English honor society sends 2 members to national convention, inducts 4 new members

Two Fort Hays State University English majors, Michelle Swayne and Theresa Kraisinger, presented papers at the annual convention of Sigma Tau Delta, the English honor society, held this spring in Pittsburgh, Pa. Both students are members of FHSU’s Rho Psi chapter.

Swayne, Hays senior, presented two works of creative literature, a short story titled "Wings" and a creative nonfiction essay titled "Part of the Family." Kraisinger, Bison senior, presented a critical paper, "Here Comes the Bride: The Causes and Effects of Marriage in Jane Austen's 'Pride and Prejudice.' " She also chaired a session on William Shakespeare. Kraisinger, who served as associate student representative for the High Plains Region of Sigma Tau Delta for the 2006-07 academic year, received a National Service Award at the conference.

Dr. Sharla Hutchison, assistant professor of English and co-sponsor of the Rho Psi chapter at FHSU, accompanied the students and helped chair conference sessions.

The FHSU chapter also inducted four new members this spring: Catherine "Katie" Edwards, Hays sophomore; Jessie Maseberg, Macksville senior; Amanda Stinemetz, Hill City graduate student; and Alexandra Walston, Wichita sophomore.

The induction was conducted by the 2006-07 Sigma Tau Delta Executive Committee: Melissa Mikesell, Salina senior; Morgan Chalfant, Hill City junior; Christopher Rome, Ellinwood junior; Ian Conkey, Edmond senior; Swayne; and Kraisinger. As part of the evening's ceremonies, the organization gave readings and presented honor cords to graduating senior members.

The group also elected its 2007-08 Executive Committee following the induction: Chalfant, president; Rome, vice president; Edwards, historian; Kara Gerstenkorn, Great Bend senior, treasurer; and Walston, secretary.

FHSU Department of English advisors for Sigma Tau Delta are Hutchison and Dr. Amy Cummins, assistant professor.

"The state of Kansas is well represented by these outstanding students who have demonstrated academic excellence," said Cummins. "It is a privilege to work with student leaders who have such a mastery of written language and a respect for the importance of scholarly research and writing."

The Rho Psi chapter was founded by FHSU students and faculty in 1989. Application requirements for membership include a minimum 3.0 grade point average in overall coursework, a minimum 3.2 GPA in English courses, completion of three or more courses in English beyond the composition sequence and a letter of application.

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