Dr. Andrew Martino, Southern New Hampshire University

Dr. Andrew Martino, Southern New Hampshire University Honors Director

Andrew Martino received his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Binghamton University (SUNY) in 2003. He maintains an active scholarly agenda with a focus on contemporary world literature, and the contemporary novel in particular. He is currently associate professor of English at Southern New Hampshire University and since 2010 he has served as the director of SNHU’s University Honors Program. Prior to that he served as chair of the English Department from 2007-2010. In addition to being actively engaged in the University Honors Program at his university, he also serves on the National Collegiate Honors Council’s Publications Board and the Major Scholarship Committee. Andrew’s email address is

President-elect and 2017 Conference Chair

Ms. Helen-Margaret Nasser, Kingsborough Community College

helennasserHelen-Margaret Nasser is the Associate Director of the Honors Program and the Executive Assistant to the Associate Provost at Kingsborough Community College in Brooklyn, N.Y. Nasser holds a bachelor’s degree from McGill University (Canada) in political science and international development studies and a master’s degree in political science from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York where she concentrated on Middle East identity and civil society politics. She has been the administrator for the NEH funded Bridging Cultures to Form a Nation grant at Kingsborough and has supported faculty in their course redesign, innovations and event planning around themes of democracy, diversity, and community. She is heavily involved in civic engagement efforts, organizes the colleges annual Immigration Day events, and offers extensive support to students. Nasser also serves as the Advisor for the Honors Club and the Phi Theta Kappa Chapter on campus. She is very pleased to engage the students in civic engagement and social justice projects in this role. Nasser has also volunteered with Heifer International and has co-chaired benefit events in the Brooklyn area grossing over $50,000 for the organization. Prior to working at Kingsborough, Helen served as a staff member at the Student World Assembly from 2007 to 2009.

Vice President

Dr. Anthony DeLuca, SUNY Old Westbury

Anthony L. DeLuca, Ph.D. has been a member of the Northeast Regional Honors Council since 2012 when he began serving at SUNY College at Old Westbury, in Old Westbury, New York, as Director of its Honors College.  He has more than 30 years of experience in higher education—15 years as a professor of English and 15 years successively as an academic director, as an assistant dean and as a dean of Academic Affairs. He has taught primarily at senior colleges and universities and served as an administrator at junior and senior colleges. He returned to a director’s position at SUNY Old Westbury out of a desire to help students excel academically and to create an educational environment that meets the needs of the world they will enter after college. He regards himself as strong proponent of a Liberal Arts education, but also has great respect for the latest developments in Civil Studies.  To that end, he has begun the Social Media Project and the Social Entrepreneurial Incubator at SUNY Old Westbury’s Honors College. Through these two projects, students gain real world experience immediately without waiting for an internship in their sophomore or junior year.  They educate themselves about a problem that needs to be addressed on campus, in their local community, in New York State and in the U.S.  Then they educate others, contacting local government, philanthropic, and business professionals to raise seed money where needed. Most importantly, students use their education, skills and good will to help others and make the world a better place for all by disseminating important information in effective ways and by starting businesses that contribute to the good of society.

Anthony believes that as Vice President of the NRHC, he can help guide the future development and growth of what he regards as a wonderful organization that changes the lives of students every year at conferences and via the daily academic and social interactions that the NRHC provides for honors students, faculty and staff.

Immediate Past President

Dr. Joe McGinn, University of Maine at Farmington

Dr. Joe McGinn, Towson University Honors Director

Throughout his career in honors education Dr. McGinn has attended NRHC Conferences and worked to provide as many students as possible with the chance to benefit from all NRHC has to offer.  As he has remarked: “The NRHC provides students with a forum for transformation.  The friendly, supportive, and challenging environment enables students from around the region, from institutions big and small, to meet together in fascinating locations to share ideas and best practices, to challenge one another and to grow as individuals, leaders and scholars.  For faculty and staff it provides professional development opportunities, as well as the friendship and support that are so needed in a fundamentally collaborative enterprise like honors education.  My students and I have benefited in more ways than I can share from all that the NRHC has to offer.  As President-elect, I look forward to serving this wonderful organization that for so many years has supported so many of us.” Joe’s email address is


Dr. James Joseph Buss, Salisbury University

genimageJames Joseph Buss is Director of the Thomas E. Bellavance Honors Program and Associate Professor of History at Salisbury University.

He is the author of Winning the West with Words: Language and Conquest in the Lower Great Lakes (2011) and co-editor of Beyond Two Worlds: Critical Conversations on Language and Power in Native North America (November 2014), as well as several other articles and book chapters.  His scholarly interests center on the intersections of settler memory, Native American history, and public commemoration.  He participates and serves with several national organizations connected to the advancement of scholarship on Native American and Indigenous issues, including being elected Secretary for the American Society for Ethnohistory and serving as fundraising co-chairperson for the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association’s 2015 Annual Meeting.  In addition, Dr. Buss has appeared on NPR, C-Span 2: Book TV, and Zocolo Public Square to speak about his work.

Prior to moving to Maryland, Dr. Buss served as Chairperson of the Department of History and Director of the University Honors Program at Oklahoma City University, where he was named both “Full-Time Teaching Faculty Member of the Year” and “Distinguished Honors Professor of the Year.”  Since moving to Maryland, he has been elected as an Executive Board member for the Maryland Collegiate Honors Council and Treasurer for the Northeast Regional Honors Council.  In addition, Dr. Buss serves on the National Collegiate Honors Council’s Assessment and Evaluations Committee.

Executive Secretary

Dr. Karlyn Koh, LaGuardia Community College

KohPicKarlyn Koh  is a Professor of English at the City University of New York’s (CUNY) LaGuardia Community College, and, since 2007, the Director of the Honors Program there.

Outside of her Honors administrative work, she has published and made scholarly presentations in the fields of critical theory, post-colonial theory, Asian American cultural studies, queer theory, and post-modern poetry, and received research funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and CUNY.  More recently, she has published and presented on Honors education in community colleges. Further, she is a member of the CUNY Honors Opportunities Conference Committee, and an editorial consultant for the Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature journal.  She is also privileged to have received the following awards: the Bonita C. Jacobs Transfer Champion Award, National Institute for the Study of Transfer Students (2014); Professor of the Year Award, Student Government Association, LaGuardia Community College (2011); Hallmark Paragon Award for Advisors, Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society (2008); and Horizon Award for New Advisors, Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, New York Region (2007).

Web Editor

Chris Brittain, Ramapo College of New Jersey

Brittain, Chris 6.12.13 24

Chris Brittain is the Assistant Director of the Ramapo College of New Jersey Honors Program. He graduated from Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania in 2010 with a Bachelor’s degree in English and Communication Media and in 2012 with a Master’s degree in Liberal Arts with a concentration in Higher Education Administration. He has been working with Honors Programs in the Northeast Region for nine years and co-created the Pennsylvania Honors Development Conference in 2012. In addition to being the Web Editor for the Northeast Regional Honors Council for the past two years, he spends much of his time pursuing interests in web design, photography, and event-planning. Chris’s email address is

Faculty Representatives

Dr. Bruce Thompson, Frederick Community College

BruceBruce Thompson (Ph.D., University of Maryland) is a professor of history and has been the honors coordinator at Frederick Community College in Frederick, Maryland, since 2004. He also has served as Secretary-Treasurer (2010-2016) for the Maryland Collegiate Honors Council, hosted a state conference, and is a member of the National Collegiate Honors Council Two-Year Committee (2009- Present). His scholarship focuses on Maryland’s role in the emergence of the civil rights movement. He has been a Visiting Fellow with the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute at Harvard University, received an innovation award for setting up a regional history center, and won a faculty excellence award. Bruce’s email address is


Dr. Leanne Wood, Salisbury University

genimageLeanne Wood is Assistant Director of the Bellavance Honors Program and Assistant Professor of Music at Salisbury University in Maryland. She holds a Ph.D. in musicology from Princeton University and a Bachelor of Music in piano performance from Trinity University in San Antonio, TX. Her scholarship addresses representations and experiences of place in American stage and film musicals. Dr. Wood has presented research at conferences in the U.S., Canada, England, and Italy; her publications appear in the journal American Music and the published proceedings of From Stage to Screen: Musical Films in Europe and United States.

Before coming to Salisbury University in 2014, she taught in Princeton’s Writing Program and Freshman Scholars Institute, served three years as a Resident Graduate Student in that university’s residential colleges, and coordinated Writing Boot Camps for seniors and graduate students. She currently leads the Honors Living Learning Community for first-year students at Salisbury University and looks forward to serving the NRHC community as a Faculty Representative.

Assistant to the Conference Chair

Nathalie Waldschmidt, Monroe College

Nathalie Picture NRHCNathalie Waldschmidt is a senior Business Management major at Monroe College, New York. She served as the Student Representative for the 2016 NRHC conference in Cambridge, Massachusetts and is now supporting the Executive Board as the Assistant of the Conference Chair. In addition to her involvement in NRHC, Nathalie acts as the President of the Honors Student Board at Monroe, as well as the Editor-in-Chief of the newly launched Monroe newspaper, The Echo.

Prior to her time at Monroe, she was living in Vancouver, Canada for one year as part of a Work & Travel Program. Nathalie also earned a degree in Business Management in Germany, and then made her way to the United States in 2012.

Her role as the Conference Student Assistant also includes running the new NRHC Blog, securing sponsorships, and organizing activities to keep institutions connected between the annual conferences. Nathalie’s email address is

Student Representatives

Erika Caires, Merrimack College

Hi, I’m Erika, a sophomore at Merrimack College in North Andover, Massachusetts. I’m an English major, and have an awesome pen collection to back up my merits as a budding writer. I grew up in the small town of Merrimac, MA (different Merrimack, it gets confusing!) in the perfect corner of the coastline and the New Hampshire border, which leads to lots of summer road trips to the mountains and lazy days on the beach. I’m not one for cold weather, so as soon as I graduate I plan on jumping ship and moving south, where I can go kayaking in January if I so please.
On campus, I try and get as involved as I can. I am an Honors Peer Mentor, a Student Ambassador, and I work with the Dean of Liberal Arts and the Office of Student Involvement. I’m so excited to serve as Student Rep for NRHC this year, and I can’t wait for the Conference in Pittsburgh!

Valerie Robles-Rios, Monroe College

My name is Valerie Robles-Rios. I am 19-years-old. I am from Puerto Rico and of Korean descent. I just began my sophomore year at Monroe College, currently pursuing my bachelor’s degree in Health Service Administration. Upon my admittance to Monroe, I was also invited to join the Honors Program, which I accepted. Being part of Honors in high school, I thought I knew what to expect from Honors in college. As my first semester at Monroe College concluded, I had confirmed what I had been perceiving: honors is much more than taking advanced courses.  Aside from being academically challenged, the Honors Program has given me the opportunity to serve my community in volunteer work, participate in Joint Honors activities with other colleges, and expand my networking circle. I have always been a person willing to help others and help execute and participate in all sorts of activities, both as an individual and a student.

Since my first semester in college, I have been a member of the Multicultural Student Association committee responsible for Public Relations. Additionally, I am also a campus leader in the NR Future Program, whose purpose is to co-create downtown revitalization in New Rochelle. And this semester I am acting as the interim newsletter editor for my Honors Program. Having the opportunity to present at the NRHC Conference in Cambridge has been one of the best, if not the best so far, college experiences I have had. I had the chance to meet people from all over the northeast region and learn so much from them, aside from making new friends. I am honored to be elected as one of the NRHC 2017 Student Representatives, and I will make it my goal to ensure all new and returning student to the conference have the same amazing experience I had. For input or questions, I can be contacted at


Faculty Volunteers 

Professor Kristin DeLuca, Pitt University

Professor Kathryn MacDonald, Monroe College

K.MacDonald.HeadShotKat MacDonald is the Coordinator of the Honors Program and a faculty member in the English Department at Monroe College. She holds a Master’s degree in Mass Media and Communication from Fordham University and bachelor’s degrees in English, Communication Arts, and Women’s Studies from the College of New Rochelle. Before coming to Monroe College as a full-time faculty member (she was an adjunct first) in 2010, she served on the editorial team of Reader’s Digest.

Serving the students in her college’s Honors Program has been most rewarding. She believes NRHC gives students the opportunity to present their research, collaborate with their peers, and become exposed to new ideas and places. She has had the pleasure of mentoring the Student Reps since 2013, when her first student served in Niagara Falls. Subsequently, two students from her institution served at Cambridge in 2015. Currently, Valerie Robles-Rios is now one of the Reps for our upcoming conference in Pittsburgh. Watching the students grow and learn is extremely satisfying. Kat believes that honors is all about the students, and we are here to make that experience unforgettable. Kat can be reached at

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