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March 18, 2011
By Nichole Beckman, media relations assistant
MARYVILLE, Mo. - Northwest Missouri State University's chapter of the English honor society Sigma Tau Delta will be recognized for 80 years of membership at an international convention March 23-26, in Pittsburgh.
Two Northwest students from the University's English department will present their work and accept the organization's honor, awarded by the international English honor society's board of directors.
Brenda Ryan, Sigma Tau Delta advisor and instructor of English, attributes the organization's longevity to great leadership on a national level and dedicated students at Northwest.
"Officials in the national organization are very sincere and want to see students succeed," Ryan said. "Many have dedicated their life to this organization and our students reap the benefits of their choices every day."
The mission of the Epsilon Gamma chapter at Northwest is to bring together students of like minds and interests to interact in social and academic settings. Unique because of its small size, the Northwest chapter offers students opportunities to fundraise and interact with Northwest faculty in roundtable discussions, teacher appreciation receptions and faculty dinners.
English graduate student and Chapter Secretary Kristen Inman believes the members' passion for writing and the English language make the organization successful. Faculty interaction also plays an important part in the organization's activities.
"It's great to know that I'm a part of this group of people who love writing as much as I do," Inman said. "When you get conversations going, there is this great feeling of ‘Oh, hey, wow, here are a bunch of people who're just as nerdy as I am."
For the international convention, student members submitted creative writing, critical writing and other writing samples to the convention. Four compositions were chosen by jurors, and those student writers have the honor of attending the convention. The selected Northwest students are Catherine Clark, a senior English major from Ridgeway; Maggie Corwin, an English education major from Hallsville; Inman, a graduate student from Cassville who is working on her master of arts in English; and Mandi Wahlenmaier, a senior English education major from Weston.
During the convention, students will participate in workshops with notable writers, talk openly about creative writing, present their work and network with professionals. Wahlenmaler, who is attending the conference for the second time, is excited to hear other students' writing and experiences.
"The convention is a great opportunity to present your own writing as well as soak up the amazing pieces of writing from other individuals," Wahlenmaier said.
With 80 years of history behind it, Ryan said she is excited to see the honor society grow.
"We are receiving a lot of excitement from underclassmen about our organization," Ryan said. "These students will be great members and with them I would love to do more activities, while continuing to make the convention a great opportunity."
Mark Hornickel, Media Relations Specialist
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Northwest Missouri State University
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