Eight Students Present at Sigma Tau Delta Conference

lb3            conference            pres1

In late February, eight students temporarily left frigid New York and travelled to balmy Savannah, Georgia, for the 2014
International Convention of Sigma Tau Delta, the international English honor society. Accompanied by Assistant
Professor of English Michelle Smith, the students attended four days' worth of panels featuring outstanding scholarly
and creative work produced by undergraduates from across the U.S. and beyond. The convention also featured
networking events, leadership workshops, and keynote speeches from literary luminaries including acclaimed
memoirist Alison Bechdel and bestselling writer Daniel Mendelsohn.

Equally important, the students had the chance to present their own
work to a broader audience. Prior to their departure for Georgia,
students were mentored in their presentation strategies by Professor
Smith and by Associate Professor Lea Graham, who hosted a dinner
for the students (pictured below) so that students could practice their
delivery in an informal and collegial setting. The trip also gave students
experience in the process of securing funding for professional purposes; 
with guidance from their faculty mentors, the students successfully
supported their trip with funding from the College's Student Government
Association, the Vice President for Academic Affairs, and the School
of Liberal Arts.

Delivering the conference presentation was challenging but gratifying,
according to Kathryn Herbert '14: "Although nervous at first, once I had
presented my work I felt accomplished, and the positive feedback I
received was extremely encouraging. The Sigma Tau Delta Conference
was an invaluable experience for that." Professor Smith noted that
Marist's presenters received praise from many quarters and that
"students were amazed at how tiring (and rewarding!) attending a
conference could be."



The students' presentations and session titles were as follows:

  • Sean Ahearn '14, "A First Kiss Story," in Creative Nonfiction: Adolescence
  • Leah Butterwick '14, "June 13, 2006," in Creative Nonfiction: Navigating the River Bend
  • Christina Cappo '15, "The Art of Fighting with the Big Boys," in Creative Nonfiction: Finding Courage
  • Kathryn Herbert '14, "Lady and the Man," in Literary Potpourri: River Currents
  • Erin Kane '16, "Faulkner's Female Rebels," in Literature of the 1920s
  • Rachel Karach '16, "Fifteen and Learning to Walk," in Creative Nonfiction: Navigating the River Bend
  • Catherine Natoli '14, "Identity in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland," in Fantasy and Science Fiction
  • Marygrace Navarra '14, "Admission," in Original Fiction: Adventures of Youth

Kathryn Herbert, Christina Cappo, and Leah Butterwick also served as session chairs at sessions featuring other students' work.