron, Wayne State University
Rachael Hurd* , Ball State University
Emily Jones*, Oklahoma State University
Joe King, Radford University
Kim Klein, Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania
Jared Knight*, Iowa State University
Jonathan Kotinek, Texas A & M University
Jaskiran Mathur, St. Francis College
Marjean Purinton, Texas Tech University
Jeremiah Sammons*, Gallaudet University
Art Spisak, University of Iowa
Elaine Torda, Orange County Community College
Audrey Van Acker*, Ball State University

*Student Board Member


Cindy Hill, Executive Director

Teri King, Finance Manager

Carolee Martin Brink, Membership Director

Kristi Smith, Project Coordinator

Betty Talley, Director of Operations

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