Rio Grande, Ohio – Students from the University of Rio Grande’s chapter of the English Honors Society, Sigma Tau Delta, traveled to Cincinnati for the organization’s annual conference. Professor of English Dr. Elizabeth Brown said she is glad her students over the years have gotten the chance to travel the country for the event.
“This conference is a wonderful opportunity to see new places and network with other students from around the country,” Brown said. “The conference features speakers and workshops as well as several panel presentations. It’s a great opportunity to be a part of this kind of professional setting while in college. I’m very proud of all of these students for their hard work and representing Rio and our Sigma Tau Delta chapter.”
Five students from Rio were selected to present papers in panel discussions. Jessica Matheny, Megan Coon, Marah Hager, Heather Williams, and Daniel Carroll made up the largest group of Rio presenters in the past several years. Lucas LeMaster, Damon Ledford, and Cole Hilderbrant also attended the event to support their classmates presentations. Williams, a senior English Major from Rio Grande, said she was excited to get an opportunity to speak about her paper, “The New American Gothic: Poe and Dark Romanticism,” at the conference.
“Sharing our work is really exciting because we’ve all worked hard on these papers. We get to present our work to our classmates all the time, so it’s a great opportunity to be able to connect with so many new people who enjoy these topics just as much as I do,” Williams said. “For my paper, I revised and expanded on a paper I wrote my first year in college highlighting some of Edgar Allen Poe’s work. I’m really grateful that we get the chance to do this through Rio. This is an opportunity for us to represent our university and network with others from across the country.”
Jessica Matheny, a senior English Major from Gallipolis, presented her own creative work, “Women of the Water,” a series of three poems at the conference. She said she enjoys getting to meet new people and share new ideas during the event.
“I enjoyed getting to present my poems because they are an ode to my family. It’s exciting to be in a conference environment and share my poetry with people from across the country,” Matheny said. “This event is a great opportunity for us to meet people with similar interests and discuss our work with each other. I think it’s important for students to see more of the world outside of Rio Grande’s campus because having more cultural experiences gives you more of an open mind.”
The English Honors Society has had a chapter at Rio for the past 26 years and has participated in the conference eight years in the past decade.