Winners are pictured with History Faculty: Front Row: Fatima Fuentes, Erika Alvarado, and Davin Whatley: Back Row: NTCC history professors–Dr. Andrew P. Yox, Dr. Melissa Fulgham and James McGregor.
By: Dr. Andrew Yox, Honors Director
Expertise has its own rewards. In the case of history essays at Northeast Texas Community College, the reward might be something greater than an ‘A’. For the seventh straight year, the history professors of NTCC will feature the Bonnie Spencer Awards for the best three research papers in non-honors classes. The first-place winner will receive $100, the second place, $50, and the third, $25. There could be an Honorable Mention Prize.
Essays should be at least 1,000 words with correct historical citations. The names of the author and mentoring professor should be omitted from the manuscript. Professors may nominate their top student essays, or students may nominate their own papers. The essays should have been written for a fall-of-2021 or a spring-of-2022 non-honors-seminar history class at NTCC. Essays should be sent in Microsoft Word or PDF to firstname.lastname@example.org in by Thursday, 5 May 2021, at noon. For questions about the rubric, or format, address Andrea Reyes at email@example.com. History professors here, along with a possible intervention by Bonnie Spencer, will determine the winners.
Past prize winners have gone on to other opportunities and awards. Bonnie-Spencer award winners in 2021 and 2020, Fatima Fuentes, and Carolina Alcocer-Salas, won subsequent Leader-of-Promise awards on the national level, a national prize conferred by Coca Cola, and Phi Theta Kappa. The 2019 winner, Jordan Whelchel, later won a full ride to Rice University. 2016 winner, Kassandra Martinez went on to join Honors Northeast and received a free trip to present her winning paper on Cyclone Davis at the meeting of the National Collegiate Honors Council in Seattle.
The awards are in honor of Bonnie Spencer who in 2002 started NTCC’s first history club, and in 2008 volunteered her time to initiate NTCC’s Webb Society film forays in Texas history. She now works as an ICU Nurse at the Titus Regional Medical Center, and raises and sells Appaloosa horses in Camp County.