Last week, the National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC) held its 57th annual conference. The four-day event kicked off on Wednesday, November 2 and took place at the Sheraton Hotel in Dallas, TX.
NCHC is a national organization that works to promote and support undergraduate education at the honors level. This is done primarily through collaborative events, trainings and resources. The organization also offers scholarships and awards to students involved in their programs.
This year’s conference was themed “centering the community”. As noted on the organization’s website, the event was intended to bring students together with distinction and model community building within a nation struggling to come together and connect. The central theme of community was highlighted in various speeches and sessions throughout the event.
The conference began with a keynote address from civil rights activist Cece Cox. Cox is the CEO of the Resource Center in Dallas, Texas, one of the leading LGBTQ+ and HIV/AIDS service organizations in the United States. In her keynote, Cox touched on the 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 from that community to paint murals on the side of their school buildings. The NCHC also organized a “City as Text” field trip, allowing students to learn more about the city of Dallas by exploring various sights in the area.
The conference plenary address was delivered by author Brian Bloome, who has written an award-winning memoir Kick me to the gods. In her talk, Bloome shared words about her experiences around writing her memoir, discussing themes of truthful expression and the consequences of bringing herself into the world.
The NCHC Student Poster Session was held on Friday November 4th. The students presented research they had done on a variety of topics, ranging in categories such as arts and humanities, social justice, health sciences, and math. Awards for student presentations were distributed at the NCHC Awards Ceremony on Saturday, November 5.
Between keynotes and events, the conference held a number of sessions and workshops for students on various skills and opportunities, such as networking, lightning pitches, and experiential learning. Additionally, many students used the time between sessions to independently explore local shops and restaurants.
This year’s NCHC conference was a great opportunity for students to connect with major students, learn new information, and gain valuable and interesting experience in the city of Dallas, TX. With organizations like NCHC, we can continue to use the passion for education to bring unity among students across the country.