Dr. Ryan Diehl, son of Shirley and the late Richard Diehl, has been selected as the recipient of the 2022 National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC) Ron Brandolini Award for Excellence at a Two-Year Institution. The award, presented by NCHC and the Valencia College Foundation, recognizes a two-year college honors director or faculty member for their outstanding contributions to the honors community. Recipients of the award must have contributed greatly to honors education and been a past recipient of a teaching award. Three letters of recommendation are also required.
Diehl has been affiliated with the Hutchinson Community College Honors Program since 2008 and became the program’s coordinator in 2011. He has worked closely with honors faculty and students to expand the program experiences both in and outside the classroom. He has mentored students who have gone on to be accepted into selective programs and win state and national scholarships.
Diehl has also been active with state, regional, and national honor organizations. He is a co-founder of the Kansas Honors Council and has helped organize the Kansas Honors Connections Conference for many years. He also has served as the archivist since 2012 and is the current president of the Great Plains Honors Council, which serves collegiate honors programs in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas. Under his leadership, the HutchCC Honors Program co-sponsored the 2022 Great Plains Honors Council Conference with the Wichita State University’s Dorothy and Bill Cohen Honors College.
At the national level, Diehl has served on NCHC committees and was one of twelve from across the country who helped create the NCHC Shared Principles and Practices of Honors Education. In addition to being on the national conference planning committee for the past two years, Diehl is a co-coordinator for NCHC’s Developing in Honors, a signature program that targets established honors deans and directors who are seeking new processes for honors education or are dealing with complex and challenging issues in honors.
Honors has been a key part of Diehl’s own academic work as well. He was an active member of an honors program when he was an undergraduate student and graduated with high honors. In 2020, Diehl completed his Ph.D. through University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Educational Administration program where his dissertation examined how honors programs at two-year institutions can provide a pathway to success for first-generation college students.
In addition to serving as the Honors Program Coordinator, Diehl is a professor and teaches both English and political science courses. He was also named HutchCC’s Dragon Educator of the Year in 2011 and 2012.