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Tamara Valentine
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Emailtvalenti@unr.edu

Institution: University of Nevada, Reno

Location: Reno, Nevada

Phone:775-784-1455

Institution Type: 4-year public

Program Type: institution-wide

Program Enrollment:465

Present Position: Director, Honors Program, (2004-present)

Previous Honors Positions: Director, Honors Program, University of South Carolina Upstate (2002-2004)

NCHC Member Since: 2001


Program Reviews and Consultation


NCHC Activities Related to Honors Program/College Assessment & Evaluation:

External Reviewer Experience: University of New Mexico Honors College, 2016; University of Wisconsin--Oshkosh, 2016; Cleveland State’s Honors Program, 2012; prepared materials for University of Nevada, Reno's Honors Program self-study and external program review, 2009; University of Idaho’s Honors Program, 2008; Northern Arizona University’s Honors Program, 2007; Established Honors Residential Scholars Living Learning Community at UNR, 2007.


Activities in other areas or organizations related to assessment or site visits, workshops, etc.: 

External Reviewer Experience: University of New Mexico Honors College, 2016; University of Wisconsin--Oshkosh, 2016; Cleveland State’s Honors Program, 2012; prepared materials for University of Nevada, Reno's Honors Program self-study and external program review, 2009; University of Idaho’s Honors Program, 2008; Northern Arizona University’s Honors Program, 2007
Established Honors Residential Scholars Living Learning Community at UNR, 2007.
Member, NCHC Awards and Grants Committee, 2006-present
Co-chair, NCHC Portz Fellowship Committee
Member, Western Regional Honors Council, 2004-present
National Fellowships Advisor, University of Nevada, Reno
Member, National Association of Fellowships Advisors (NAFA) meetings, and NAFA symposium in U.K. and Ireland, 2005
Helped established Phi Kappa Phi at the University of South Carolina, Upstate 2002.
Treasurer and Scholarships/Awards Coordinator, Phi Kappa Phi chapter #8, UNR, 2005-present
Active in NCHC, NAFA, HERU and WRHC: attended, participated, presented; Established Honors Alum chapter;


Self-Identified Areas of Special Interest and Experience

  • First year Honors seminar
  •  Advising Honors Students
  • Graduation Criteria
  • Handbooks for Students & Faculty
  • National & International Fellowship Advising
  • Priority Enrollment
  • Recognition for Honors Students
  • Recruitment & Retention of Students
  • Student Portfolios
  • Freshmen Seminars
  • Living Learning Communities
  • Service Learning
  • Senior Honors Thesis
  • Undergraduate Research 

The Role of an NCHC-Qualified Site Visitor 

An Honors Program or Honors College is of vital importance to the intellectual and personal growth of a university community of students and faculty. Such a program gives dedicated and motivated students opportunities to demonstrate their knowledge, competence, and interest in diverse subject areas, to acquire new skills by becoming a part of an active learning network, and to develop the skills necessary for leadership. Such a program offers unique academic advantages to a group of highly motivated students who are willing to be challenged and who seek new learning experiences. Moreover, an Honors Program or Honors College builds a learning community and culture across campus and among faculty, who share the mission and vision of excellence in learning and excellence in teaching. Honors faculty and friends are committed to providing enriched educational opportunities, undergraduate research opportunities, and intellectual leadership to exceptionally able students.

Whether the honors program is identified as a Program or a College, or is well-established or newly arrived, ongoing and constant review and evaluation is a healthy exercise for achieving success and effectiveness of any academic program. It is essential, then, that the institution and program regularly complete their own self-study, one that openly and honestly describes the existing program, services, and resources; identifies its mission and objectives; examines its effectiveness; establishes new practices and strengthens existing ones; and develops a strategic plan for future opportunities.

There is no one size fits all Honors model that can be imposed on all institutions, nor is their a single approach to the development of an Honors plan. It is the invaluable role of site reviewers from outside the institutions to provide an objective, unbiased, encouraging view that not only gives outside validation of the goals of the program, but provides a means to explore what is best for the institution, program, and students; and to generate cross-campus support. It is important, then, that external reviewers value the differences and uniqueness that exist among Honors programs. Each institution has its own history, administrative structure, institutional barriers, student composition, budget, university climate, and academic and social components. The Honors Program must tailor itself to fit the needs and context of the institution, and provide a plan for top students to achieve their full academic potential.

As Director, I am in a position of leadership, charged with developing the future of an Honors Program and faced with building an academic community. I am committed to honors education and to working with faculty, staff, and community to provide Honors students with an enriching educational opportunity to grow intellectually, think independently and critically, engage in a challenging learning experience, and inspire life-long learning.

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