Nearly 2,000 students and faculty attended NCHC annual event

Representatives from the University of Central Arkansas Norbert O. Schedler Honors College were selected as presenters during the 54th annual conference held by the National Collegiate Honors Council in New Orleans, Louisiana, from November 6-10, 2019.

The conference highlighted student and faculty research presentations from across the nation and provided training and development for honors program administrators and staff. The conference theme, “Disrupting Education: Creativity and Innovation in Honors,” explored the idea of a creativity crisis currently afflicting U.S. education: a lack of innovation in faculty pedagogy and student experiences.

Five UCA Schedler Honors College faculty and eight students presented during the conference. Their research included:

  • Daniella Castillo, Javier Hernandez, Devyn Ruiz and Patricia Smith, acting dean of the Honors College — “Instructions Not Included: A Glimpse of Minority Struggles, Barriers, and Experiences”
  • Booker T. White — “Homosexual Representation in Japanese Media and its Impact on Socialization and Tough Talks: An Exercise in Learning through Differences”
  • Kai Mortensen — “Improving Student Success in Principles of Biology I”
  • Kai Mortensen, Garrett Spears and Leah Horton, lecturer II — “Is Expertise Dying? Implications for Interdisciplinarity”
  • Alexis Johnson and Cindy Lea, lecturer — “SWAP (Students Who Advocate for People): Learning Through Advocacy and Service”
  • Austin Ashley and Adam Frank, professor — “Connecting Honors Students to At-Risk Youth through Theatre”
  • Allison Wallace, professor — “Honors as a Perfect Forum for the Interdisciplinary Subject of Sustainability”
  • Patricia Smith and Leah Horton — “Recruiting High Achieving Students: What Happens When You Can’t Take Them All?”

The national submission process for the NCHC annual conference is highly selective, with hundreds of students and faculty submitting proposals each year.

“A presentation at the NCHC conference provides each individual with a unique opportunity to showcase the work being done in honors across the globe. However, each presenter also impacts the culture of the network, providing other honors colleagues a chance to discuss the topic, exploring collaborations, research and innovation,” said Mary Beth Rathe, NCHC executive director.

While in New Orleans, students and faculty had the opportunity to explore the city through NCHC’s City as TextTM Program, network with other honors students and faculty from across the country and around the world and celebrate the unique community created by honors education.

Lanita Addison (center) receiving the 2019 National Collegiate Honors Council Award for Administrative Excellence with Richard Badenhausen and Elaine Torda, immediate past president and current president of NCHC, respectively.

Additionally, Lanita Addison, administrative specialist in the Schedler Honors College, received the 2019 NCHC Award for Administrative Excellence. Addison was notified of the award in spring and invited to a formal presentation at the NCHC conference.

The National Collegiate Honors Council is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to support and enhance the community of educational institutions, professionals and students who participate in collegiate honors education around the world. NCHC members total nearly 900 institutions from the United States and around the world. Professional and organizational affiliate memberships are also available. More information can be found at nchchonors.org.