NRHC 2022

A More Perfect Union:
Creating and Restoring Community
in an Age of Disruption

April 7 - 11, 2022

presentation formats


Academic Panel Presentations

Panel presentations give students the opportunity to share their research findings from any discipline on a panel with 2-3 other students who generally share similar research topics. Students are encouraged not to read a paper but to instead present dynamically on their topic. There will be a brief Q&A after each presentation as well as an overall Q&A to conclude each paper session. Students must identify the appropriate strand, listed below:


  • Business, Economics & Technology

  • Education

  • History, Politics, & Culture

  • Honors Education and Practices

  • Language, Literature, & Philosophy

  • Mathematics, Sciences, & Health

  • Media 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 by balancing textual and visual information one-on-one or to a small group. Presentations from all disciplines are welcome. Students present their research on a tri-fold poster board, measuring 48×36 inches. Students must identify the appropriate strand, listed below.

  • Business, Economics & Technology

  • Education

  • History, Politics, & Culture

  • Language, Literature, & Philosophy

  • Mathematics, Sciences, & Health

  • Media and the Arts

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

  • Honors Education and Practices


Roundtable Presentations

Proposers are encouraged to consider the ideas within this year’s theme, A More Perfect Union: Creating and Restoring Community in An Age of Disruption, in their proposals. What topics and conversations can revolve around this theme? What are some of the questions we should be asking to find critical and imperative solutions?

We encourage roundtable presenters to find ways of addressing the idea of a "perfect" union, the many aspects of community, and varying forces of disruption. Your research can tackle any of these themes, but as a roundtable presentation, you should seek to gain insights, engage in conversation, and discuss your topic with your audience. This year's themes opens the door for many engaging, conversation-driven presentations. For further inspiration, please read through the strand descriptions. Any of the nine different subject areas can be used to drive your proposal.

In addition to that, we also encourage proposals that have a direct relationship with Honors Programs. How has Honors created unity on your home campus? What is the value of the honors community? What disruptions might challenge honors programs and honors students? How can the work done in honors translate beyond your institution? What activities help to strengthen the sense of community in a diverse program such as this? How can Honors help students to navigate difficult circumstances, develop critical thinking skills, or allow more research to find answers to some of the problems we are currently facing?

Idea Exchange Presentations

The Idea Exchange provides an opportunity for conference attendees to share information about the exciting and innovative ideas they use in their programs through an informal forum to engage in discussions about new and emerging practices that you have found effective in your honors program. Use creative tabletop displays and handouts to attract others and facilitate your conversations. This fast-paced session runs concurrently with poster sessions.

Preference will be given to proposals that are about 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

For thousands of years, humans have turned to the stage to be entertained, to be amused, to be absorbed into the human experience, to feel an emotional impact, and to find a sense of community in sharing these experiences with those around them. For over a century they have turned to screen for the same purpose.  In this new presentation format, students will have the option to introduce a live performance or a short film to a live audience in what will be NRHC’s Performing Arts and Film Showcase. There is no limit to the length of the original film or performance submission, but the live presentation or viewing should last no longer than 10 minutes. This can be achieved by displaying select sections of the original piece. Time will be allotted for questions and discussion after each performance.

art gallery submissions

We welcome proposals that reflect and examine the ways in which the United States has, from its inception in 1776 to the futuristic year of 2022, dealt with the cracks in our idea of country and people. With everything around us increasingly polarized, and facts becoming fiction, and fiction, facts, it comes as no surprise that we are gradually losing our visions of a more perfect Union. The art of any age is a window into the thoughts and feelings of the time; there is no exception granted to the art of now. How do you see the fissures around us, and what is our way forward? Conversely, how do you perceive perfect union among family, living and workplace communities that remain intact?


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

Business, economics, and technology

For this strand, we encourage students to look at the impact of economic, workplace, or technological collaboration across atypical boundaries among communities, businesses, states, NGOs, countries, etc.  For example, how did the mass migration of some sectors of the workforce to remote work bring about new connections and different ways to think about structuring the workplace?  How can technologies bring people together? Another approach might be to analyze the impacts of consolidation on particular industries like big tech and journalism. What role does the government play in a world plagued by the pandemic of COVID? How has the role of government changed the technological innovations occurring in the pharmaceutical fields (related to the advancement in vaccines), or other fields? We seek your creativity in these technical fields and look forward to reviewing your creative solutions to living in “An Age of Disruption."

Reviewed by Ann Bomberger (Gannon University) and Mike Tasto (Southern New Hampshire University)

strand descriptions


Since March 2020, the US Educational system has undergone a major disruption, resulting in a complete reimagination of how we define, deliver and assess education. As many students return to the classroom in Fall 2021, some of whom haven't been in a physical classroom for a year and half, schools seek to create and restore a community of learners.  This strand seeks proposals that explores how the definition, delivery and assessment of education have evolved over time and continue to evolve to meet the needs of our students in ever-changing political, social, environmental climates. We also welcome proposals that explore the creation and restoration of communities of learners in both the curricular and co-curricular context. Hopefully, some presenters will be able to present a prior/post experience in teaching students over the past few years with COVID in the middle. In addition, we welcome experiences educating students exclusively in the time of the pandemic.


Reviewed by Irina Ellison (Mercy College) and Mike Tasto (Southern New Hampshire University)

strand descriptions

History, Politics, and Culture

This strand welcomes proposals that probe past or current expressions of community, whether they be physical entities or exercises of intellect or principle, but with a particular emphasis upon the role of community in the creation of a diverse, equitable, and inclusive society.  In the words of Civil Rights activist A. Philip Randolph,  “A community is democratic only when the humblest and weakest person can enjoy the highest civil, economic, and social rights that the biggest and most powerful possess.”  How and why do communities change?  How are a community’s history, knowledge, and experience preserved and passed on to the next generation?  What happens when communities fail their constituents?  In what ways has social media transformed our ideas about what community is and who belongs to our community?  In the eponymous country/folk song popularized by artists like Johnny Cash, the narrator asks “Will the circle be unbroken?”  Indeed, this question takes on renewed relevance as America moves into the third decade of the twenty-first century.

Reviewed by Marcella McCoy-Deh (Thomas Jefferson University) and Darryl Peterkin (Morgan State 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. For this strand, we welcome 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. As we enter this new era, honors can be the leader in higher education by crafting meaningful, engaging, and creative experiences for students, faculty, and staff alike—even if we cannot always do so in person.


Through innovative courses, honors contracts, research projects, and online events, honors can and should be the leader in instituting ways to re-establish communities on and off-campus. Honors programs and colleges have demonstrated unprecedented perseverance 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 (Rutgers University - Camden) and Marcella McCoy-Deh (Thomas Jefferson University)

strand descriptions

language, literature, and philosophy

This strand invites proposals from literature, composition, linguistics, and philosophy to explore how communities can be created, divided, restored and extended beyond preconceived boundaries.  We are all familiar with how literature and composition can examine the individual; but they can also turn the piercing gaze of inquiry upon the communal consciousness of human beings and the relationships born of our evolutionary need to create and belong to communities.  Literature has created almost every conceivable type of community, from the assorted pilgrims traveling to a religious shrine in Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales (published in 1400) to the young Civil Rights activists in March (published 2013-2016), the late Congressman John Lewis’ masterful series of graphic novels depicting the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.  What do literary communities have in common?  How are they different?  What lessons can they teach us in an age when the very notion of community is frayed almost beyond recognition?  By addressing both contemporary issues and the moral and ethical questions about the nature and effect of community, Philosophy challenges us to consider the belief systems that form the foundation of community and ask ourselves whether, when, and how such systems can be altered.

Reviewed by Reviewed by Ann Bomberger (Gannon University) and Darryl Peterkin (Morgan State University)

strand descriptions

natural sciences, mathematics, and allied health

Science and mathematics are, by definition, disruptive. As formalized processes for explaining natural phenomena, each new discovery has the potential to upend that which 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 - completely disrupted our understanding of the world and how it works when they were conceived. It was not too long ago in our history that scientific discovery could see one excommunicated, jailed, or worse. And yet, advances in science and mathematics, while disruptive, also 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 disruptions, our ability to use the knowledge they offer to solve our societal problems would not exist, and so we would be less better off as a people. We welcome proposals that exemplify the disruptive and yet ultimately unifying knowledge from the natural sciences, mathematics and health care.

Reviewed by Irina Ellison (Mercy College) and Zachary Aidala (Bloomfield College)

strand descriptions

media studies and the arts

This strand welcomes proposals that examine ways in which media and the arts—how media, artists, and art forms of all kinds— have fostered union, addressed societal disruptions, and challenged audiences to experience and understand varying perspectives.

There are disruptions at every turn. Whether it is through that lens of the coronavirus pandemic, political unrest around the globe, natural disasters, and more…media churns a never-ending flow of information. While it is important to be informed, media can be disruptive to our own inner peace and raise our stress levels. Perhaps this is where art comes in with the ability to alleviate everyday stressors.

The arts are alive but have not been able to flourish as readily since March 2020. As artists are able to perform again, how does their work speak to the themes of disruption and union? Can art, whether in music, dance, theatre, photography, written art forms (novels, poetry, prose, etc.), sculpture, drawing, and so on, influence societal change? Can it bring us together? Furthermore, the arts have been forced to find alternative ways to reach people, whether virtually or otherwise (some in the form of real-time live streaming or pre-recorded). What has changed in the way we experience the arts? Which of those changes are here to stay?


While you may be able to argue that the arts have not been as prominent in recent months, the media certainly has taken centerstage in the life of every individual. How does the 24-hour news cycle impact society? How does screen time impact a person? The union of the United States has always empowered the press; however, the prevalence of misinformation is harmful, causing misinformed behaviors and decisions. Can we stop “fake news”?


There is certainly a balance between appropriate media consumption and exposure to the creativity of the arts. In an age of disruption, we must explore ways to promote ethical journalism and break cycles of misinformation. Further, we must also explore how to better promote, fund, and interact with multiple artforms throughout our lives.


Reviewed by Chris Brittain (Rutgers University - Camden) and Kat MacDonald (Monroe College)

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

Many academic disciplines within the social sciences study society and the relationships among groups and individuals within a society 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.  


The social sciences provide fertile ground for investigating the conference theme of “A More Perfect Union.” Scholars in the social sciences often investigate problems and conversations central to civil society. This year’s theme offers a unique opportunity to  explore the role and impact of individuals, social groups, societal relationships, institutions, and power structures on ‘the common good’.  Proposals might range from critical evaluations of current problems to discussion for opportunities for change in the future. Presentations may consider the interconnectedness of social problems such as racism, classism, sexism, economic disparity, access to medical care, or neglected communities. 


What does ‘a more perfect Union’ look like, given the multitude of national and global crises facing us today, and especially the COVID-19 pandemic?  How can we navigate the shifting needs of individuals and communities while staying true to our pledge of “We the People”? How do the behaviors of individuals, groups, elected officials and law enforcement agencies influence core national goals of liberty and justice? What responsibilities do entities like businesses, educators, health care providers, and non-profit organizations have to individuals and communities during times of social unrest and great need?  What actions can you, as honors students, take to support community building on your campus and beyond?

Reviewed by Helen Fallon (Point Park University) and Stacia Kock (Salisbury University)

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