Thirty-one students from the Eastern Kentucky University Honors Program presented research during the 52nd annual conference of the National Collegiate Honors Council in Atlanta, Georgia, Nov. 8-12. As has been the case over the past three decades, EKU’s delegation of student presenters this year was again the largest of any honors college or honors program in the nation at the prestigious annual event.
The conference highlighted student and faculty research presentations from across the nation and provided training and development for honors program administrators. The conference theme, “Just Honors,” explored how honors students, faculty, staff, and administrators address the issues of access, equity, and inclusion in honors education.
Bryan Stevenson, executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative and author of “Just Mercy,” provided the plenary address. NCHC hosted more than 2,000 students, faculty, staff and administrators hailing from all 50 states, as well as participants from the Netherlands, Great Britain, China, Qatar and Australia. The national submission process for the NCHC annual conference is highly selective, with hundreds of students, faculty, staff, and administrators submitting proposals each year.
EKU Honors not only brought a large number of presenters, but the program was also recognized with two national awards. Dr. Lisa Kay of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics won first place in the faculty research poster category of “Revitalizing Honors Courses.” Additionally, Omar Salinas Chacon, a senior from Louisville, was named the NCHC’s national student of the year from a four-year institution. (Seestories.eku.edu/people/daca-student-wins-national-honors-award.)
As part of the conference and in conjunction with the conference theme, EKU participants visited The Center for Civil and Human Rights, as well as the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site.
EKU student presenters included: Emily Adkins, Calvin Andries, Amanda Bowman, Theodore Brancheau, Peyton Brock, Nicholas Brondum, Darby Campbell, Jessica Carlotti, Katie Clark, Taylor Cochran, Tristan Colpitts, Morgan Enix, Cheyenne Gibson, Chad Gosnell, Megan Helton, Savannah Huff, Megan Hurley, Seth Johnson, Stuart Jones, Rachel Lachut, Kelsey Maness, Bruce Northington, Ivan Olivas, Montanna Palmer, Andrea Patino, Jennifer Paxtle, Heather Ramsay, Henry Richburg, Emily Rose, Omar Salinas Chacon, and Anna Stamper.
EKU faculty and staff presenters included Dr. David Coleman, director of EKU Honors; Dr. Gaby Bedetti, associate professor of English; Dr. Lisa Kay, professor of Mathematics and Statistics; Dr. Gene Kleppinger, manager of online learning; Dr. Erik Liddell, associate professor of languages, cultures, and humanities and Honors Faculty Fellow; Katie Patton, Honors Program coordinator; and Dr. Mary Ellen Thompson, professor of occupational therapy.