Sigma Tau Delta students present their work in Atlanta

On Wednesday, March 30, six Geneseo English majors departed for the 2022 International Sigma Tau Delta Convention held in Atlanta, Georgia. This convention, unlike last year’s, was held in person, allowing for a variety of roundtable and panel events. Carly Burgio, Matthew Keller, Hannah Lustyik, Elizabeth Roos, Isaac Schiller, and Georgia VanDerwater all presented works both creative and analytical throughout the three days of the convention.

On the first day, Isaac presented his paper on “Dante’s Domestic Responsibility as a Holy Mission,” and Hannah read her poetry collection “Burn & Breathe & Bleed.” On the second day, Georgia presented her thoughtful piece titled “African Diaspora: Generations of Loss and Love,” Carly presented her “Redefining the Image of Emily Dickinson,” and Matthew presented his argument on “Assimilation Through the Eyes of Gulliver.” On the third and final day, Elizabeth read from her prose piece titled “Hen Feathers.” Many of the attending students acted as chairs for the other panels, introducing the presenters and facilitating the Q&A portion, while chapter advisor Dr. Gillian Paku served not only as the esteemed trip leader but also as the moderator on many panels.

Geneseo student presenting a paper at STD conference
Georgia VanDerwater presents her paper at the Sheraton Atlanta Hotel

The students had the pleasure of hearing keynote speakers Richard Blanco, inaugural poet for former President Barack Obama, and Nic Stone, author of Dear Martin, a novel set in Atlanta that features a protagonist trying to make sense of contemporary racial injustice by corresponding with Martin Luther King, Jr. The students then visited the nearby Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park. It was not only a wonderful time for the attending students to spend getting to know each other and listening to peers from all over the country, but also to enjoy some of Atlanta’s attractions, food, and weather 40° warmer than in Geneseo!

This opportunity is available annually to all members of Sigma Tau Delta, and acceptance is competitive. The cost of travel, accommodation, and attendance is typically offset by the English Department and an undergraduate travel and research grant from the college. Next year’s convention location is Denver, Colorado; look for advertising and deadlines in September and October, 2022.

Geneseo’s Sigma Tau Delta chapter is active all year; new members are inducted each spring (on April 14 in 2022), and most activities are open to all members and friends of Geneseo English. For further information about Sigma Tau Delta at Geneseo, please contact the incoming student president, Hannah Lustyik, or the faculty sponsor, Dr. Gillian Paku.

Group portrait of Geneseo students in Atlanta
The whole group in Centennial Olympic Park, Atlanta

Photos: Gillian Paku