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DSU students attending International English Convention

March 25, 2019

Five Dakota State University students will be attending the Sigma Tau Delta International Convention in St. Louis, March 27-30.

Noah Schuldt and Viana Waldner will be presenting their papers at the conference, while Jaclynn Rogers and Rachel Bruntz will be chairing sessions, or introducing speakers and moderating question and answer sessions. Nelofar Sultan will also be attending the event, where DSU students will have a booth selling items like notebooks, buttons, bookmarks, and t-shirts to fundraise to attend next year’s conference.

“It’s an international English Honors program society,” said Sultan. “So basically, all the English nerds from all over the world come and do English nerdy stuff like read their papers.” Sultan is a senior English for New Media major from Pakistan.

This year’s theme is “A Work in Progress,” and guest speakers are Nnedi Okorafor, an award-winning novelist of African-based science fiction, fantasy, and magical realism and poet Tess Taylor, author of “Work & Days.”

Waldner wrote a personal narrative about losing her best friend in a car accident entitled “Tattered Rose.” The piece, which she describes as creative non-fiction, is “a testimony of my response in that situation,” she explained. Waldner is a sophomore English education major from Parker, S.D.

Schuldt wrote about the Japanese movie “Your Name,” through the lens of gender and feminism. Schuldt is a sophomore English education major from Sioux Falls, S.D.

Waldner and Schuldt submitted their papers in October and found out they were selected to present them in December. Both are looking forward to the event, “I’m kind of scared, but pretty excited to speak in front of a lot of people and get more comfortable doing that,” Schuldt said.

“Not only will they go and deliver papers and chair their sessions, they’ll also have opportunities to go see other sessions and hear other students’ papers read in sessions,” said Dr. John Nelson, professor of English at DSU.

Bruntz sees the convention as a great option for networking with career workshops and graduate school information, adding that it’s “good to be in an environment to learn more outside of the classroom. New places and new people spark the mind.”

In addition to chairing a session, Bruntz, a junior English for new media major from Mitchell, S.D. is running for regional associate student representative for the high plains region of Sigma Tau Delta in the U.S. Voting for the position will take place at the convention.

Rogers, a junior English for New Media major, from Huron, S.D., expressed appreciation of DSU helping them as students and in their future careers. “There are a lot of options to get connected to the bigger world of English within the majors and DSU makes an effort to connect us to those things.”

Sigma Tau Delta is an International English Honor Society founded in 1924 at Dakota Wesleyan University that has more than 900 active chapters internationally.