Sigma Tau Delta is an international English honors society, of which I am president. Failing to mention the many benefits that Sigma Tau Delta has to offer its members would not be very presidential of me, and I’m really going for presidential, so here it is. Before I get into its many benefits, however, I would like to first offer you a basic bio of the organization.
Each semester, Sigma Tau Delta meets under a revolving class name, based on the semester’s theme, as Honors Forum 202. Everyone in the class will receive a 1-hour honors credit, but it is not required for you to join Sigma Tau Delta in order to take the course. Likewise, you may still be a member of the organization without being a student in the course or even in the Honors College. Every Wednesday we nestle into some tea and cookies and discuss literary works; we are a class of students genuinely interested in reading, discussing, and learning from each other. And yes, I said cookies.
Worried about the extra reading workload? Don’t be. This semester the course focuses on ten-minute plays, last semester focused on poetry, and the semester before that we read southern short-story writers. The reading for the class meeting this week was a play only ten pages long, and that’s with a large 18 size pt. font and lots of double spacing. If adding extra reading assignments is the only thing holding you back from joining Sigma Tau Delta, you have been gravely misled.
As president, I obviously recommend all English majors to join Sigma Tau Delta. For me, it is easy to see all of the benefits it offers. Let me try to convey them to you: FREE MONEY. Was that clear? Sigma Tau Delta offers numerous scholarships to its members. At the convention last semester, I believe the total figure given out was around $60,000. There are scholarships for undergraduate students, students planning to go to graduate school, students planning to teach, students planning to study abroad, and so many more. Of course, applying to any scholarship means that you will have some degree of competition, but I personally believe our students excel exceptionally with the amount of involvement we have in the English department and the Honors College and I think we all stand a very fair chance at receiving them. To make it real for you, many of you may know Jessica Brumley. Jessica received $3,000 in scholarship money from Sigma Tau Delta. Imagine that I am figuratively shaking your shoulders while screaming “These scholarships are attainable!”
Additionally, we have a conference yearly that has a rotating location. In the past, we have received funding from various gracious donors, whom we love and appreciate dearly, to help make attending these conferences more attainable for our members. We hope to continue to do so. The past conference was held in Albuquerque, NM. As a small group, we had the pleasure of getting out of Bowling Green for a few days—which we all need sometimes—and flying to Albuquerque to present papers and discuss topics that interested us. It is a chance to have real people involved in your field hear and comment on your work. Plus, believe it or not, we English majors have fun together, even if it entails accidentally—and awkwardly, I might add—stumbling into a sports bar with scantily dressed women waitresses because the name of the place is The Library.
There are countless workshops at the conference as well that can prepare you for writing professionally or having your worked published; there are many workshops of this sort, for a full list see the website listed below. Oh, and did I mention MORE MONEY? There are multiple categories within which you may submit your own work; they range from creative nonfiction to argumentative or analytical papers and so on (for a full list, again, see website). Within each genre, there are 3 winners. These 3 winners receive awards ranging in value. At the last conference, talented Abbey Ponder managed to place and receive her own share of some dough. It is an opportunity to be paid for the hard work that you have put in to your writing abilities.
I would say that I have probably already—figuratively, of course—talked your ear off. So, I will end my spiel. Essentially, if you have not yet joined Sigma Tau Delta, you’re missing out on a great many opportunities to further yourself professionally as a writer, scholarship recipient, and fun-haver. For more information regarding Sigma Tau Delta or Honors Forum 202, contact Professor Walker Rutledge or me. I’ve added our contact information below and attached a Sigma Tau Delta informational sheet that would be beneficial for you to check out.
Professor Walker Rutledge
Sigma Tau Delta Website:
It is required for you to have taken two English courses prior to joining Sigma Tau Delta. If you have tested out of some before arriving at WKU, you may still qualify: seek council with Professor Rutledge.