Twenty-four students from the Eastern Kentucky University Honors Program presented research and creative work at the 54th annual meeting of the National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC) in New Orleans Nov. 6 through Nov. 9. EKU’s delegation of student presenters was among the largest of any honors college or honors program in the nation at this prestigious annual event.
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,” discussed ways honors education can provide solutions to a lack of creativity and innovation in American life and education.
“NCHC improved my understanding of diverse perspectives in and out of the sessions available,” said Andrea Patino, an EKU Honors program junior who has presented at an NCHC annual meeting three times. “It provided me with a space to develop socially and share my knowledge and experiences with others.”
Mora Rehm, a sophomore in EKU Honors, was one of eight honors students nationally to be invited to participate in the conference’s annual “Student Fishbowl” event, an NCHC tradition allowing students to share what they really think about honors classes, teachers and activities with honors faculty and staff. Rehm also serves as a student at-large representative to the Southern Regional Honors Council, which met during the conference.
This year’s conference included more than 2,000 students, faculty, staff and administrators hailing from all 50 states, as well as participants from the Netherlands. The national submission process for NCHC presentations is highly selective, with hundreds of students, faculty, staff and administrators submitting proposals each year.
EKU student presenters included: Flynn Blanchet, Mary Boujaoude, Peyton Brock, Skylar Carter, Yadira Crisantos, Collin Davis, Clarissa Dennis, Welsy Discua, Alex Dixon, Allison Gordon, Britany Guerrero, Megan Hurley, Olivia Jennings, Libby Jones, Nick Koenig, Taelor Martin, Ivan Olivas, Andrea Patino, Leslie Richie, Corey Sparkman, Lexy Dahl Walls, Cassie Woosley and BJ Yates.
EKU faculty and staff presenters included Dr. David Coleman, executive director of EKU Honors; Dr. Jose Gomez-Becerra, assistant professor of Spanish; Dr. Lisa Kay, professor of mathematics and statistics; Dr. Gene Kleppinger, manager of online learning; Dr. Paula Kopacz, foundation professor of English; Katie Patton, assistant director of EKU Honors; Dr. Abbey Poffenberger, associate professor of Spanish; and Dr. Socorro Zaragoza, associate professor of Spanish.