A Season of Giving: Scholarships, Awards, and Grants

Scholarships, Awards, and GrantsWe are in the throes of the holiday season, and for many of us, that means selecting the perfect gifts for friends and family members. We angle our way into lines on Black Friday or queue up virtually on Cyber Monday. We want good deals and we’re not afraid to throw an elbow to get them. We spend time (perhaps better spent on rest or catching up or getting a jump on things) in pursuit of the biggest sales, the greatest values—in getting the most ‘bang for our buck,’ as our older relatives might say with satisfaction.

As chair of the Scholarships and Awards Committee, I think quite often about the “value” of the more than $100,000 that Sigma Tau Delta gives out in awards and scholarships each year. Those of us who serve as judges or who work to coordinate the distribution of the funds sometimes hear from the students who apply for and are awarded this money. That feedback constantly reinforces the way in which our Committee is invested (and investing) in the best possible return for Sigma Tau Delta monies.

One recent student awardee wrote to us this fall, and she described her study abroad experience as the “most enriching experience . . . of [her] life.”

Mull that over for a second. Most enriching.

We save our superlatives for very special occasions indeed. We use them to describe our economic transactions of this season (remember those “biggest sales” and “greatest values” above?), and while we may not be above a bit of exaggeration, I take this traveling scholar at her word.

Sigma Tau Delta’s Board works consistently to increase the organization’s ability to give back. This year, you will find that the Continuing Education Scholarship (combining the best elements of and replacing the part-time and Alumni scholarships) encourages lifelong learners or those returning to school for degrees to pursue new opportunities. We are joining forces with NEHS to offer more classroom library grants to members who have been teachers for five years or fewer. And we created the Lambda Iota Tau Research Grant, offering undergraduates and graduates (whether full- or part-time students) support in their research endeavors.

We realize that scholarships and awards help students stay in school or make ends meet—those are stories that have us cheering in our respective offices and typing happy responses to grateful recipients. Sometimes, though, the additional support helps Sigma Tau Delta members realize dreams, opening doors to new experiences that are worthy of all the superlatives we can ascribe to them.

The end of the semester makes great demands on our time and energy and funds, and those demands can sometimes take the jolly (and the holly, and the holy) out of our happiest holidays. What joy there is in belonging to an organization that privileges the gifts of the mind—and the value to be found in experience and in scholarly pursuits. What a great season of giving!

Shannin SchroederShannin Schroeder
Sigma Tau Delta Secretary/Treasurer
2017-18 Scholarships and Awards Committee Chairperson




Newly Announced Winners

Study Abroad Scholarships

Fall 2017 Winner ($3,000)
Katharine Humes
Belhaven University
Alpha Epsilon Kappa Chapter

Fall 2017 Runner-up ($1,500)
Katie Daniels
Western Kentucky University
Pi Iota Chapter

Summer Program Scholarship

Fall 2017 Winner ($1,500)
Diana Sanchez
New Jersey City University
Alpha Iota Tau Chapter

Fall 2017 Runner-up ($750)
Logan Manchester
Alpha Chi Xi Chapter

2017-2018 Project Grant Recipients

Add Scholarship, Award, and Grant Application Due Dates to Your Calendar

Scholarships, Awards, and Grants Offered by Sigma Tau Delta

The spring round opens on February 5, 2018 and closes on April 9.

“So you want to teach?”: Non-Teaching Careers for English Majors

Careers for English MajorsFor many, summer vacation is a time for family. And, as with most family gatherings, the conversation is bound to eventually land on the inevitable question: “What are you going to do with that degree?” As a Communications major, I was asked this question more times than I can count. The truth is, I had no idea what I wanted to do, or could do, with my degree.

There’s the obvious: teaching, publishing, public relations. Knowing teaching was not for me, I tried to pursue the other two. No luck. I found these careers immensely saturated with candidates much more qualified and the opportunities few and far between. Then one day I was given some of the best advice I have ever received.

Make a list. Figure out what you like about the positions you’ve wanted and make a list.

I was told to jot down key words or key phrases from job descriptions I’ve applied to. So I did:

By doing this little exercise, I now had a better idea of what I wanted to do. It wasn’t a position title. It was a concept. These key words helped me to identify so many other positions I had never thought of before or even knew existed.

Now came the second part: was I qualified? After all, an English/Communications degree seems so straight forward.

Wrong. These majors teach critical thinking, communication, and analytical and problem-solving skills. The truth is, you can do anything with these degrees. I’m not suggesting that neurosurgery is the ideal job for an English major, at least not without advanced education, but I am saying there is life outside academia and retail. CEOs, politicians, lawyers, celebrities, Nobel Laureates—the list goes on for people who graduated with a degree in English.

Eventually my search for the right job led me to my current role as a recruiter. Every day I am able to help recent college graduates find careers that, like myself, they had never thought of before. This is because of the focus on transferable skills. I love seeing an English, Communications, or other Liberal Arts degree on a resume because it comes with a long set of skills transferable to the business environment. The challenge comes in keeping an open mind. Everyone wants to be in the “fun” industries like media, sports, or entertainment but entry-level positions in those fields are difficult to find. Garnering professional experience in other areas can allow you to take on responsibilities you want, and could later help you stand out for those “fun” industry positions.

I recently helped an English major land a job as a project manager with a Fortune 500 company. She never saw herself working for an electrical distribution company. It’s not super appealing and after all, she did not have any experience in the industry. But the position required someone who could build relationships, manage deadlines, make decisions, solve problems, and utilize strong communication skills. She loves the position and is excited to learn more about a stable industry, and now can see herself building a successful career using the skills she always wanted to use.

So, if you are trying to figure out where to take your degree, here are three bits of advice:

  1. Make a list of what you want.
  2. Make a list of what you can do (transferable skills).
  3. Be creative when considering employment possibilities.

The next time you find yourself at a family gathering and you are asked the question, “What are you going to do with that degree?” You can answer, “Anything I want to.”

Jessica HellerJessica Heller
Alumni Representative, 2016-2018
Account Specialist at Avenica, Inc.





How to Graduate with Sigma Tau Delta Swag

Ahh, graduation. It’s hard to believe we survived late-night study sessions, coffee-induced comas, and library all-nighters. Our reward: the sweet satisfaction of finally saying goodbye to it all while waving hello to the future. Why not separate yourself with some Sigma Tau Delta swag from the sea of other similarly-attired graduates?

As members of the esteemed International English Honor Society, with over 898 active chapters within the United States and abroad, you have been recognized as distinguished individuals, and distinguished individuals deserve distinguished attire.

Sigma Tau Delta Swag

Sigma Tau Delta features an English Honor Store website where members can buy tote bags, hoodies, and more. With graduation right around the corner for many of us, I have highlighted some of the graduation regalia available.

Honor Stole

The cardinal red honor stole comes decked out with an embroidered black Sigma Tau Delta seal. The satin stole is 60″ long, a standout against dark colored graduation gowns.

Honor Cords

Double doesn’t always mean trouble. In this case, the red and black double strand honor cords elegantly display your accomplishments.


A personal favorite of mine, the medallion features antique brass and a perfect replica of the Sincerity, Truth, and Design logo. It’s pretty fancy.

Membership Pin

If you need to replace your pin, Sigma Tau Delta’s store has plenty! Grab one and pin it to your cap or gown for a little extra bling.

Logo Sticker

Okay, okay. I know what you’re thinking: how do I wear a sticker without looking silly? Answer: make a stunning collage of all your different accomplishments (Sigma Tau Delta being one of those) and either stick, glue (if you dare!), or tape them onto your cap.

Window Decals

This one is here as an added bonus. Just because you graduated, doesn’t mean you’re no longer a Sigma Tau Delta member. Once a Sigma, always a Sigma. Sigma Tau Delta members are members for life, becoming alumni members when they are no longer students. Alumni members may also join the Alumni Epsilon Chapter for more involvement.

Stick one of these window decals to your car or laptop to display your lifetime membership.

Graduation is an important milestone so display all your accomplishments and successes proudly with Sigma Tau Delta regalia. Order today to ensure you receive your regalia by graduation!

Additional Graduation Resources

Which Sigma Tau Delta regalia piece will you wear for graduation? Let us know in the comments!

Samantha Santana
Alpha Alpha Upsilon Chapter
University of North Carolina Wilmington, Wilmington, NC