This past week, the National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC) held its 57th annual conference. This four day-long event began Wednesday, November 2nd and was held at the Sheraton hotel in Dallas, Texas.
NCHC is a national organization that works to promote and support undergraduate education at the honors level. This is done primarily through collaborative events, training, and resources. The organization also provides scholarships and awards to students involved in their programs.
This year’s conference took on the theme of “centering community.” As stated by the organization’s website, the event had a goal of bringing honors students together and modeling community creation within a nation that struggles to gather and connect. The central topic of community was highlighted in various speeches and sessions throughout the event.
The conference began with an opening keynote speech from civil rights activist Cece Cox. Cox is the CEO at Resource Center in Dallas, Texas, one of the primary LGBTQ+ and HIV/Aids service organizations in the United States. In her opening speech, Cox discussed themes of connection and perseverance in an uncertain world, sharing inspiration from Schitt’s Creek character Moira Rose.
Participating students had the opportunity to join a service project at Kirkpatrick Elementary and Middle School, working with children in this community to complete mural paintings on the side of their school buildings. NCHC also hosted a “City as Text” excursion, allowing students to learn more about the city of Dallas through exploring various sights in the area.
The conference’s plenary speech was given by author Brian Broome, who wrote an award-winning memoir Punch Me Up to the Gods. In his speech, Broome shared words about his experiences around writing his memoir, discussing themes of truthful expression and the consequences of putting yourself out into the world.
NCHC’s student poster session was held on Friday, November 4th. Students presented research they had completed on a variety of topics, ranging across categories like arts and humanities, social justice, health sciences, and mathematics. Awards for student presentations were distributed at NCHC’s awards ceremony on Saturday, November 5th.
Between speeches and events, the conference held a number of student sessions and workshops on various skills and opportunities, such as networking, elevator pitches, and experiential learning. In addition, many students used time between sessions to independently explore stores and restaurants in the area.
NCHC’s conference this year was a great opportunity for participants to connect with honors students, learn new information, and gain valuable and interesting experience in the city of Dallas, Texas. With organizations like NCHC, we can continue to use passion for education to bring unity among students all over the nation.