2019 Presentation Strands


Generating Power: Impact. Influence. Endurance.

Proposal Presentation Categories

Paper Presentations

Paper presentations give students the opportunity to share their research findings on a panel with 2-3 other students who generally share similar research topics. Students present their research via a 12-14 minute oral presentation. All presentations must connect to the conference theme and students must identify the appropriate strand, listed below. Click here for strand descriptions.

  • Business, Economics & Technology
  • Education
  • History, Politics, & Culture
  • Language, Literature, & Philosophy
  • Mathematics, Sciences, & Health
  • Media and the Arts
  • Social Sciences (Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology)

Poster Presentations

Poster presentations provide an opportunity for students to present their research and findings one-on-one or to a small group. Presentations from all disciplines are welcome. Students present their research on a tri-fold poster board, measuring 48×36 inches.

Roundtable Presentations

Proposers are encouraged to consider the ideas within this year’s theme, Generating Power, in their proposals. What topics and conversations can revolve around this theme? How can we use our power to influence positive outcomes in all facets of life? How can we channel our power for positive changes, whether social, political, environmental, and so on? How can we harness power to endure challenging times without resorting to negativity?

In addition to that, we would also like to receive proposals that have a direct relationship with Honors Programs. How has Honors enabled students to experiment, create, and expand their horizons? What activities help to strengthen the sense of community in a diverse program such as this? How can Honors “generate power” with new courses, projects, and interdisciplinary activities? Honors Programs have the power to change students’ outcomes and their entire experience as undergraduate students.

Proposers should be aware that roundtable discussions are meant as a way of direct interaction between students. Ideas should be exchanged by using the presenters’ initial proposal to start a conversation at the table. This is a distinct difference from paper presentations. Presenters craft remarks that allow for interaction amongst those sitting at the roundtable.

Idea Exchange

The Idea Exchange provides an opportunity for conference attendees to share information about the exciting and innovative ideas they use in their programs. We invite students and faculty to highlight their unique practices at tabletop stations organized in thematic clusters throughout a large room. This is a fast-paced session that will run concurrently with the poster session.

The Idea Exchange provides an informal forum to engage in discussions about new and emerging practices that you have found effective in your honors program. Use creative tabletop displays and handouts to attract others and facilitate your conversations. Preference will be given to proposals that are about ideas and practices that are new, creative, and/or innovative; that document success; and that have a clear fit with this type of session.

Please select one of the following themes for your proposal:

  • Advising and mentoring
  • Communication strategies
  • Building community
  • Diversity and inclusion
  • Experiential learning
  • Programming and special events
  • Recruitment and marketing
  • Student leadership and involvement
  • Unique courses or course activities
  • Other

Student Art Show

NRHC is pleased to invite you to showcase your artwork in a competitive art show at the conference. Artwork can include many genres: drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, digital art, and more. You do not have to be an art major to participate. It is a great opportunity to share your work with others!

Ideally, the subject of the artwork should somehow relate to the conference theme, Generating Power: Influence. Impact. Endurance. The art show application requires you to provide the following information about your artwork:

  • Description of the piece and how it relates to the conference theme
  • The size of the piece
  • Type of artwork (e.g., drawing, photograph, sculpture, painting, etc.)
  • Special requirements for display (e.g., easel, table, etc.)

Please be aware that you are responsible for transporting your artwork to Baltimore.

NOTE: Students who submit artwork may also submit a paper, poster, or roundtable proposal. It is not necessary that the artwork and proposal be connected in any way. Although you are not required to submit a proposal in addition to the artwork, you are encouraged to do so.


Paper Presentation Strands

Business, Economics, and Technology

The generation of power, its impact, influence and its ability to endure are at the heart of this strand which encourages proposals that explore how power functions in business, economics and technology and has a lasting impact on the lives of towns, cities, states, and countries.

As for business and economics, your proposal might address the kinds of power needed as US cities and their populations age: Political? Economic? Global? You might choose to explore the question of what kind of power is needed to address gentrification, for example, or a new industry in a city or state that displaces workers who are not qualified to work in it. You might ask: Is it possible for private wealth to create sustainable public growth and the benefits associated with it– jobs, educational opportunities, and a higher quality of living? Regarding technology, everyone is wondering if “Block Chain” systems will enable cryptocurrencies to steal power from the banking sector and central banks like the Federal Reserve? Or will new banking and trading technologies actually provide much more affordable ways to amass and invest capital and thereby offer socioeconomic mobility and shrink the gap between the wealthy and the poor?


This strand encourages proposals that explore the power (whether real or imagined) that the system of education in the US wield, and the importance of honors education. We welcome proposals that examine ways in which our system of education copes or can cope with the intellectual and practical impasse we seem to be experiencing in the United States. For example, for decades it has been suggested that American education is in decline. If the mission of education, especially higher education, is to present us with a path to see the world anew, what might we do to help usher this new vision along? At the heart of honors education is the curiosity and the initiative to delve deeper into all that we learn. How might honors studies lead the way to such an educational renaissance? What power can an education confer on people? How can this power change the society we live in for the better? We are especially interested in proposals that explore the role honors education can play in all facets of our educational systems and practices.

For this strand, you might also ask, how does being educated (or not) allow individuals to influence and impact others? How does our system of education endure in a changing global landscape? Consider that access to education allows individuals to generate power through knowledge, leading them to attain their goals, reach success, and add knowledge to advance their chosen fields via research.

History, Politics, and Culture

This strand seeks proposals that address the complexities of history, politics, and culture and their connection to power as impact, influence, and endurance.

“History is a cyclic poem written by time upon the memories of man.”   (Percy Bysshe Shelley)

“History is not everything, but it is a starting point. History is a clock that people use to tell their political and cultural time of day. It is a compass they use to find themselves on the map of human geography. It tells them where they are but, more importantly, what they must be.”
(John Henrik Clarke)

In Clarke’s metaphor, history, politics, and culture are nearly indistinguishable from one another.  While this is a compelling notion, is it actually true?  Does an understanding of the cyclical nature of history, to use Shelley’s imagery, make human beings more aware of the political consequences of their actions?  Is culture merely the result of the interplay of history and politics in society, or does it “push back” in powerful ways seen and unseen?  To what extent is the power dynamic between history, politics, and culture transitive in nature?  What factors trigger this dynamic?  How have history, politics and/or culture affected the city of Baltimore? How have citizens and leaders been able to create powerful movements to innovate in areas of urban life such as labor and race relations, education and urban ecology?

Language, Literature, and Philosophy

We welcome proposals for this strand that examine how literature, philosophy, and language can generate power that changes lives, creates social movements, and shapes how the people of different periods in history, including our own, view themselves, others and the world.

Linguistics, the study of language, can show us how words, simple thoughts, can generate power and lasting change in the thinking of a culture. Explore and enlighten us as to how subtle changes in the use, the definitions of and even the pronunciations of important words in a culture’s lexicon has had a powerful influence on the belief systems of people in that culture.  Think of how, for example, words, catch phrases and the kinds of language in the Tweets that US presidents and other world leaders use daily affect us and world financial markets today. Explore how in this era of social media and digital communication, entire new vocabularies and language patterns have emerged.

Philosophy is the study how we know what we know about ourselves and the natural world. It involves the creation and examination of systems of morals and ethics. Are there ancient philosophies that have already explained to us how we can generate power, for example, to serve the greatest number and do the greatest good in societies?  Or do we need to create new philosophies that might have the impact and influence to improve international relations and prevent war? To create a new global reality of equality and peace?

Media Studies and the Arts

This strand welcomes proposals that examine ways in which media and the arts—how media, artists, and art forms–have harnessed power and continue to do so to help define the times in which we live. How does the media’s role in American society and politics, and the power that our many present-day media venues generate, influence the direction of a culture’s history—a power and influence which is now under perhaps the highest level of scrutiny in our nation’s history? What is the true power of the media in our country today? Has the power of the media increased or decreased in helping to reveal to all of us the powers that control our lives today from student debt to global economics?  Do media and the arts, in the US and internationally, interrogate, investigate and uncover the ever-changing sources of political and economic power that help create the historical times in which we live? Or have media outlets, under the control of powerful national and international magnates, become disseminators of propaganda for the powers-that-be to maintain social and political control and thus remain in power? What role does contemporary art play in helping us rise above complacent thinking and acceptance of our views of the world, and our own daily experiences, as displayed to us via a multitude of modern media venues? In what ways can the arts impact individuals? Does art (both classic and contemporary) have the power to inspire change in society? How does the creation, possession, and display of art reflect manifestations of power?

Science, Mathematics, and Health

This strand seeks proposals that examine the intersection of science and math and the benefits that both can bring to the health of humans and the environments in which they live. It also focuses on the power of science and mathematics to describe the universe in both real and imaginary terms.  It prompts one to ask how scientific knowledge or technology serve as agents of progress, and how this knowledge or technology can have unintended consequences. Science fiction subjects that speculate on the future, and the power and influence they have had on actual scientific progress, are also desired. Think of works of science fiction as a predictor and a fount of ideas for actual innovations in science, technology and human health.

One might explore the computational power of mathematics to determine vectors of disease so that we are better able to predict the extent of epidemics caused by natural disasters, climate change, and war, and how best to respond.  One might also examine the efficacy of “the scientific method” as a powerful way to explore and better understand our world. How it demands repeatable and reliable results of a theory. Explore how science and mathematics have and promise to produce innovations in human health, urban ecology, and oceanography, for example, but yet can also result in the creation of weapons of destruction that can destroy a city with millions of inhabitants within seconds.

Social Sciences (Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology)

This strand seeks proposals that explore the competing perspectives, methodologies, and explanatory models in the social sciences. Disciplines within the social sciences study human phenomena but from different epistemologies. Consider, for example, how questions about power and its influence are explored by the psychologist versus the anthropologist.

Of particular interest are presentations that challenge prevalent theories and/or the use of innovative research technologies that yield new understandings about individual groups, communities, and institutions. What are we discovering about how individuals combine to create group realities that power social revolutions such as Arab Spring and Black Lives Matter? How power emerges from these group realities real and imagined?  What do we make of the anomie of the present age? For example, what accounts for the United States experiencing its highest rate of suicide in its more than 250 years of history? How is the behavior of individuals, groups, or societies influenced by the interaction of competing forces or agendas? Does power at the local level have the same impact, influence, or endurance as power at the global level? How are issues such as poverty, identity, politics, or social justice investigated by the psychologists, the sociologist, the geographer, and the economist?  And what might we learn from quantitative and qualitative studies of complex human phenomena?