OBU's Chi Delta chapter recently received recognition for its 70th anniversary on Bison Hill during the Sigma Tau Delta English honor society's convention in New Orleans, with student members receiving a plaque signifying the milestone.
Also during the convention Feb. 29-March 3, OBU students Matt Baker, Rayna Dawson, Jordan Gilbert, Bethany Jackson, Cassie Sharp and Casie Trotter presented critical and creative works and participated in a roundtable discussion on student teaching.
Baker, a junior from Muskogee, Okla., received the third place Original Fiction award for his short story, "The Tip Jar." The story is about a young girl performing one night at a coffee shop, raising money so she can travel to Lost Angeles and start a music career. The piece was inspired by the performance of OBU senior Lauren McHaney at Sips Downton Kafé in Shawnee.
The critical essay presented by Gilbert reassesses the structure and driving force behind Tennessee Williams' "A Streetcar Named Desire," said Dr. Sid Watson, professor of English, who sponsors the Chi Delta chapter. Gilbert is a senior from Chickasha, Okla.
Jackson, a junior from Benbrook, Texas, presented a critical essay which considers the importance of Irish mythology in the early work of William Butler Yates. Trotter, a senior from Owasso, Okla., presented a creative non-fiction piece which considered the spiritual dimensions of time she spent in New Orleans as reflected through food and communion.
Sharp, a senior from Kansas City, Mo., organized a round table discussion focused on current issues in English education and English-as-a-Second-Language courses. The discussion involved students from schools in Missouri and Wisconsin as well as OBU. Within this context, Sharp spoke on the topic of integrating technology into the English classroom, discussing both benefits and issues faced by teachers and students. Rayna Dawson, a senior from Harrison, Ark., participated in the roundtable, addressing her experiences working with students studying English as a second language.
Any student who is a member of Sigma Tau Delta may submit a paper to the conference. The convention's judges follow a blind submission process, meaning they have no information about the student and must make their judgment on the basis of the quality of the paper only. This year the convention committee received more than 1,000 submissions and accepted about 750 papers, Watson said.
During the convention, Watson concluded her term as president of the national board of directors, but she will remain on the board for the next two years as immediate past president. The immediate past president serves in an advisory capacity to the board and assumes other duties at the request of the president. Typically the immediate past president chairs a national committee and is often assigned to chair special ad hoc committees, especially those related to strategic planning.
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