By: Dr. Andrew Yox, Honors Director
Skylar Reese Fondren, the Texas Heritage National Bank Scholar of NTCC, has just won the student election of the Great Plains Honors Council (GPHC). She will be the one student from eighty honors programs and colleges, from Nebraska to Texas, to join the other professorial members of the GPHC Executive Council.
Fondren is the first student in NTCC history to win both a Britt poster award of the GPHC, and a first-place McGraw-Hill poster award as a first-year student. She also is the first to both write the script and direct an honors film production, in this case, this year’s work on Texas suffragette, Minnie Fisher Cunningham. Finally, this past October she was part of a first-ever team from NTCC to win the Portia Gordon Award, for having the best student panel at the East Texas Historical Association.
Her award-winning research has featured the story of how Northeast Texas became a news desert.
Honors Director, Dr. Andrew P. Yox notes: “Skylar Fondren is truly a standout not only among her peers here at NTCC, but among the top tier of scholars in the history of our honors program. She is an award-winning editor for the campus newspaper, the Eagle, an award-winning poet, and an award-winning photographer. I most am struck by her eloquence and fluency. She is truly a ready writer, and a great speaker.”
Fondren is the seventh scholar of Honors Northeast since 2013 to win the GPHC election for the top student spot, and the fifth to defeat a university student in the vote count. Each institution of the GPHC is allotted two votes, one for the honors director or honors dean, and the other for the president of the institution’s student honors council. The six other winners of the top student spot in the Great Plains Honors Council from NTCC have included:
- Matthew Jordan, 2013
- Kayleah Cumpian, 2014
- Rachel Jordan, 2017
- Hannah Dickson, 2018
- Courtney Baldwin 2019
- Maritza Quinones, 2020
The unique structure of accolade opportunities provided by honors donors here, honors travel, and the focusing of mentoring at NTCC have enabled special possibilities.
The Great Plains Honors Council has operated since 1975. It is one of the six regional councils associated with the National Collegiate Honors Council. Except for the COVID cancellations of this last fall and spring, the GPHC traditionally has two plenary meetings a year, as well as a conference featuring top student presenters in the spring.
Skylar is the daughter of John and Holly Fondren of Avinger.