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NRHC 2023

Building Resilience from Tragedy:

Understanding Hate, Violence, Loss, and Reconciliation

March 30 - April 2

presentation formats

Presentation Formats

Academic Panel Presentations

Academic panel presentations give students the opportunity to share their research findings from any discipline on a panel with 2-3 other students who share similar research topics. Students are encouraged to present dynamically on their topic, and if reading a paper, to engage their audience through eye contact and, where useful, visual illustrations. Technology will be available to support a slide-show or other visual aids. Q&A time will be allotted either after each presenter or after all have presented. Students must identify the appropriate strand, listed below:


  • Business, Economics, and Technology

  • Education

  • History, Politics, and Culture

  • Honors Education and Practices

  • Language, Literature, and Philosophy

  • Natural Sciences, Mathematics, and Allied Health

  • Media Studies and the Arts

  • Social Sciences (Sociology, Psychology, Anthropology, Archeology, Geography, and Jurisprudence)

Poster Presentations

Academic poster presentations are an excellent way to showcase research and findings to a roving audience. Students present their research on a tri-fold poster board, measuring 48×36 inches. During the session, presenters will discuss their research and findings with that roving audience of individuals or small groups. Presentations from all disciplines are welcome. Students must identify the appropriate strand, listed below:

  • Business, Economics, and Technology

  • Education

  • History, Politics, and Culture

  • Honors Education and Practices

  • Language, Literature, and Philosophy

  • Natural Sciences, Mathematics, and Allied Health

  • Media Studies and the Arts

  • Social Sciences (Sociology, Psychology, Anthropology, Archeology, Geography, and Jurisprudence)


Roundtable Presentations

Roundtable presentations emphasize direct interaction between presenters and audience. Ideas should be exchanged by using the presenters’ initial proposal to start a conversation. Unlike the academic panel presentation which foregrounds individual presentations and offers minimal time for discussion, the roundtable presentation seeks discussion between presenters and audience members as its core activity. Presenters craft a brief presentation or a series of remarks that will stimulate interaction and discussion.


We encourage roundtable proposals that engage this year’s theme, Building Resilience from Tragedy: Understanding Hate, Violence, Loss, and Reconciliation. What topics and conversations might productively emerge from this theme? What are some of the questions we should be asking to find critical and imperative solutions? What makes individuals and communities resilient? And what might help people regain their sense of community after losses like those experienced here in Pittsburgh and elsewhere?


We also encourage proposals that have a direct relationship with Honors Programs. How has Honors fostered reconciliation and/or resilience on your home campus following the disruption of COVID-19 or other issues that caused division? What other disruptions might arise and challenge honors programs and honors students? What did you learn from the pandemic that may guide you? How can Honors help students to navigate difficult circumstances, develop critical thinking skills, or conduct more research to find answers to problems college students currently face? Think as well about the value the honors community can bring not only to your campus but also the external community.


Whatever the focus of your proposal, remember that in keeping with the roundtable format, you should seek to gain insights, engage in conversation, offer solutions, and discuss your topic with your audience. For further inspiration, please read through the strand descriptions. Any of the eight different subject areas can be used to drive your proposal.


Reviewed by Helen Fallon (Point Park University) and Kat MacDonald (Monroe College)

Idea Exchange Presentations

The Idea Exchange provides an opportunity to share the exciting ideas and innovative strategies you use in your honors program. Presenters create lively tabletop displays and handouts to attract others and facilitate conversations. This fast-paced session runs concurrently with poster sessions.

Preference will be given to proposals presenting 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

Performing arts and Film showcase

Art and its performance can play an important role in building resilience within communities and bridges between communities. By asking difficult questions, presenting unique perspectives or connections, and engaging our hearts as well as our minds, art and its performance can stimulate both communication and reconciliation. Presenters are encouraged to showcase their talents in music, singing, acting, dancing, filmmaking, or any other performance artform. While we encourage presenters to tap into the power of this year’s conference theme, other proposals will be considered for inclusion as well. In this presentation format, students will introduce a live performance or a short film to a live audience as part of a panel of presenters. There is no limit to the length of the original film or performance submission, but the live presentation or viewing should be limited to 10 minutes. Longer works can be presented through targeted excerpts. Time will be allotted for questions and discussion after each performance.

art gallery submissions

“Art is in the eye of the beholder, and everyone will have their own interpretation” - E.A. Bucchianeri

Like the interpretation of works of art, the process of emerging from grief and moving toward reconciliation may differ for everyone. As events push the human toll of violence and hatred ever higher, we in our globalized society must learn how to better understand each other’s path from pain, loss, and calamity to healing, empathy, and resilience. Art can be an incredibly effective (and affective) way to communicate one person’s experience and journey to others.


Do you create visual, plastic, verbal, or digital art? The Art Gallery showcases the artistic works of honors folks in our region. We encourage you to share your creative work with us! And while we encourage works that address the conference theme, all submissions will be considered for inclusion. Art Gallery participants will exhibit and discuss their work with conference attendees in a gallery setting. 

Artwork can include many genres: drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, digital art, poetry and more. The art gallery 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.) 


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.

Strand Descriptions

strand descriptions

strand descriptions

Business, economics, and technology

This strand encourages student proposals that explore how forgiveness, reconciliation, and resilience can be harnessed to create sustainable public or private economic growth, jobs, educational opportunities, advances in technology, or a higher quality of living. How has politics affected the decisions of businesses attempting to endure business cycle fluctuations, domestic and international competition, depletion of resources, the introduction of new technology, and international trade wars? Can new banking and trading technologies provide more affordable ways to amass and invest capital and thereby offer socioeconomic mobility and a shrinking gap between the wealthy and the poor or disenfranchised? We seek your creativity in these technical fields and look forward to reviewing your creative solutions to our theme: “Building Resilience from Tragedy: Understanding Hate, Violence, Loss, and Reconciliation."

Reviewed by Mike Tasto (Southern New Hampshire University)

strand descriptions


The traumatic violence that rocked the city of Pittsburgh has touched our nation’s schools as well – repeatedly and tragically. The education strand invites proposals that focus on one of our most important social institutions – our schools – and the role education plays in combatting intolerance with understanding. There are many possibilities for important and creative analysis within this strand: proposals might focus on curriculum, teaching practices, student activism, or cultural representations of teachers, students, and schools—among other possibilities. What effects has violence had on the operation of schools? What role can education play in restoring community, recovering from loss, and building the resilience of communities, families, and individuals? What do current debates about what is and is not appropriate material for our nation’s schools reveal about our beliefs and values? And perhaps most importantly, what education will best prepare young citizens for the challenges ahead?


Reviewed by AnnMarie DelliPizzi (Dominican University) and Gwen Kay (SUNY—Oswego)

strand descriptions

History, Politics, and Culture

From its inception, the city we know as Pittsburgh has been a confluence of peoples and cultures, from the earliest Native American-European contact in the mid-seventeenth century until the present. It has also been a hub of trade and commerce, and a symbol of American industrial might since the mid-nineteenth century when Andrew Carnegie began producing steel there. But beginning in the second half of the twentieth century, the “Steel City” was rocked by tremendous economic and social upheaval that challenged both the foundations of its identity and perhaps even its very existence as one of the nation’s great cities. However, by the early 2000s, Pittsburgh had reinvented itself as a regional center for higher education, tourism, and services, largely based on healthcare/medicine, finance, and emerging technologies. Pittsburgh’s resilience as a city is one historical instance among many, and like other examples of communities in crisis and then recovery, Pittsburgh had to confront its own history of injustice and inequality and find a way to transform division and defeatism into innovation and inclusivity.

The study of History, Politics and Culture offers unique opportunities to deeply explore events, decisions, and institutions from our past and use our analysis of them to imagine different futures, different relationships, and different ways of thinking. Several fascinating questions can arise from an intentional reading of these categories, such as: How do communities in recovery translate shared experiences of crisis into policy decisions that benefit all its citizens? What are the responsibilities of citizen-stakeholders in the development of their communities and the preservation of communal memory? How can public-private sector partnerships be reimagined to strengthen not only the local economy but also the communal esprit de corps?

Reviewed by Darryl Peterkin (Morgan State University) and Marcella McCoy-Deh (Thomas Jefferson University)

strand descriptions

Honors Education and practices

Honors is a unique community of students, faculty, and staff who have insatiable curiosities, hunger for knowledge, and a passion for lifelong learning. The Honors Education and Practices strand welcomes proposals that provide examples of the many ways that honors education and practices encourage academic excellence, build strong communities, and create the leaders of tomorrow. Honors can be the leader in higher education by crafting meaningful, engaging, and creative experiences for students, faculty, and staff alike. Through innovative courses, honors contracts, research and creative projects, and community connections, honors can lead academics down a path to reconciliation and healing. Honors programs and colleges have demonstrated unprecedented resilience throughout the events of the past several years, ultimately emerging stronger than before. We welcome presentations that discuss the unique successes of the honors programs and colleges of this region as well as proposals that discuss areas of struggle and reflection. This strand is designed to celebrate collaboration and sharing of strategies to ultimately improve our Honors community as a whole.


Reviewed by Chris Brittain (Ocean County College) and Amy McMillan (SUNY—Buffalo State)

strand descriptions

language, literature, and philosophy

The study of language, the literary arts, popular culture and philosophy often generates insights about human nature and human interactions. The Language, Literature, and Philosophy strand invites proposals that engage this year’s conference theme “Building Resilience from Tragedy: Understanding Hate, Violence, Loss, and Reconciliation." What might our study of language, the literary arts, popular culture and philosophy reveal about the sources and impacts of hate and the violence that hate can ignite in communities? How might our engagement with literary works, film, and other cultural artefacts help communities achieve reconciliation and maintain resilience?


Reviewed by Tanya Radford (Dominican University) and Jessica McCort (Lake Park University)

strand descriptions

natural sciences, mathematics, and allied health

The disciplines encompassed by science and mathematics hold keys to unlocking the human experience. As formalized processes for explaining natural phenomena, each new discovery has the potential to upend and better explain what we previously held as known. Scientific and mathematical inquiry challenge the cultural and societal inertia of generational knowledge. Even theories which today are by no means considered controversial - evolution by natural selection, game theory, heliocentrism, general relativity, germ theory, to name a few - changed our understanding of the world and how it works when they were conceived. It was not too long ago in our history that the work of scientific discovery could lead to excommunication, incarceration, or even death. And yet, advances in science and mathematics serve to improve society and build our sense of humanity – who we are, what we know, and how we can work together to solve our problems. Without these advances, our efforts to address societal problems also stagnate. We welcome proposals that share your discoveries in the fields of the natural sciences, mathematics, and allied health.


Reviewed by Gwen Kay (SUNY—Oswego) and Amy McMillan (SUNY—Buffalo State)

strand descriptions

media studies and the arts

Media and the arts have a unique ability to simultaneously subvert and unite communities. In many ways, the purpose of media studies and the arts is to challenge an audience by making them face uncomfortable truths about themselves and their pre-conceived notions of fact and reality.


In their representation of political unrest, natural disasters, personal grief, mental illness, or other challenges, media and the arts can ask their audience to test their own resilience and capacity for forgiveness. Thus, these works and the study of them can be therapeutic, cathartic, and comforting. How can art, whether in music, dance, theatre, photography, written art forms (novels, poetry, prose, etc.), sculpture, drawing, and so on, influence societal change? Can enjoyment and analysis of these works bring us together? Can these works and our analysis of them both express traumatic experience and create the possibility of forgiveness and reconciliation?


The Media Studies and the Arts strand welcomes proposals that examine the role of media and the arts in the development and demonstration of resilience in the face of hate, violence, disenfranchisement, marginalization, environmental disruption, and unbearable loss.


Reviewed by Zach Aidala (Bloomfield College) and Chris Brittain (Ocean County College)

Social Sciences (Sociology, Anthropology, Psychology, Archaeology, Geography, and Jurisprudence)

Scholars in the social sciences investigate problems and conversations central to civil society. This year’s conference theme offers a unique opportunity to explore and question how communities grieve and forgive. It invites scholars to investigate how communities navigate reconciliation and, ultimately, how individuals and communities reconcile in the face of hate, violence, and loss.


How do individuals, social groups, and communities at large remain durable in the face of violence? When strength of character is tested by hate, and what does it take for communities to recover? Where do communities find the courage and resolve to reconcile after enduring violence and loss? How do the behaviors of individuals, groups, elected officials, and law enforcement agencies influence a community’s resilience? What responsibilities do entities like businesses, educators, health care providers, and non-profit organizations have in rebuilding their community and participating in recovery?  What actions can you, as honors students, take to support community building on your campus and beyond?


For this strand, we seek proposals that explore the sociology, anthropology, psychology, archaeology, geography, or jurisprudence branches of the social sciences. We also welcome proposals that engage in interdisciplinary study of society and the interlocking institutions that shape it. Proposals might range from critical evaluations of current problems to discussion for opportunities for change in the future.


Reviewed by Marcella McCoy-Deh (Thomas Jefferson University) and Zachary Aidala (Bloomfield College)

proposal rubric

Proposal Rubric

On a scale of 1 to 5 (1 being completely unsatisfactory and 5 being extremely satisfactory), please rate the proposal in the following areas:

  • Context and Background on Topic (Does the proposer give appropriate details to contextualize his/her topic?) 

  • Presentation Purpose (Is the proposer’s purpose clear? Has he/she stated what the audience will learn?) 

  • Creativity of Idea (Does the proposer have a creative way of approaching the topic?)

  • Usage and Grammar (Is the proposal coherent? Is it well-written?) 

TOTAL POINTS =  ___/20

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