From March 29 to April 1, 2023, 11 students and one alum from Geneseo’s chapter of the Sigma Tau Delta International English Honor Society presented wonderful critical essays and creative pieces at the annual convention. Representing Geneseo were Carly Burgio ’23, Julia Grunes ’23, Matt Keller ’23, Hannah Lustyik ’23, Kathleen McCarey ’23, Samantha Miller ’23, Joe Morgan ’23, Diana Morley ’24, Elliot Pecora ’24, Liz Roos ’23, Isaac Schiller ’22, and Jacob Schlau ’23.
The 2023 convention, aptly themed “Colorful Colorado,” was held at the Sheraton Downtown Denver Hotel. Students from chapters all over the U.S. gathered in panels to present their work and field audience questions and comments. Senior Matt Keller detailed how the experience was meaningful as an individual and as a member of the honor society at the nationwide level: “There’s a certain amount of awe you feel going into the conference, being surrounded by people who think, study, and live so similarly to you, but from all over the country. Especially with English being a smaller department, it’s something really special.”
Other attendees echoed Matt’s sentiments and described how the convention brought a sense of greater community and friendship among students in the department. Junior Diana Morley expressed enormous gratitude for the way in which the convention fostered this: “It was so nice to be surrounded by such amazing people who all share a profound and deafening love for English. The memories and relationships made through this experience are ones that I will always cherish.” Geneseo’s chapter president, senior Hannah Lustyik, waxed eloquent: “It gets me emotional, thinking about where everyone is going to go and develop as writers and people. I’m so proud of everyone it hurts. A lot of us are graduating; hopefully we can return as alumni and make Geneseo proud!”
Any member of Geneseo’s chapter can submit a proposed piece for next year’s convention, which will be hosted in St. Louis, Missouri. Work already prepared for class or for the writing contest can easily be edited. Submissions are typically due in October, acceptances are issued in December, and students use Undergraduate Travel (TRAC) grants to cover expenses, meaning that cost should not be a barrier to any interested student. Please check out Geneseo’s chapter website and the national website for more details, or reach out to faculty sponsor Dr. Gillian Paku or incoming chapter president Diana Morley for more information about the convention or the organization.