Date of this Version
JNCHC: Journal of the National Collegiate Honors Council, Vol. 21, No. 2 | Fall/Winter 2020
In 2019, plans were well underway for the 2020 NCHC conference with the theme “Big Hearts, Big Minds.” Then came January of 2020 and the Corona virus with its vocabulary of social distancing, remote learning, the dangers of personal contact, and the importance of isolation. In addition to upending and redirecting all the conference plans that had been so carefully developed under the leadership of Suketu P. Bhavsar, the new language of COVID-19 was an assault on the very intimacy, connectedness, and close personal relationships in honors that were the theme of the conference. The virus has been an obstruction to education at all levels throughout the world, especially to teaching and learning that hinge on the intellectual, social, and personal exchange of ideas that are fundamental to most honors programs and colleges. The Forum in this issue of JNCHC, in its focus on the conference theme “Big Hearts, Big Minds,” addresses the ideals of honors education and starts in some of the essays to assess how these ideals can survive or even thrive in the new landscape of the virus. While the context of this Forum is the period before the virus or its very early stages, it may be vital in pointing toward the values that honors must continue to cultivate and how to accomplish that goal in adverse circumstances. We are fortunate that the honors educator who designed and led the planning for the 2020 NCHC conference agreed to write the lead essay for the Forum long before our world was changed by the Corona virus.