Bonnie Spencer Awards announced


By: Dr. Andrew Yox, Honors Director

Three NTCC history students emerged on top in the 2024 Bonnie Spencer competition, for the best student essays in history, outside of the honors seminars.  Essays could have been entered from any other history course from any history instructor, full-time or part-time, on campus or off, such as with embedded dual history classes.

Caleb Kelly (pictured), now being homeschooled in Mexico as well as taking courses online at NTCC, won $100 and placed first.  His 2,500-word essay on John Glenn, a “Star for the Stars,” argued that Glenn was influential in explaining the early successes of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Madelyn Munoz and Jalyssa Johnson placed second and third for essays on Jane Addams and Alexander G. Bell. Second Prize was worth $50, third, $25.   

The contest honors the student founder of the college’s first history club in 2002. Bonnie Spencer Harris subsequently helped transition the efforts of the NTCC Webb Society and Honors Northeast toward feature-length films.  She has also raised and donated funds for activities in history at NTCC.

Phi Theta Kappa-Honors Coordinator, Melody Mott, adjudicated the contest.  Mott, Title V Director, Athena Hayes, and NTCC Communication Division Chair Mandy Smith served as judges.

History at NTCC offers courses in American, African-American, Mexican-American Texas, and World Civilization.    The college’s Walter Prescott Webb Society, linked both to Honors Northeast and to the study of Texas history, recently won a Caldwell Award on the state level, for its film work on the story of the traveling preachers of early Texas. Each year since 2008, students at NTCC have presented works of history nationally, regionally, and locally. Since 2010,  as noted on the Wall of Honor in the Honors Northeast website, NTCC history students have  published twenty-nine essays in refereed journals.