During Hiram’s term break, four students and Laci Fiala, Ph.D., director of Hiram Eclectic Scholars Honors Program traveled to Purdue University Northwest in Hammond to attend and present at the Mid-East Honors Association Annual Conference. Over 140 students, faculty, and staff from honors programs across Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio gathered to celebrate the culture and benefits of honors. The Mid-East Honors Association is a regional organization affiliated with the National Collegiate Honors Council, both of which Hiram holds membership in. 

Student presenters representing Hiram College at Mid-East Honors Association Annual Conference

“After attending the National Collegiate Honors Council’s annual conference in Chicago in November and the Mid-East Honors Association conference this spring, I noticed that small colleges tend to be underrepresented. I’d go to a session that looked really interesting topically, and suddenly realize part way in, this is a huge school and what they’re saying just doesn’t apply to a small school like Hiram. This sentiment was shared among the many directors, including myself, who attended the Small Colleges Committee meeting,” said Fiala. 

 Dr. Fiala also was elected to serve as president of the Mid-East Honors Association for the following term. Along with the honor of a member of Hiram’s staff serving as president of the Association, the annual spring conference will be hosted on Hiram’s campus in spring 2025. Having both Dr. Fiala representing the College, and the honor of hosting the Association’s annual conference, Hiram’s community is ecstatic to represent the Mid-East cohort of honors academics in such a profound way. The opportunity to represent small colleges at such a high level is also an honor for the College. 

“As the new President, I am hoping to bring back some things MEHA has done in the past, like hosting lunch learns among regional honors directors, staff, faculty, and students so that we can connect and learn from one another more than once a year at the conference,” Fiala said. “As the hosting institution, we are looking toward a theme for the annual conference that focuses on things like sustainability, resilience, and growth. The conference theme is still a work in progress! Thanks fully I have wonderful members of the Honors Advisory Board and amazing students to help make this conference happen and be a success!” 

Student presenters representing Hiram College at Mid-East Honors Association Annual Conference

Student presenters representing Hiram College included: 

Ryan Leto ’25, integrative exercise science, Eclectic Scholar 

Megan Swain ’25, biology and environmental studies major 

Catlyn Kauffman ’26, neuroscience and psychology major, Eclectic Scholar 

Kaysea Hartman ’27, crime, law, and justice and biochemistry major 

By Taylor Cook