Association of College Honor Societies


View details for the 2016 Annual Meeting

2015 ACHS Annual Council Meeting

Hyatt New Orleans
Peppermill Resort – Spa – Casino
2707 South Virginia Street

Reno, NV  89502
February 12 - 15, 2015


Knowing and Promoting the Value of College Honor Societies: Celebrating 90 Years of Aiming Higher


Meeting Program

Download PowerPoint Presentation - Plenary Session 2015

Download PowerPoint Presentation - Our Partners


Mary E. Pritchard (Northern Illinois University)
Board Policy Governance Workshop

Thursday, February 12, 2015, 2:00 pm

PritchardMary E. Pritchard is professor emerita at Northern Illinois University where she was appointed as a faculty member in family economics followed by 20 years in the administrative positions of school chair, associate dean, and interim dean.
Dr. Pritchard served as the faculty adviser when the NIU chapter of Omicron Nu honor society (now Kappa Omicron Nu) was installed and continued for almost 20 years as the faculty adviser to the NIU chapter of the Kappa Omicron Nu.  She also served as vice president of the NIU chapter of Kappa Delta Pi.

Dr. Pritchard was elected to the KON National Board as chair and vice chair and was instrumental in the KON Board decision to adopt Policy Governance more than 20 years ago.  She has studied Policy Governance and was active in the development and refinement of the KON Policy Governance Handbook over the years.  She continues to facilitate the annual KON board training and serve as a consultant the KON Board on Policy Governance matters.

Download PowerPoint Presentation - An Introduction to the Policy Governance Model

Peter C. Wolk, Attorney at Law (Non-Profit Law Expert)
Opening General Session

Friday, February 13, 2015, 11:00 am

Peter WolkPeter Wolk is a lawyer who received his Juris Doctorate with honors from American University School of Law, a Master of Education in Administration, Planning, and Social Policy from Harvard University, and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Trinity College (CT).

Since 1984, Mr. Wolk has represented the interests of national, regional, and local nonprofit organizations of all kinds, including medical societies, community charities, trade associations, Internet watchdog groups, educational groups, religious organizations, international relief groups, amateur sports organizations, higher education entities, health and environmental nonprofits, membership organizations, social welfare groups, and scientific research groups.

Mr. Wolk advises clients on day-to-day and strategic governance, inter-entity transactions, joint ventures, corporate documents, mergers, tax, fund raising, employment issues, intellectual property, contracts, Board meetings, and the permissible range of activities for tax-exempt organizations. In addition, he conducts Board training retreats, legal audits, and strategic planning sessions.

He teaches Nonprofit Law to the lawyers of the DC Bar as part of the Bar's Continuing Legal Education Program, and teaches Nonprofit Law and Governance for the University of Maryland and American University. He has served on various nonprofit Boards, including the American Red Cross National Capital Area and the Cultural Alliance of Greater Washington, and has authored many nonprofit publications. Mr. Wolk's bar leadership activities have been honored by both the American Bar Association and the District of Columbia Bar Associations.

Mr. Wolk is admitted to the Bars of the District of Columbia, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and the United States Supreme Court.

He can be reached at: 202-462-4500, 1735 20th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20009; [email protected]


Peter Wolk's PowerPoint presentation is available only to conference participants on request from [email protected]

Alycia Lynch (Eastern Kentucky University)
General Session;
Strategic Plan Marketing Strategies

Friday, February 13, 2015, 1:45 pm

Alycia LynchAlycia Lynch is a Public Relations senior at Eastern Kentucky University, actively involved in the Honors Program and Kappa Alpha Theta sorority. Internships within Cumulous Broadcasting, EKU's Student Life and Campus Recreation have strengthened her skills in leadership, creativity, public speaking, and event planning. Her senior thesis "The Plan for Aiming Higher: Maximizing the Impact of University Honors Societies" was published last month, and post-grad plans are still undecided.


Download PowerPoint Presentation - The Plan for Aiming Higher: Maximising the Impact of College Honor Societies

Kristen Hogan (Eastern Kentucky University)
General Session;
Strategic Plan Marketing Strategies

Friday, February 13, 2015, 1:45 pm

Kristen HoganKristen Hogan is a public relations senior at EKU. At EKU, she is involved in the honors program which she has been able to present at NCHC Denver conference in 2014 and SRHC Tampa in 2012. Kristen is interesting in pursuing a career in public affairs, and she currently interns with EKU Government Relations. Kristen graduates from EKU Spring 2015, and she hopes to obtain a position with a congressman's chief of staff in Washington, D.C. In 2014, Kristen was named Homecoming Queen of Eastern Ky University. She is also a member of Phi Kappa Phi, Kappa Tau Alpha, and Alpha Lambda Delta honors societies.


Download PowerPoint Presentation - A Public Relations Approach to Better Tell the Story of ACHS Honor Societies

Morgan Thacker (National Society of Collegiate Scholars)
General Session;
Relaunching an honors program on campus

Friday, February 13, 2015, 3:15 pm

Morgan ThackerMorgan Thacker is a born and raised southern girl from Bristol, Tennessee. Her love for snow skiing and the outdoors led her to the University of Nevada, Reno, where she is currently a junior studying journalism with a focus in strategic communications. She first became involved with The National Society of Collegiate Scholars (NSCS) in early 2013 and joined the officer board in the summer of 2013. Morgan is the current president of the University of Nevada, Reno chapter. When she is not studying or working with the NSCS chapter she enjoys spending time rock climbing, road biking and skiing as a member of the University of Nevada, Reno Women's Alpine Team.

Evan Thacker (National Society of Collegiate Scholars)
General Session
; Connecting
     with community leaders and providing service opportunities to members

Friday, February 13, 2015, 3:15 pm

Evan ThackerEvan Thacker is a born and raised Tennessean from the city of Bristol, TN. With a passion for skiing, and being an aerospace engineer, Evan attended Utah State University to pursue his higher education endeavors. After meeting up with a former Olympian and ski coach, Evan attempted to compete in competitive ski racing on top of his college endeavors. However, due to striking out in this field of athletics, Evan became the founder of the first Utah State Online Magazine, the University's first marketing committee, and then establishing a ski club on that campus. Evan then went on to study abroad in Chile for a summer, and decided to transfer to the University of Nevada, Reno's Journalism Program. After failing to be accepted for a student government position, Evan helped found a fraternity and has been working in various leadership capacities within it ever since. He joined his sister, Morgan Thacker, to become the event planner for The National Society of Collegiate Scholars UNR chapter. Evan has been helping set up philanthropy events for the organization for the past couple of semesters. When Evan is not competing on the University's ski team or studying, he is helping out worthy causes and assisting many student clubs and organizations.

Siobhain McGuinness (Sigma Tau Delta Alpha Pi Rho, English Honor Society)
General Session
; The city, the coast, and the stigma

Friday, February 13, 2015, 3:15 pm

Siobhain McGuinnessSiobhain McGuinness is a senior at the University of Nevada, Reno, triple majoring in Philosophy, English Creative Writing, and Psychology. She has engaged in a directed study with Dr. Katharine Schweitzer of the Philosophy Department with the topic of philosophy, poetry and the self, Dr. Steve Gerhke of the English Department, for poetry, and one currently with Dr. Victoria Follette of the Psychology Department which focuses on interventions for trauma survivors.  Because of her combined studies, her interests lie in the philosophy of mind, specifically with how the self operates within suicidal clients with complex personality disorders, and the role language plays within these frameworks. Her poetry collection Obfuscation of the Mind's Eye was chosen to be presented at the Sigma Tau Delta, English Honor Society International Convention 2014: River Current, in Savannah, GA, February 25th-March 1st, 2014, and her second poetry collection Folie À Deux was selected for presentation at the Sigma Tau Delta, English Honor Society International Convention 2015: Borderlands and Enchantments, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, which was also chosen for publication in the literary magazine Blotterature 2015 spring edition.

Todd Felts (Associate Professor, Public Relations, University of Nevada, Reno)
; Public Relations 101 with Honors

Friday, February 13, 2015, 12:30 pm

FeltsTodd Felts is an assistant professor of strategic communications and former director of the interactive journalism graduate program at the Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno. Felts received the University's Nevada Semenza Christian Award for Excellence in Teaching and is a graduate of the Scripps-Howard Leadership Academy. In addition to teaching, Felts consults with businesses across the United States on building traditional and online public relations and advertising. He is a sought after speaker regarding social media, political communications and open leadership.  In recent years, Felts has trained Algerian Youth in building social media programs through the Northern Nevada International Center and the U.S. Department of State.  He also was a co-recipient of a National Science Foundation Grant to create a community engagement campaign to increase the number of students who major in  science.  He is the advisor for Public Relations Student Society of America.

Originally from North Carolina, Felts served as press secretary and speechwriter for Governor Jim Hunt of North Carolina, and director of community relations for the Special Olympics World Summer Games.  He spent 8 years working in Washington, DC as director of Levick Strategic Communications, where he consulted to leading Fortune 50 companies in marketing during crisis. Felts was the national director of business development for Ogletree Deakins, one of the nation's largest law firms and the director of media relations of RMR & Associates.  In his early years, Felts served as the public information officer for the North Carolina Zoological Park.   

Felts has won awards for developing initiatives that secured unprecedented media coverage for clients, and is an author of articles on social media published regularly in national trade publications. Felts has a doctorate degree in education with an emphasis in communications management from Drexel University, a master of arts in international communications from Georgetown University, and a bachelor's in communications and political science from Lenoir-Rhyne University.


Download PowerPoint Presentation - PR 101: with honors

Susan Albertine
Vice President, Office of Diversity, Equity, and Student Success, AAC&U
General Session; Identification and Assessment of High Impact Undergraduate Experiences

Saturday, February 14, 2015, 10:30 am

AlbertineSusan Albertine is vice president, Office of Diversity, Equity, and Student Success, at AAC&U. She provides leadership for the overall program of LEAP partner state initiatives, for programs and activities related to college readiness and student success, and for the Making Excellence Inclusive initiative. She serves as liaison to project contacts in the field, including policy, campus, business, P16, and community leaders. The office is responsible for AAC&U's Network for Academic Renewal meetings and for the Institute on High-Impact Practices and Student Success.



Brent M. Drake
 Office of Institutional Research, Assessment, and Effectiveness, Purdue University
General Session; The Purdue-Gallup Index Study: Implications for Honor Societies

Saturday, February 14, 2015, 9:15 am

Breant DrakeDr. Brent M. Drake currently serves as the Chief Data Officer overseeing the Office of Institutional Research, Assessment, and Effectiveness at Purdue University, where he focuses on data related to student learning and attainment, overall institutional effectiveness, institutional reporting, faculty activity, and data analytics. Prior to this appointment, he served as Assistant Vice Provost and Director of Enrollment Management Analysis and Reporting for the University. He began his employment at the University in 2001 as the assessment coordinator for the Lily Endowment retention initiatives at Purdue University. Brent earned all three of his degrees from Purdue. His B.A. was earned in 1995 in athletic training, M.S. in 1997 in Sports Psychology and Ph.D. in 2009 in Educational Psychology, with an emphasis in both motivational theory and psychometrics. He presents and publishes on a number of topics in higher education including motivational models related to student success, retention enhancing programs, enrollment modeling, recruitment, enrollment trends, and student success efforts. Brent also serves as a continuing lecturer in the Purdue department of Educational Studies where he teaches motivation theory, measurement theory, statistics, and research methods in higher education.


Download PowerPoint Presentation - The Gallup Purdue Index: Implications for Honor Societies




Previous Annual Meetings

2014 ACHS Annual Council Meeting

2013 ACHS Annual Council Meeting