Four Students Head to Sigma Tau Delta International Convention March 2-5

February 24, 2016

Four Oklahoma Baptist University students will attend the Sigma Tau Delta International Convention in Minneapolis, Minnesota, March 2-5. The students will be accompanied by the chapter’s sponsors, Dr. Kaine Ezell, assistant professor of English, and Dr. Sidney Watson, professor of English. Watson is also leading a workshop for new sponsors.

Sigma Tau Delta is the English academic honors society. The Sigma Tau Delta International Convention meets every spring and includes presentations by undergraduate and graduate students in a number of areas of English studies, readings by nationally recognized writers and elections for the society's leadership positions.

Presenters are selected through a blind submission process and faculty members from across the United States serve as judges.

Stephen Briggs, a junior, will present "Ancient Words," a short story in the literary fantasy genre that focuses on the break of community that occurs when a young child is lost. It uses elements of fantasy, such as a meeting with the tribe's ancestors and a brief confrontation with a druidic people-group, to depict the tribe's reaction.

Discussing “On the Road,” senior Jessica Dickinson's "Personal Travel Narrative" examines the role of Jack Kerouac in the evolution of the travel narrative from a heroic journey to a personal pilgrimage. The theme of this year's convention is "Finding Home," and Dickinson's paper connects the idea of "home" to Kerouac's character searching for his identity on his journey.

Senior Noah Golaboff will present "Hope in Shelley's 'Triumph of Life,'" which was the last major work Shelley wrote before his death. Golaboff’s paper explores the possibility of hope in a poem that is otherwise a pageant of death.

The chapter president, junior Sarah Allard, will attend leadership workshops during the convention.

OBU's chapter of Sigma Tau Delta was established in 1942. It has sponsored OBU's literary journal, “Scriblerus,” since 1948. Their local chapter provides a variety of activities each year. Two popular offerings this year have been the Poe reading, which was held close to Halloween, and their fundraiser, Hipster Night.

The OBU chapter has also had a strong presence at the national level of Sigma Tau Delta. They have won awards for their literary journal, and OBU students have won awards at convention in the fiction writing category. In recent years, OBU has had students hold regional and national leadership positions and earn scholarships, including the Board of Directors and winning the William Johnson Scholarship, the highest scholarship awarded by the Society.

The chapter’s faculty has also held leadership positions with Sigma Tau Delta. Ezell led a leadership workshop at the 2014 convention in Savannah. Watson served on the board of directors from 2004-2014, including a stint as president of the board. She remains actively involved with the convention committee and the scholarships committee.