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Ten students going to English honor convention

March 22, 2007

KALAMAZOO--Ten Western Michigan University English students are among those selected from across the nation to make presentations at the 2007 Sigma Tau Delta International Convention March 28-31 in Pittsburgh.

Held annually, the conference brings select members of the international English honor society together to participate in academic panels, leadership workshops and governance sessions. Students must submit papers for review and be accepted by faculty judges in order to participate. Organizers say they received too many papers to count and that competition was formidable. About 525 student members are expected to attend the conference.

Sigma Tau Delta has more than 700 chapters, housed in both large and small, public and private colleges and universities in the United States and abroad. Fewer than 25 percent of them will be represented at this year's convention. Just two years old, WMU's chapter has already established its presence. Last year, two of its students were selected to participate.

"It was a memorable experience for the students and quite a feather in the cap of our program and University in only the first year of our chapter's existence," says Lisa Minnick, assistant professor of English and faculty advisor for Sigma Tau Delta at WMU.

This year, all 10 WMU students who submitted papers were accepted. They will be presenting in nearly every scholarly category, including American, British and world literature, film, media studies and linguistics. Students also will present original poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction.

"Recognition of their scholarship and creative work at an international convention is a tremendous and well-deserved honor for these students as well as a great professional opportunity," Minnick says. "They represent the best of WMU, highlighting on an international stage what we already know--that our students have what it takes to stand out, even among the best and brightest of their academic peers."


WMU delegates to the 2007 Sigma Tau Delta International Convention

William E. Bradley is a senior from Traverse City, Mich., majoring in English and Spanish. He is editor in chief of The Laureate, WMU's literary magazine and is an active member of WMU's Sigma Tau Delta chapter. After graduation, Bradley plans to begin his career in New York before eventually applying to graduate school. He will present his original short story "Strings" as part of the convention panel on short fiction.

Beth Ann Broadhurst is a nontraditional student from Shelbyville, Mich., who decided to return to college after raising a family. She is majoring in English and serves as historian for WMU's chapter of Sigma Tau Delta. She is active in numerous campus and community organizations. Broadhurst's paper, "Virtue Makes a Woman Troublesome," examines the ways in which women of the Restoration Period and 18th century began asserting their individuality and opinions. She explores the topic through a review of literature and fashions of that time period. A designer and seamstress, she will present her paper wearing authentic reproductions of 18th-century fashion.

Jennifer L. Dempsey is a senior from Romeo, Mich., with a double major in creative writing and women's studies. In addition to her active participation in WMU's chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, she is a member of the Lee Honors College, and works at the WMU Writing Center and Third Coast literary journal. She has forthcoming poetry publications in The Laureate and Redactions: Poetry and Poetics. After graduation, she plans to pursue a master's degree in poetry. At the convention, Dempsey will present "The Small Space Between Us," a collection of original poetry.

Molly E. Harvey is a recent WMU alumna from Grass Lake, Mich., who submitted a conference paper before she graduated with honors in December 2006. She majored in English and biomedical science, and also studied Spanish, political science, history and vocal music while at WMU. Harvey, who is secretary of WMU's chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, is currently awaiting decisions in response to her graduate and law school applications. In the future, she hopes either to teach literature of the American transcendentalists at the university level or to promote justice. Harvey will present "Is the Glass Really Half Empty? A Look into Etymological, Semantic, and Lexical Developments of the English Language, Related Specifically to Negative Connotations." The paper examines the substantial concentration of negative words in English and explores possible reasons for this tendency.

Jason P. Hescock is a senior from Battle Creek, Mich., majoring in English with a minor in Latin. In addition to his participation in Sigma Tau Delta, he is assistant editor of The Laureate, WMU's literary magazine. After graduation, he plans to join Teach For America or get to work on his first novel. Hescock will present the original short story "Mr. Holstein's Mailbox," as well as "The Fragile-Fingered Artificer," a group of poems.

Daniel P. Kenzie is a senior from Plymouth, Mich., with a triple major in English, German and global and international studies. A member of the Lee Honors College, his interests include literature, linguistics, translation theory and American and global politics. In addition to his active membership in Sigma Tau Delta, he also works as a young ambassador for the German Academic Exchange Service. Kenzie will present "Linguistic and Cultural Implications of English Borrowings in the German Language" at the convention. His paper explores the relationships between linguistic difficulties with English loanwords in German and issues surrounding the influx of American culture in Germany.

Caitlin E. McAndrew is a senior from Holland, Mich., majoring in English and Spanish with a minor in communication. She is president of WMU's chapter of Sigma Tau Delta and the 2007 Department of English Presidential Scholar. After graduating in April, she hopes to find a secondary education position in Southwest Michigan. Also in her future are plans to pursue a master's degree and endorsement to teach English as a second language. McAndrew will present her creative nonfiction piece "Nevertheless." Written about Kim Ballard, director of the WMU Writing Center, and originally intended for an advanced communication class, this piece focuses on the subject's unique teaching style and intense dedication to her fellow learners.

Julie E. Roos, of Pittsburgh, is a graduate student in English literature and treasurer of WMU's chapter of Sigma Tau Delta. Before coming to WMU, she earned a bachelor's degree in English education from Indiana University in Pennsylvania. After graduating in April, she hopes to teach secondary English in the Reno/Lake Tahoe area of Nevada. Roos will present "Alexandria: Literature of Intersections," which examines Lawrence Durrell's "Alexandria Quartet" and Ibrahim Abdel Meguid's "Birds of Amber" and their rivaling representations of Alexandria, Egypt.

Michael J. Schofield is a senior from Charlotte, Mich., majoring in English with a minor in world literature. He is Webmaster for WMU's chapter of Sigma Tau Delta. After graduation, he hopes to study American literature in graduate school. At the convention, Schofield will present "Ratliffspeak," a discourse analysis exploring William Faulkner's culture-baggaged authorial style, as evidenced in "A Bear Hunt."

Scott G. Williams is a senior from Crete, Ill. He is majoring in English with a minor in communication. A member of the Lee Honors College and vice president of WMU's Sigma Tau Delta chapter, Williams plans to study American literature and film studies in graduate school. He aspires to become a film scholar and critic and teach literature and film at the college level. Williams will present two papers at the convention. The first, "Cowboys 'n' Astronauts: The Representation of American Western Film Archetypes in Clint Eastwood's Space Cowboys," explores certain elements of Western films that appear in one of Eastwood's more recent, non-Western efforts. He argues that in this film, Eastwood pays homage to the Western image that he helped create, but also shows some of its weaknesses. Williams also will present "Language in Chicago," which looks at the way spoken language is changing in Chicago.


Media contact: Tonya Hernandez, (269) 387-8400, tonya.hernandez@wmich.edu

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