SRHC Conference 2017

Diving into Diversity: Opportunities and Obligations in Honors Education

Asheville, North Carolina: March 30, 2017 through April 1, 2017

 Click on image for the conference program

Click on image for the conference program

UNC Asheville is delighted to play host to the 2017 meeting of the Southern Regional Honors Council, to be held in Asheville, NC from Thursday, March 30 to Saturday, April 1.

The theme of this year’s conference is “Diving Into Diversity: Opportunities and Obligations in Honors Education.” We hope that participants will allow this theme to lead them to consider not only the opportunities available to honors students but also the obligations such students have as informed citizens and engaged leaders. In particular, we ask all attendees to give thought to the way in which honors education can help to foster diversity, equity, and inclusion in all areas of our society.

Conference Registration

All presenters and attendees will be required to register for the conference.  The deadline for early conference registration is Tuesday, February 28, 2017. The registration costs are as follows:

SRHC Member Institutions:

Early Registration Fee: Students: $150; Faculty/Staff: $175
Late Registration Fee: Students: $175; Faculty/Staff: $200

Non-SRHC Member Institutions:

Early Registration Fee: Students: $175; Faculty/Staff: $200
Late Registration Fee: Students: $200; Faculty/Staff: $225

Registration fees for participants who cancel will not be refunded after March 27, 2017.  Before that date, cancellations that are communicated directly to the conference chair, Patrick Bahls, at may be considered for a full or partial refund. 

Follow the link to the conference registration form which must be completed and mailed, with a check for the required fees, to:

Patrick Bahls
Director, University Honors Program
CPO #2150
University of North Carolina, Asheville
Asheville, NC 28804

Please direct questions about registration to the 2017 conference chair, Patrick Bahls at

Conference schedule at a Glance

Southern Regional Honors Council 2017 Conference Schedule
Renaissance Asheville Downtown
Thursday, March 30 – Saturday, April 1

Thursday, March 30, 2017
8:00am-5:00pm Registration
9:00am-12:00pm City as Text
12:30pm-1:30pm SRHC Executive Committee Meeting
1:00pm-2:00pm Student Moderator Meeting
2:00pm-3:00pm Session A
3:15pm-4:15pm Session B
4:30pm-5:30pm Session C
5:30pm-6:15pm Reception
6:15pm-7:30pm Dinner on your own
7:30pm-??? Local Music at New Mountain AVL

Friday, March 31, 2017
7:00am-4:00pm Registration
7:30am-8:30am Breakfast
8:30am-9:30am Session D
9:45am-10:45am Session E
11:00am-12:00pm Session F
12:15pm-1:45pm Lunch and Keynote
2:00pm-3:00pm Session G
3:15pm-4:15pm Session H (Posters and Art)
4:30pm-5:30pm SRHC General Business Meeting
5:30pm Dinner on your own

Saturday, April 1, 2017
7:30am-8:30am Breakfast
8:30am-9:30am Session H
9:45am-10:45am Session I
11:00am-12:00pm Session J
12:15pm-1:45pm SRHC Executive Committee Meeting


The proposal deadline was February 1, 2017.  

Accepted proposals will be announced via e-mail to presenters no later than February 15, 2017.  Presenters must register for the conference to participate.  

Honors students, staff, faculty, and administrators from member institutions of the Southern Regional Honors Council are invited to submit proposals for participation at the conference.  Submissions are welcome from all disciplinary (and interdisciplinary) perspectives and can include poster presentations, oral presentations, exhibition of artwork, musical performance, or digital film.  The proposal deadline is midnight on Wednesday, February 1, 2017.  

Posters should be electronically generated and printed in advance of the conference.  The recommended maximum size for posters is 36" x 48".  Poster board backing and easels will be provided.  

Submissions for the exhibition of artistic works should also complete the Art Entry Form and send to the conference chair.  

Please contact the 2017 conference chair, Patrick Bahls at for further details.   


The Renaissance Asheville Hotel is now completely booked.  We have arranged for a conference rate at an overflow hotel located five minutes' walk from the host hotel. The Hilton Garden Inn Asheville is a brand new hotel located on the east end of downtown. A rate of $189/night is available from March 29 through April 2. Guests can book online (through February 28) with the group code SRH or over the phone by referencing the Southern Regional Honors Council.

The 2017 meeting of the Southern Regional Honors Council will be held at the Renaissance Asheville Hotel, a modern hotel near the heart of downtown Asheville. This hotel combines outstanding accommodations and a convenient location with features demonstrating a commitment to sustainability, including one of the area’s only bee hotels, located on the Renaissance rooftop. Featuring stunning views of the city and mountains, creative meeting spaces, and newly renovated guest rooms, Renaissance Asheville offers the ideal location for SRHC 2017.  

The conference rate of $189 per night at the Renaissance Asheville Hotel is available by following the link below or by calling the Marriott toll free number at 1-800-468-3571 and saying that you’re attending the Southern Regional Honors Council conference at the Renaissance in Asheville, NC.

City as Text™

Asheville, North Carolina is a difficult community to classify. Historically, Asheville’s mountain location made the city a popular destination for those seeking a mild climate for a therapeutic getaway. Indeed, Asheville was once a health mecca, home to several sanitaria and spas. Today, Asheville draws visitors with its easy access to the outdoors, its vibrant music scene, its world-class restaurants, and its unparalleled collection of craft breweries. Asheville is all about “local,” too, with dozens of urban farms and organic community gardens forming the backbone of a farm-to-table culture echoed by local arts, crafts, clothing, and music.

Yet there’s more to Asheville than these elements that are familiar even to outsiders. Asheville is a beautiful city, but behind the designer boutiques and drum circles is a more somber backdrop. Pockets of poverty make Asheville one of the most food-insecure cities in the country. Economic inequality does disproportionate harm to often invisible communities, including the nearby Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians. An overinflated housing market forces many of those who work in Asheville’s enormous service sector to live far outside of the city.

This year’s City as Text™ activity will allow participants to experience the conference theme by diving into the diversity of Asheville. Destinations for the City as Text™ will include neighborhoods that reflect the community’s rich histories and equally rich and surprising current realities. We hope that you will join us on Thursday morning for this engaging exploration.

Thursday Night Gala

This year, the traditional Thursday night social event will feature an evening of local music at one of Asheville’s hottest new performance spaces. Local musical artists Godot Figure, The Jangling Sparrows, and The UNCA African Drum Ensemble will join us in the New Mountain concert theater, just a short walk through downtown Asheville from the host hotel.

about Asheville, North CArolina

Asheville is nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains in the heart of Southern Appalachia. Our small city boasts both unrivalled access to outdoor activities of every kind and a thriving arts and entertainment scene. We hope that you will be able to take an extra day to explore the area. Whether you’re into hiking, biking, kayaking, camping, climbing, or fishing, you’ll find a natural excursion that matches your interests. When the day is done, you can sample from Asheville’s offering of restaurants, breweries, art studios and galleries, and performances. Please visit this page to learn about things to do in the Asheville area.  

Statement Regarding North Carolina House Bill 2

As many of you know, in March of 2016 the North Carolina state legislature passed HB2, a piece of legislation that was quickly signed into law by Governor Pat McCrory. The law imposes an unprecedented curtailment of the power of municipalities, counties, and other local districts to enact anti-discriminatory laws that offer protections stronger than those provided at the level of the state. HB2 facilitates legal discrimination on the basis not only of a person’s gender and sexuality but of any other characteristic or identity. It also bars any county or community from setting a minimum wage higher than that mandated by the state. Several groups (including the Federal government) have brought suit against the state, challenging HB2’s constitutionality, and Roy Cooper, the state’s Attorney General, has vowed to not defend the law.

We recognize that this legislation has the potential to profoundly impact attendance at, and engagement in, the 2017 Southern Regional Honors Council meeting. With this in mind, my colleagues and I at UNC Asheville offer our personal pledge to work with a wide variety of local partners, sponsors, and businesses to ensure that all attendees are afforded equitable treatment and opportunity during their stay in Asheville. Asheville is a welcoming community that embraces difference and diversity, and we are working with a constellation of local advocacy organizations to craft an inclusive and supportive conference experience for all who attend SRHC in 2017.

Moreover, we chose this year’s conference theme in direct response to HB2. We hope that you will help us to highlight not only the opportunities available to outstanding honors students but also the obligations such students have as informed citizens and engaged leaders. We ask all attendees to consider roles that honors education can play in furthering diversity, equity, and inclusion in all areas of our society.