Literature, authorship, and an appreciation for the written word could not be more alive on Carlow University's campus.
March two students from Carlow's Alpha Nu Theta chapter of the
International English Honors Society participated in the annual
convention in Cincinnati, OH. Karlee Arendt and Alese Gwinn
represented Celtic Country at the 2018 Sigma Tau Delta
International Convention and it is safe to say nerves may have
filled the ride across state lines, but success and literary love
overflowed on the way home.
Carlow Students Attend International
Carlow University students attending Sigma Tau Delta's 2018
International Convention in Cincinnati, OH just may be some of the
most excited readers and writers around. It would be easy to assess
their trip by saying the delegation had a swell time, but in truth,
the group experienced more than they expected. For Karlee Arendt it
was more than just finally having her presentation behind her. Not
only was her paper well received, but the initial question and
answer section was directed immediately her way; "the first 3
questions were directly at me about the thoughts on my paper, which
was awesome. It reassured me that they really liked my paper, and
the other panelists said they really liked it too, which was also
cool." Evidently, despite the pre-convention anxiety, Arendt was
well prepared, showing that hours of revisions on a paper once
believed to be just an assignment can turn into the opportunity of
Karlee was not the only student from Carlow that participated in
the convention in Cincinnati, though. Senior English major Alese
Gwinn also applied to be a chair of a session and went for it with
little hesitation. It was an experience that may have also been
nerve-wracking going into, but ultimately one that Gwinn feels, if
given the chance, she would participate in all over again.
(from left to right, Dr. Anne Rashid (Sigma Tau Delta faculty advisor), Taylore Nacey (English/Psychology major), Alese Gwinn (English major and panel chair at the conference), Karlee Arendt (English/History major and conference presenter), Anna Havrilla (English major and social media intern), Dr. Sigrid King)
There seems little need to decipher each of the attendees'
answers to what their favorite part of the experience turned out to
be, however. All four students, Karlee Arendt, Alese Gwinn, Taylore
Nacey, and Anna Havrilla were all abundantly clear that the late
night "Bad Poetry" contest was the event they fell in love
with. Students participating read either poems they had written or
poems they had found and knew needed to be shared with the Sigma
Tau Delta community, in what has turned into a traditional event of
the worst poetry imaginable. Current members of chapters
participated as well as members of the Alumni Epsilon Chapter and
even some advisors. According to the students, the peanut
gallery-the entire reading was constantly flooded with the world's
best worst literary puns of the 21st Century-was
the best part.
Carlow University's English Honors Society Alpha Nu
The active chapter of Sigma Tau Delta on Carlow University's
campus is Alpha Nu Theta. Carlow's chapter has been a part of the
International organization for 13 years, starting in 2005.
Membership of Alpha Nu Theta and its parent organization, Sigma Tau
Delta, is a lifelong opportunity open to students from all majors
Anna Havrilla in the audience waiting to hear Karlee's paper
Although current student membership has fluctuated throughout
those 13 years, the consistent desire to continue spreading
literature appreciation has never faltered. Whether it is through
attending annual conferences available regionally, nationally, or
internationally, members have been actively advocating for the
veneration of literature in all capacities. At the
campus level, Alpha Nu Theta has participated in hosting the
English and Theatre Department's annual Halloween costume party,
where attendees dress as their favorite literary characters, as
well as hosted film viewings, sponsored readings, and speakers of
Alpha Nu Theta has given students numerous opportunities to give
back to the Carlow community and its neighbors, by hosting
activities throughout the years on campus. Activities including
raising funds for the Edgar Allen Poe House in Baltimore, Maryland,
(by organizing and participating in a Game Night in Frances Warde
Hall) as well as benefit poetry readings raising funds for
organizations like MercyCorps and their efforts in Haiti and Japan.
Student members are always seeking new and inventive ways to give
back and provide learning opportunities for their peers both
involved with English and those unaware of their hidden love of
Going beyond members' communities and participating in Sigma Tau
Delta sponsored conventions has been an honor for many of the
members of Alpha Nu Theta, including this year's first-time
presenter Karlee Arendt and chair Alese Gwinn. A 2011 convention in
Pittsburgh featured ten presenters covering works both in creative
and critical writing. While attending these conventions, students
have an opportunity to hear from featured authors such as Cristina
Henrìquez, author of The Book of Unknown Americans, and
have conversations with the authors as well as participate in
discussions about literature and their writing process. The
convention has allowed students to see cities across the United
States and meet fellow Sigma Tau Delta members active in their
communities. Experiences and opportunities such as these are what
makes being a member of Sigma Tau Delta so remarkable.
Group stop at English major Nirvana: the Book Loft in Columbus, Ohio.
Funding for the Convention
For the students attending the convention, funding was made
possible through Carlow's Student Government Association.
Taylore Nacey, President of SGA throughout the '17-'18 school
year, made it a fairly easy process in ensuring that all students'
applications and hotel reservations would be covered. The SGA is
the primary benefactor for most clubs on Carlow's campus, and
acquiring funding throughout semesters is a painless experience,
according to Nacey.
Funding can be obtained from the SGA through any member of a
student organizations submitting " Funding for conferences from SGA
can cover hotel costs, limited travel expenses, and registration
fees. Sometimes these costs can be fully covered and other times
the costs can be partially or mostly covered and would only require
some additional funding from the student [organization] typically
in the form of fundraising."
Sigma Tau Delta: International English Honors
Sigma Tau Delta was originally founded in 1924 as the English
Honors Society of Dakota Wesleyan University and is now the
International English Honors Society. The club has over 900 active
chapters internationally and inducts over 9,000 students annually
according to English.org, the official website for Sigma Tau
To become a member, a prospective student must have at least a
3.0 grade point average and have taken two English courses outside
of the general education requirements. Members of Sigma Tau Delta
can receive exclusive scholarships, some of which are valued at
$5,000, this includes a merit-based scholarship valued at $1,000.
The Honors Society also has many internship opportunities for its
members and additional scholarships to help fund the internships
themselves. Whether it be through internship or fellowship, the
International English Honors Society is a great source for
professional connections and opportunity.
If you would like to know more about Sigma Tau Delta, visit http://www.english.org/sigmatd/
What Is on the Horizon for the English and Theatre
This past semester, like so many semesters of college life, has
been a vibrant and exciting one with new student experiences as
well as countless opportunities. The English and Theatre Department
encourage students of all majors and minor interest fields to seek
means of which to expand and broaden your scope of
knowledge-perhaps even with a membership in Alpha Nu Theta.
Carlow University's chapter of Sigma Tau Delta: http://www.carlow.edu/Sigma_Tau_Delta_Honor_Society.aspx