Each year, St. Norbert College Honors Program students have the unique opportunity to present their research at an annual conference hosted by the National Collegiate Honors Council. This conference, often simply called “NCHC,” is held every year in November in locations across the United States. This year the conference was held in Dallas, TX, from November 2 – 6th. Can you say Texas barbeque…AWESOME! This annual conference is open to students in honors programs across the country, and this year, two students from SNC were selected from the nationwide applicant pool to present their research.
The first presenter is senior chemistry major Miranda Lobermeier, who presented her research entitled “Palladium Catalysts Immobilized on Silica Via Tripodal Phosphine Linkers.” When asked about the conference, Miranda said, “Attending the NCHC was an amazing opportunity to meet other students from honors programs and honors colleges all over the country! A specific part of the conference I really enjoyed was the City as Text excursions, where we were paired up with a small group of other students and sent out into Dallas to explore a specific location in the city. My group and I were assigned to visit the Crow Museum of Asian Art, where there also happened to be some chemistry involved in the form of stones and crystals (with their chemical formulas written out and everything!). My group was made up of myself and two other undergraduate students, one from Florida and one from Pennsylvania. Though it was merely for the afternoon, I felt like I was able to connect with these two other honors students in a way that was so special. We shared both our successes and challenges of being fellow honors students – a common phrase being, ‘It was so hard and I hated it, but it was also so cool and I loved it!’ (honors student things…).”
Miranda added, “I also had the unique opportunity to present the chemistry research I completed as a part of my 2021 REU Program at Texas A&M University back in Texas! It’s always fun to nerd out about chemistry, especially when there are other people interested in it as well. The NCHC conference was overall a wonderful experience getting to explore a new city with both familiar faces from SNC and plenty of new ones in Dallas.”
The second presenter is junior Paris Riggle ‘24, who presented her research entitled “Expression and Dynamics of Planarian RPE-Spondin in Tissue Regeneration and Repair”. When asked to reflect about the conference, Paris shared,“The NCHC conference was far more than simply presenting a research poster. Every opportunity was taken to broaden your perspective on your unique place in the world. Nonetheless, presenting my research two years in the making to professors from across the country was a dream come true. The encouraging and inspirational comments I received from the judges I will carry with me for a long time. Fellow honors student’s research was impressive and eye opening to see the myriad of different scientific projects available to students. The City As Text excursion taught me to look more carefully at the space I am in and be fully present in the moment. Engaging with the art and the people at the Dallas Museum of Art introduced me to Dallas through a cultural lens. Indeed, Dallas is a vibrantly diverse area and I witnessed many different ethnicities, ages, cultures, and socioeconomic statuses living together. After the excursion, I had lunch with professors in anthropology, neuroscience, and art, and they made me feel very welcome in the conversation. I received advice to not be afraid of failure and creativity, and to pursue your interests authentically. I really felt like I belonged with the students and the professors alike which was a validating experience. The theme “Centering Community” definitely was enmeshed throughout the conference. I hope to attend again!”
Interested in attending the NCHC Conference next year or at some point in the future? The Honors Program covers registration, lodging, to/from airport transportation, and a group dinner for conference attendees. Annual conferences have designated student sessions, post-grad information/support, city immersion-type experiences to explore the host city, and countless networking events. For those interested in presenting research next year, the 2023 NCHC Conference will take place in Chicago, IL, and research submission applications will open in January 2023.
For more information, visit www.nchchonors.org and watch for emails from Stacey when the application submission time period opens. Information needed for an initial conference submission is a title of the research/presentation and abstract of the proposal to be considered.
Check out a short video that captures the unique experience of this national conference.