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Submitting to the NCHC Convention

Westminster College is a member of the National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC), which sponsors an annual convention attended by about 2000 undergraduates, professors, and administrators from Honors programs around the country. Representatives from Westminster College attend the convention each year to participate in workshops, attend sessions, and enjoy the many entertaining diversions of the host city. Students who are interested in attending should consult the director of Honors and read the following guidelines about making a proposal. This year's meeting will be on Nov. 5-9, 2014 in Denver.  Our Honors program typically sends anywhere from 4-8 students to this meeting.

1. It costs about $1,000-$1,300 per student and we will do our best to underwrite much of that cost for students whose papers are accepted. Certainly we will pay the $450 registration fee for everybody and offset as much as possible the flight and hotel costs, depending on how many proposals are accepted.

2. Submitting is easy! There are three primary ways for students to participate:

  • a poster session on your own research (i.e. "Biodiversity in the Great Salt Lake")

  • a student panel discussing some aspect of Honors education or administration (i.e. "The New Honors Orientation Program at Westminster College")

  • an interdisciplinary student research panel, on which you summarize for 15-minute a high-level research paper (i.e. "Gender and Desire in T. S. Eliot").

Other alternative ways to participate include diversity panels, idea exchanges, roundtables, and master classes.  All you need is an idea and a way to describe it clearly. The various types of sessions are described at the conference website and you submit your proposal here. You will need to describe your idea in 50 words.  (You do have to create an on-line account before making a proposal.)

The panel sessions also require 200-word abstracts, while the student research panel sessions will require you to upload copies of your paper in April. To brainstorm about ideas for paper proposals, download an electronic pdf version of the 2010 meeting in Kansas City, talk to Honors students who have attended previous conferences (see old copies of Honorable Mention), or swing by my office to chat.  Warning: Don't print the conference program, as it's 200+ pages long.

3. The final deadline for online submission is March 3, 2014. Professor Badenhausen must sign off on your project by sending NCHC an email certifying your project, so let him know what you are up to--otherwise, NCHC will not accept the submission. Don't wait until the final deadline to do it.

4. The NCHC runs hundreds of sessions, so be as creative as you want. You can propose a session consisting of just yourself; a session with one, two, or three other students interested in the same topic; or a session with a professor (and other students) from a class. See the conference forms for different options and talk to Professors Badenhausen or Goldmsith, who can help shape your proposal.

5. If you have an idea for a session and are looking for fellow panelists for your proposal (e.g. students who might be interested in the same topic), run your idea by other Westminster College Honors students by sending an email message to the Honors students email distribution list?

6. Email Prof. Badenhausen or Prof. Goldmsith if you want to talk about your idea. They are also available to help you write your 50-word description and 200-word abstract. Submission of a proposal is your acknowledgment that you will attend NCHC if your application is accepted.

7. The deadline for proposals is March 3, 2014, so start early!