Lindsey Knapp: A Student's View of the 47th Annual NCHC Conference
|AU senior Lindsey Knapp and AU Honors Program Coordinator, Nancy Andres|
The National Collegiate Honors Council conference in Boston, Massachusetts was a great experience that gave me new resources for Honors, research, and life beyond my undergraduate education. The NCHC conference was a great experience in which all Honors students, especially those in leadership positions, or those who have research experience should consider participating. There are poster sessions to share research and presentations to talk about a specific part of the Honors Program or Honors Society. These can range from sessions about a Program’s peer mentoring program to a unique way that students went about fulfilling their thesis or research requirement.
Nancy and I were able to meet many people from small programs much like ours and large programs with hundreds of students. Even though the programs differed in size, budget, and requirements, I found that many aspects were the same. I also met people who study biology and have similar career goals as myself. I met a girl who was at Johns Hopkins University the same time I was and a girl who was in the same program as I was at Hopkins but the year after. It is a small world but an amazing one. It was fun sitting down and talking with these people about the research they had done in the past, what they wanted to do in the future, and what their classes have been like as an undergraduate student.
|Lindsey with new friends Emily and Jordy|
The most interesting presentations I went to were about participation in Honors. One presentation was a group discussion utilizing the Occupy Movement’s hand signals to encourage participation from all individuals at all times. We talked about how specific programs went about getting students to participate in Honors events and frustrations and set backs individuals in the group had experienced. By the end of the discussion the entire group had bonded even though we only spent an hour together.
Other presentations were focused more on bigger schools, but I was able to gain insights that will help me in my future. One presentation was on honors students being TAs (teaching assistants) in science classes. Although it is not something that is practical for Ashland, I learned a lot about tools that can help me when I am a graduate student and expected to TA. These students utilized Facebook as we might utilize an Angel discussion forum, started a mentoring and tutoring program, and were able to gain valuable teaching experience as an undergrad. I was amazed with their professional demeanor and success they had being a resource to their peers.
|Old Trinity Church reflected in the new|
There were definitely reoccurring themes that came up every day at the conference. Many programs encouraged their students to gain research or career related experiences outside of their home institution. They also focused on student participation and using the students as a resource for recruiting and getting more participation within the program. Going to the NCHC conference gave me the opportunity to explore a new city, make new friends, and learn more about what other people are doing in Honors.
Senior Biology major
Honors Society President