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Love of literature inspires student success

March 16, 2012 12:00 AM
Pikeville, KY
         It has been said that the people of New Orleans have a language all their own, a fitting backdrop for the 2012 Sigma Tau Delta conference, the annual gathering of the International English Honor Society.
         In a message to fellow participants, this year’s conference Chair Shannin Schroeder wrote that those who study English, “… through conversations with other writers and readers and thinkers, renew our sense of ourselves, of what it means to love literature and language.”
         University of Pikeville students and alumni have been recognized for their literary accomplishments, presenting and taking top honors at the Sigma Tau Delta Conference Feb. 29 - March 3.
         Jennifer Charles presented “Female Novelists and Feminine Intellect,” Jordan Adkins presented “The Deep End,” UPIKE alumnus Gary Smith presented “Buried Alive,” and Brandi Pugh moderated. Smith and Adkins were awarded first prize in the fiction and creative non-fiction categories, respectively.
         Sigma Tau Delta, the National English Honor Society, hosts English majors from around the country who apply to present their essays. There are more than 800 active Sigma Tau Delta chapters located in the United States, Europe, the Middle East and the Caribbean. University of Pikeville students were competing with submissions from students across the country, including the University of Alabama, Tulane, Furman, and Pepperdine in California.
         “I continue to be amazed by the talent of our English majors. They are most deserving of this recognition and I am proud to be their faculty sponsor and professor,” said Hannah Freeman, Ph.D., assistant professor of English and director of Center for Experiential Learning at UPIKE.
         Sigma Tau Delta recognizes the accomplishments of professional writers who have contributed to the fields of language and literature. The organization also fosters literacy and high achievement in English language and literature in undergraduate, graduate and professional studies. The honor society provides cultural stimulation on college campuses and promotes all aspects of the discipline of English, including literature, language and writing.
         “Students like Gary, Jordan, Jennifer, and Brandi serve as inspiration to all of us: they are talented; they are hard working; they are ambitious. They are a joy to work with and a credit to a true liberal arts education,” said Brigitte LaPresto, Ph.D., chair of the Division of Humanities and professor of English. “Someday, when I am buying Gary’s and Jordan’s books, I will be smiling to myself, thinking ‘I knew them when they were UPIKE undergraduate students!’ Their national recognition at the Sigma Tau Delta Convention is no doubt one more step toward a literary career. Congratulations!”

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