On Wednesday March 19, six members of APU’s Alpha Epsilon Tau chapter of the Sigma Tau Delta International English Honor Society joined scholars from around the country at the Sigma Tau Delta Convention held in Cincinnati, Ohio. In addition to the student presentations, there were readings by authors Kyoko Mori and Bernard Cooper, as well as a keynote address by former Poet Laureate of the United States, Robert Hass.

The four students and two alumni presented essays in literary criticism and short stories that had been accepted prior to the conference by a panel of faculty judges. The presenting students were grouped by subject matter into one-hour sessions with three or four other presenters.

There were 80 sessions total, giving the APU students plenty of opportunities to hear critical essays, personal essays, poems, and short fiction works from other undergraduate and graduate students. "I appreciated hearing a wide range of stories from different perspectives and genres," said creative writer Cheryl Hotchkiss '04.

For Marissa Gostanian '02, the similarity of her work to others' was a highlight. "I felt confirmed in my study of autobiography and memoir," she said, noting that the presentations and speakers showed a growing recognition of these genres.

Dr. Emily Griesinger, Ph.D., the faculty sponsor of APU's chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, agreed with Gostanian about the value of the conference. Griseinger said that a central part of the experience for the students was "a sense of being part of the bigger dialogue in the academic community." "I'm so grateful to our school for providing such an opportunity to gain experience in the professional world," said creative writer Elizabeth Shuler '04.

To learn more about Sigma Tau Delta, visit www.english.org. For information on joining Alpha Epsilon Tau, contact Emily Griesinger at [email protected].