Student Blog

Northeast News and Notes – The Official Student Blog of NRHC

Novemeber 14th, 2016

Why should I apply to the NRHC Conference?

Video credit by Kelly Tran, Point Park University

October 22nd, 2016

Northeast Student Awarded NCHC Student of the Year Honor

By Kathryn M. MacDonald, Professor, Monroe College

I’m sure many of our regional directors, staff, and students who were able to attend the 2016 NCHC Conference in Seattle are still riding the “idea high” of the conference! It is always a pleasure to be amongst likeminded people with wonderful energy and passion for Honors education.

My Seattle experience was amazing. My roundtable presentation with Helen Fallon of Point Park University on intercollegiate joint honors projects was fantastic and engaging. The poster I presented on some new honors courses at my institution was well-received. My students who presented their research via posters were on top of their game. And it was so much fun!

However, this conference was particularly special for me as the Honors Coordinator of the Monroe College Honors Program (located in Bronx and New Rochelle, NY) because one my students was named NCHC Student of Year (at a four-year institution)—Nathalie Waldschmidt. We had no idea that she would receive this recognition and actual tears of joy were cried when we found out that she received this honor. I am grateful to NCHC for recognizing Nathalie.

I wanted all of my northeast colleagues to know this news because Nathalie has served our region well—both as a Student Rep for NRHC 2016 and now as Conference Assistance for NRHC 2017.

Furthermore, I know that I would not be as productive in my mission in leading my honors program without Nathalie and students like her. I would like to share with you excerpts from my nomination letter:

I met Nathalie in January 2014, when she first joined the Honors Program. She was in her second semester of study, working toward her Bachelor’s degree in Business Management. From the beginning, Nathalie was an exceptionally hard working student. She contributed eagerly to classroom discussions and demonstrated a superb work ethic. She is an international student from Germany, and her writing skills have always impressed me. Her comfort level in the classroom and amongst her peers is above average—she is a natural mentor and leader.

After taking her first Honors course, I encouraged Nathalie to run for our Honors Student Board. She agreed, and was elected to be the President. In this role, Nathalie really excelled. She demonstrated unparalleled leadership skills, compared to the students who served in this position prior. She implemented several new activities, such as a freshmen mentorship program, Trivia and Game Night, Tea Talks with professors, Movie Nights, and more. She also launched our program’s first Honors Olympics. All of these activities have breathed new life into the sense of community amongst students in our Honors Program.

Nathalie has also been actively engaged in making proposals to the Northeast Regional Honors Council (NRHC) conferences and NCHC conferences. She has successfully received accepted proposals at two regional conferences (2015 and 2016) and two national conferences (2015 and 2016). Her presentations have been exceptional, grounded in research and creative in concept. When travelling as a representative of our program, she is a role model to the other students. She carries herself in a mature, confident, and professional manner.

She took her leadership role to a new level in 2015, when she chose to run for the NRHC Executive Board as a Student Representative. She was elected, and brought new energy and ideas to the 2016 Cambridge conference. In addition to organizing the student events for all three evenings, she also launched an Honors Olympics prior to the conference, an Honors Parade and Slideshow during the conference, and stepped up to secure sponsors to help fund the conference. As a result of these initiatives, she was asked to return as Conference Chair Assistant for the 2017 Pittsburgh conference. This is an amazing feat, considering she is still a student! 

I could continue to write about Nathalie (she has done so much more than this letter begins to describe), but I will draw this nomination letter to a close. She is the most deserving honors student of this award. She is active within her honors program every single day and has expanded her involvement in honors on the regional and national levels. She does plan to return to her home country of Germany one day, and she has told me that she plans to implement collegiate honors programs in Germany. If nothing else, this shows her dedication to the ideals of honors and making sure that gifted students have a community in which to share their talents.

Nathalie is not someone who likes being the center of attention, but I know she will use this honor to further her reach in leading our honors program. I am so, so proud of her.

I hope that all of you—directors, staff, and students—consider working toward this achievement. I truly believe that our region is bustling with talent, creativity, and potential. My honors program is small, just over 200 students, but we have been able to achieve so much at the regional and national levels. It is through teamwork, networking, and dedication that any of our institutions can receive this kind of recognition. Our efforts, along with the efforts of NCHC, can bring honors education to the forefront of higher education.

Congratulations, once again, Nathalie!

 

October 11th, 2016

The Honors Traveler

As I reflect on what was the most impactful aspect of my college career, I undoubtedly can say it was joining the honors program at The College of New Rochelle (CNR).  Although I got a late start and joined in my sophomore year, I quickly caught up and hit the ground running.

The honors program gave me the challenge and academic rigor I yearned for. I often was pushed to think outside of the box and to explore views that often were different than my own. The honors program also pushed me outside of the classroom and even outside of the state. With every travel opportunity that was offered, I was enthusiastic and ready to go. Whether it was Niagara Falls, NY; Gettysburg, PA or Cambridge, MA, I always had my proposal submitted to attend the annual Northeast Regional Honors Council conferences!

My travel didn’t stop with conferences. On July 7th, 2014, The College of New Rochelle’s Honors Director, Dr. Amy Bass, sent me an email that changed my life. She asked me if I was interested in studying away for the Fall 2014 semester to attend the Williams-Mystic Maritime Studies program in Mystic, CT.  At first, I was quite unsure being that I have never been away from home for an extended period of time and was afraid of leaving my responsibilities both on and off of campus behind. Dr. Bass assured me that CNR and New Rochelle would still be there when I returned and will continue to operate in my absence.

In exact words, the email said, “You should do this for you. Truly. It’s one semester. But I guarantee you’ll never be the same.” Dr. Bass couldn’t be more right. Williams-Mystic was without a doubt the highlight of my college career and the best experience of my life. In this one semester, I had the chance to sail for 10 days in the Pacific Ocean, explore the bayous of Louisiana and the Californian coastline. I also had he chance to have a real college experience by moving away to Mystic, Connecticut and having a roommate for the first time.

As I reflect back on my college career, it is the memories and friends that I made through the honors program that I will forever remember. Honors has empowered me to step outside of my comfort zone and to always be prepared to take on opportunities that will help me grow personally and intellectually. If I were to give another honors student some advice, it would be to take advantage of every opportunity that comes their way. I mean who else can say that they have TRAVELED APPROXIMATELY 15,000 miles and have explored six U.S. States, The Gulf of Mexico, Canada, and sailed in the Pacific Ocean for free? Now that’s doing college right!

Michelle Goyke
The College of New Rochelle
Communication Arts, Class of 2016

 October 10th, 2016

The following video about the 2016 NRHC Conference in Cambridge, MA was submitted by Maria Capozzoli of The College of Saint Elizabeth. The College of Saint Elizabeth is always looking forward to the conference. It is a great place to network and share ideas with students from all over the northeast.

August 29, 2016

Hi everyone!

Have you ever wondered what other colleges do in their Honors Programs? How are their programs different from yours? What activities/classes do they offer and how do they manage to keep students involved?

That is the reason why we created this blog. We want to hear all your stories about YOUR Honors Program!

Some of the topics can include, but are not limited, to:

  • Your favorite Honors moment
  • Things that your Honors Program does well
  • Issues that should get more attention in Honors
  • Your proposals for NCHC/NRHC
  • General overview over your program
  • Honors activities
  • Your favorite Honors class/professor
  • Handling Honors and general college requirements at the same time
  • Honors Trips
  • Honors abroad
  • Honors work that you like to share (poem, articles)
  • Any topics that you would like to discuss with other students

This blog, published on the NRHC homepage, will serve as a platform for students in the Northeast to express their opinions and personal Honors moments, as well as to interact with other students and learn more about other programs in the region.
You can write about anything that includes Honors, even if you are just curious about other programs and you just want to post a question.

This blog will also be promoted on our social media channels – not only will NRHC attendees be able to read your work, you can also share it with your friends and your home institution.

We are looking for submissions that have 350+ words, and you are more than welcome to include photos/any other way of digital media.

Please reach out to Nathalie if you have any questions. You can email her at nawaldschmidt@gmail.com.

We are looking forward to receiving your work!

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