The NOVA Honors Program Orientation and Kickoff!

The NOVA Honors Program held it’s Honors Student Orientation and Kickoff at the CE Forum on the Annandale Campus on Friday, August 9th, 2019. We had a wonderful turnout, and we were thrilled to see so many of our wonderful new and returning students! We were happy to accept so many of you into our Honors courses for the Fall semester, and we are encouraged that many of you took the extra step to apply to formally join the NOVA Honors Program as a student pursuing a NOVA Honors certificate of completion.

If you are already a student who has been accepted into the NOVA Honors Program in pursuit of the Certificate of Completion and the transcript indicator that comes with it, we talked from 9 to 10 AM about the importance of planning for what is left undone and how to finish strong. If you would like a tool that we use to help you out with this, click on the link below to the NOVA Honors Core Curriculum Tracker. You can use this to track your progress through the NOVA Honors Core and to ensure when you are finished with your certificate requirements.

Honors Program Curriculum Tracker

From there, we welcomed Honors Pathway Counselor Ms. Kristy Balbuena, and NOVA Transfer Specialist Ms. Jennifer Nelson to talk about transfer issues, items to keep in mind when beginning the transfer process, and how to finish strong and healthy. Much needed words of advice, and we thank them for donating their time to our Program!

At 11 AM, we welcomed in our group of students who are registered into Honors courses for the Fall semester. We started with a fun exercise on how to survive on a raft at sea (!), we talked about what to expect in NOVA Honors Courses, what the environment is like, the REAL components that you find in all of what we do (hint… Research, Enrichment, Academic Rigor, and Leadership!), and we presented our first-pass NOVA Honors conference calendar for the year. For our Honors Program Students and everyone taking Honors courses, our Fall Honors Symposium is scheduled for Friday, October 25th with a submission deadline is Friday, October 18th! This will get it’s own blog post, so be on the lookout for that soon! For the Honors Program Students, we have an upcoming Virginias Collegiate Honors Council Conference on Saturday, September 14th at Shenandoah University. This will get it’s own blog post as well so stay tuned for this as well. The Spring semester is when it really heats up, with several opportunities to attend and present at Honors conferences. One semester at a time, though! We’ll get to the Spring semester a little later.

We finished up by talking about how to join the NOVA Honors Program to those students who are interested in doing so. We do everything to make our Honors courses as rewarding and valuable as we can to all students who are qualified and interested in the experience we offer, and to those students who really want to make the Program the centerpiece of their NOVA educational experience by formally joining the NOVA Honors Program, we do all we can to make sure that they get the best advising, opportunities, and transfer guidance that we can offer. If you think you might be interested in joining the Program, take a look at the NOVA Honors Webpage at If you want to go in on that, please take a look at the application and contact the Honors Lead Faculty person at your campus.

NOVA Honors Campus Lead Faculty
  • Alexandria – Dr. Tatiana Stantcheva (
  • Annandale – Dr. Kristen Simmons ( / (Prof. Stephanie Shipe ( after August 16th)
  • Loudoun – Dr. Deborah Naquin (
  • Manassas – Dr. Dahlia Henry-Tett (
  • Woodbridge – Prof. Stephanie Dupal (

Thank you again for your dedication to your education, and we hope that your experience in NOVA Honors this semester, or for as long as you are at NOVA, is a rewarding and memorable one. Below is a link to the presentation slides that we used in the Orientation, and if you have any questions about any of it, feel free to reach out.

NOVA Honors Orientation and Welcome 2019-2020

Here we go, folks! Let’s get to it and make it shine!


Paul Fitzgerald, NOVA College Honors Coordinator