April 22, 2022

English Majors Present at Sigma Tau Delta Convention

Six USU undergraduate English majors traveled to Atlanta, Georgia, from March 30-April 2 where they presented their work alongside other English majors from around the country at the Sigma Tau Delta 2022 International Convention. Janelle Bates, Shaylee Clark, Grace Ottesen, Beth Pace, Jimmy Shupe, and Ericka Stone were in attendance along with faculty advisors Professor Christine Cooper-Rompato and Associate Professor Michaelann Nelson.

Each year, Sigma Tau Delta holds a convention where students present their work, participate in roundtable discussions, attend workshops, and listen to guest speakers. For each convention, local chapters are assigned a book to read, and this year, Nic Stone’s young adult novel Dear Martin was the common reader. Dear Martin is about a Black Atlanta teenager who is the victim of racial profiling. To try to better understand his life circumstances, he writes letters to the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Shaylee and Beth from the USU-Eastern campus teamed up with Grace and Ericka from the Logan campus to engage in a roundtable discussion about Dear Martin's different literary forms.

In addition to this roundtable, Jimmy, who attends the Brigham City campus, presented his science fiction short story, “Operation Indigo,” and Janelle (Eastern) presented her creative nonfiction nature essay, “Spellbound on the Plains.”

On this convention’s significance, Michaelann notes, “[It] impacts English majors in so many ways—it provides them with opportunities to share their research and writing, and they learn about professional and advanced educational opportunities. But the greatest impact of the convention is that students find an academic community that provides acceptance and belonging.”

Shaylee agreed that the students felt a profound sense of community at the convention, saying, “I felt welcomed, and even though we were all strangers, I felt like I belonged. I never felt like I had to restrict myself in who I was, and the community was very diverse in race, gender, sexuality, and it was overall a very welcoming experience.”

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