Dedication: Bernice Braid.
As we celebrate the fifty years that the National Collegiate Honors Council has served and promoted honors education in the United States and around the globe, we also rightly honor Bernice Braid, who has been essential to the organization for an almost equal number of years. If any one person embodies the highest values of honors education, that person is Bernice Braid, who has been a passionate innovator, sustainer, and supporter of all that is best in honors. She is a founder and presiding genius of the NCHC, setting the path not just of the organization but of honors and, to a large degree, higher education.
Bernice began her distinguished academic career at LIU Brooklyn in 1964 and started teaching honors courses in 1965, the same year as the founding of NCHC. She became the director of the LIU Honors Program in 1968, and she soon became a leader far beyond her own campus, serving as president of the Northeast Region of the NCHC in 1977-78 and as national president in 1979-80. She has served on the Board of Directors/Executive Committee a total of twenty-three years between 1976 and 2011, and during that time she has published some forty essays and books.
What everyone in the NCHC, in honors, and throughout higher education knows about Bernice is her pioneering role in experiential education and active learning. Through Honors Semesters, Faculty Institutes, City as Text[TM] excursions, journal articles, monographs, workshops, campus consultations, and daily infusions of her prodigious energy, she has created experiential education as a pedagogical strategy in honors and far beyond. She deserves the credit for what so many others have subsequently adopted and adapted.
Bernice has served as a consultant, evaluator, or workshop leader at over sixty colleges and universities in the United States and several more in other parts of the world such as Spain, Chile, Greece, the Netherlands, and the Czech Republic. Students around the globe have caught fire about experiential education, cultural studies, and public service through participation in one of the more than thirty Honors Semesters she has organized, and faculty have honed their teaching skills in more than twenty-five Faculty Institutes Any member of NCHC during the last three decades knows Bernice as the founding mother and annual organizer of City as Text[TM]. Thousands have experienced cities with Bernice's maps, handouts, instructions, and insights as their guides, and hundreds have returned to their home campuses to adopt her learning strategies in their own programs and courses Bernice was practicing and teaching active learning for at least two decades before the rest of the country caught up with her, and--in this as in all things--Bernice has kept the NCHC in the forefront of excellent education.
Bernice's keen intellect and superhuman energy are the impetus behind many of NCHC's finest achievements She has not just contributed to our history; in many ways she is our history. In honoring the NCHC on its fiftieth anniversary, we also honor Bernice Braid for making the NCHC what it has been, what it is, and what it will be in its next fifty years.
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|Publication:||Journal of the National Collegiate Honors Council|
|Date:||Sep 22, 2015|
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