NCHC Annual Conference: Student Reflections

February 17, 2017



With yet another successful National Collegiate Honors Council in the books, the St. Norbert students who attended the event are now able to reflect upon their experience there. Four of our very own embarked on the journey to Seattle, Washington during October of 2016 and each thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Don’t take my word for it though, read on to hear from Jess Tooley ’17, Alex Gruber ’18, Sara Jensen ’18, and Tyler Butts ’18 about how to turn your NCHC dreams into a reality.


Many students fall under the impression that the NCHC is reserved for those who have conducted a specific type of research, however, this is not the case. Junior attendee Alex Gruber speaks to this misperception by encouraging that “anyone who is passionate about a certain topic and has done extensive research on that topic should seriously consider applying for the event.”


Confidence is key, if you’ve conducted research that is important to you, why not share it with other intellectuals like yourself? While this might seem daunting at first, Gruber assures students that “[i]t does not hurt and almost certainly will help their current and future academic career, their career prospects, and their view of themselves and the world around them.” Overall, the conference is simply a great way to network and to glean experience from an opportunity that not many students get the chance to engage with.


Equally as important is the work that the NCHC has done to better the Honors Program here at St. Norbert College. The students are not the only ones who benefit from the experience and Jess Tooley ’17 even suggests that the conference would gain more attention if students knew “things have changed in our Honors department because of things learned at NCHC.” Aside from the networking and learning that students can engage in, everyone involved also sees ways to improve our program by communicating with students and directors of other programs nationwide.



One thing that our attendees also want prospective students of the conference to know is to have the correct expectations for the trip. Obviously, there will be events mapped out for students on an itinerary, but what should they make of their free time? Sara Jensen ’18 and Tyler Butts ’18 both have great answers to this question. In Tyler’s case, he utilized his free time at the NCHC to explore the city of Seattle. A bit of advice that Sara gives in how students should spend their free time “is to have something you’re working on with you at all times, be it a book to read for class or your laptop so you can answer emails.” This way, you’re able to keep up with school work and avoid falling behind while also occupying yourself in the spare moments. Another great option is to embrace the host city where the conference is held. Tyler assures students that this was one of his favorite elements of his trip: “just walking around and exploring the culture, especially food, of Seattle. I think that was the coolest part of the conference; the locale. I really enjoyed being in a big city, especially in one I might live in someday.” This is exemplary of the cultural benefits of attending the NCHC in addition to the academic. The NCHC is so much more that just an opportunity to present your research, it can give you insight into your future, yourself, and your academic experience, all while being immersed in a new environment.


Interested in attending the NCHC yourself? Contact Stacey Wanta for further information:

Stacey Wanta

Office Coordinator of the Honors Program

Location: Todd Wehr Hall

Room: 227

Phone: 920-403-3967


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