The National Collegiate Honor Council (NCHC) has named Luke Hershey ‘21 a Portz Scholar. The award recognizes the top research and creative projects across the nation each year. As one of only four students selected in the nation for this prestigious honor, the Wood Honors College and English secondary education student is invited to present his senior capstone project at the NCHC Conference.  Hershey is the first Ship student to be named a Portz Scholar.

NCHC provides support and promotes undergraduate honors education at its nearly 900-member institution, impacting 330,000 honors students. NCHC provides members access to resources, training and collaborative events, like the NCHC Conference, to build and sustain honors programs and their curriculum.

Hershey describes his project as an odd mash-up, part novella, part album and part podcast.

“I was inspired by 1960s musical theatre and the wild, unreliable stories my grandfather told in the days leading up to his death. The project is an auditory experience that features me telling tall tales and occasionally breaking into song.”

The project began during quarantine and was, in part, a therapy session for Hershey who was struggling with his grandfather’s death, a panic disorder and challenges.

Hershey credits the project and his faculty for helping him through the difficult moment in his life.

“I could not have completed this project without the support of three amazing SU professors. Dr. Erica Galioto—for pushing me to ‘go there’ as a writer and thinker through her journaling assignments. Dr. Kim Klein—for encouraging me to follow my crazy creative impulses. Professor Neil Connelly—for being the greatest capstone advisor and for graciously, fearlessly, guiding me into the great unknown.”

The project is seven tracks long and was written in seven days. The full “novalbumcast” can be found here. Give it a listen. Cry, laugh and enjoy.