Simul Fortior: The Rise of an Honors Collaborative to Address Grand Challenges


  • Rebecca Bott-Knutson South Dakota State University
  • Joy Hart University of Louisville
  • Heidi Appel University of Toledo;
  • Jonathan Kotinek Texas A&M University
  • Paul Knox Virginia Tech
  • William Ziegler Binghamton University – State University of New York
  • Dan Roberts Virginia State University
  • Andrea Radasanu Northern Illinois University
  • Timothy Nichols University of Montana
  • Leigh Fine Independent Scholar



honors; collaborative; intellectual endeavors; project management; teamwork; grand challenges


A dedicated group of honors professionals from 14 institutions across the United States of America (USA) recently emerged to strategize how honors education can prepare students to address the world’s most wicked problems--grand challenges--systematically and holistically. These professionals found a shared passion for their work and quickly began functioning as a team to prepare a federal grant on higher education. Over time, the team identified additional intellectual endeavors to shape the future of honors education. Each professional shares unique skills in service of the larger goals. Leadership for various initiatives transitions to those with relevant expertise and passion and is often shared among multiple people. Sustained collaborations are now recognized as a Collaborative. Members of the Collaborative trust that they are simul fortior--better together--in this high-functioning and reciprocally beneficial working relationship and outline the benefits others may realize in forming similar honors collaboratives.