Hey, You! Graduate Student! Do You Want Some Scholarship Money?

Scholarship Cat NapAh, graduate school—that magical time in your life when you devote so much of yourself to scholarship that rather than sleeping in your bed you tend to fall asleep on your keyboard instead (if, of course, your cat doesn’t get to the keyboard first). If, like me, you are a graduate student, you are probably very tired. I can empathize! Whether you’re at the beginning of your graduate school journey, nearing the end of it, or somewhere in the middle, your to-do list for this week is probably overwhelming. Technically you don’t even have time to read this blog post (but please do so anyway!). The last thing you need right now is another task added to your plate.

Stop right there and take a deep breath. I know finding the time is difficult, but I’m going to tell you right now that carving out a couple of hours to apply for a Sigma Tau Delta Graduate Scholarship is worth it. Here’s why:

1. You Deserve It!

You work very hard as a graduate student and you deserve to be rewarded for your hard work! Scholarships like this one allow you to show off who you are and what you have accomplished in your graduate school career; winning an award means a committee saw your work and believed your future work was worth funding—and it is! If you don’t apply, you don’t have the chance to show them that.

2. It Won’t Take as Much Time as You Think

Applying for scholarships may feel daunting, but it doesn’t have to be daunting. You are a graduate student; you’ve written essays before, and because you love English as much as the rest of us you probably know how to write a really good one by now! Spend an evening crafting your essay and your personal statement. I know you don’t want to skip out on taking your evening nap (again), but you’ll survive without one nap. Skipping that one nap can be worth up to $4,000. That’s worth the trade-off.

3. If You Don’t Win a Graduate Scholarship, You Can Still Receive a Regents’ Scholarship

Graduate Scholarship MoneyDid you know that even if you don’t win a Graduate Scholarship, you still have a chance at a Regents’ Scholarship? According to the scholarship guidelines, “The highest scoring full-time status scholarship applicant in each region who does not receive another scholarship is automatically considered for a Regents’ Scholarship.” These awards are smaller than the Graduate Scholarship awards, but wouldn’t you still like to have $1,000? I know I would!

4. No Sigma Tau Delta Chapter? No Problem!

It’s a blow to any active Sigma Tau Delta member to arrive at your new graduate program only to learn your university doesn’t have an active Sigma Tau Delta chapter. If your graduate institution doesn’t have a chapter but you were a member of the Society at your undergraduate school you are still eligible for an Alumni Epsilon scholarship! You must be an Alumni Epsilon member in good standing at the time of your application and if you are awarded this scholarship you could receive up to $2,500! And why haven’t you gotten the ball rolling yet on starting a charter for your new school?

5. More Scholarship Money = Less Time Spent Paying Off Loans

You’ve been in school for quite some time now. Unless you’re really lucky, you’ve more than likely taken out loans at some point in your career to help pay for your tuition. Depending on how quickly you find a job after graduation, what kind of job you get, what your living situation is, and other factors that impact your financial situation, it can take quite a long time just to pay off a few thousand dollars. If you won up to $4,000, though, that could take months or even years off of the amount of time you spend paying off loans. A few hours of your time for that much extra peace of mind? Yes, please!Graduate Scholarship

6. Worst-Case Scenario, You’ve Only Lost a Few Hours of Your Time

Part of the reason you’re probably hesitant to apply for scholarships is because you don’t feel you have a great chance of winning. It’s true that not everyone will win a scholarship. The thing is, though, if you don’t apply, then you definitely won’t win a scholarship. Toss your hat in the ring! Any chance is better than no chance!

As a graduate student, you have a lot on your plate. I know you’re tired, but this is a chance you can take that can truly pay out in the end. And then, once you’re done with your application, you can still take that nap of your dreams. Why not give it a try?

Resources

Scholarship Eligibility Criteria
Graduate Scholarship
Alumni Epsilon Scholarship
Scholarship Application
Application Essay Prompt

Sigma Tau Delta’s Featured Graduate Programs

Department of English at Northern Illinois University
Master of Arts in English at Fort Hayes State University
Master of Arts in English at Azusa Pacific University
Hudson Strode Program in Renaissance Studies at The University of Alabama
Master of Arts in English at The University of North Carolina Wilmington
Department of English at The University of Kentucky
Master of Liberal Arts / Master of Teaching Writing at Auburn University at Montgomery
Master of Arts in English at Western Illinois University
Master of Arts in English at University of Southern Indiana2017 Sigma Tau Delta Convention Sponsors


Amber M. Rose
Student Representative, Far Western Region, 2016-2017
Alpha Nu Beta Chapter
University of Washington, Seattle, WA

I’m Graduating, Now What? Alumni Opportunities with Sigma Tau Delta

Katie MuddKatie Mudd
Sigma Tau Delta, Central Office
Graduate Student

The spring 2016 semester is rapidly coming to a close and for some that means graduation, an exciting time when hard work finally pays off and you receive the degree(s) into which you have poured so much blood, sweat, and tears. However, graduation also ushers in a time of nervous new beginnings and sad farewells. Coupled with the mixed anxieties of a new home, entering the job market, or beginning graduate school you must bid adieu to your campus community and the friends who made it your home. Amid these goodbyes you may rest assured that Sigma Tau Delta represents one portion of your life that can move forward with you, and today, as a fellow alumna, I’d like to share with you some of the ways you can continue to engage with Sigma Tau Delta as alumni.

Going to Graduate School?

Southern Utah University’s 2014 Sigma Tau Delta graduates.

For those of you embarking on the treacherous journey that is graduate school—may the odds be ever in your favor!—your Society transition can be all but seamless. Check to see if your new institution has an active Sigma Tau Delta chapter. If so, once the semester begins reach out to your new chapter’s Sponsor to learn about any chapter-specific membership requirements (I was surprised by local dues at my new graduate institution) and prepare to dive into your new home. If you happen to be transferring to an institution lacking an active chapter, you always can reach out to faculty about reactivating an old chapter or creating a new one. However, your continued involvement with the Society is not dependent upon a faculty member committing to lead a chapter into greatness.

Alumni Epsilon Chapter

Alumni Epsilon members at 2016 Convention

Alumni Epsilon members reunite at the Sigma Tau Delta 2016 International Convention in Minneapolis, MN. (photo courtesy of Matthew Kemp)

All Sigma Tau Delta graduates and graduate students at chapter-less institutions are eligible to join the Sigma Tau Delta Alumni Epsilon Chapter. Alumni Epsilon facilitates ongoing communication and networking between Sigma Tau Delta alumni and Sigma Tau Delta activities at the international level. Membership benefits include:

  • Continuing Affiliation: Although all alumni are lifetime members of Sigma Tau Delta, participation in the Alumni Epsilon Chapter will facilitate affiliation with Sigma Tau Delta regardless of your current place of residence or your ability to connect with local chapters.
  • Convention Participation: The international convention provides an accessible and scholarly venue for presenting your academic, professional, or creative work. You may deliver papers or participate in panel discussions related to the field of English or your professional work, and you are eligible for convention paper awards. The convention also provides an opportunity to hear noted authors and share good fellowship at fun and interesting locations.
  • Alumni Epsilon Scholarship: Alumni Epsilon Chapter members are eligible to apply for up to $2,500 to further their education in programs of study that are consistent with Sigma Tau Delta’s mission.
  • Alumni Epsilon Literacy Grant: Opportunity to apply for up to $500 to develop a literacy initiative project.

Alumni Epsilon annual membership dues are an incredible value at only $13—you also can purchase a two-year membership for $26. Apply now and your membership will transfer to Alumni Epsilon on July 1.

Beyond the Ivory Tower

In addition to joining the Alumni Epsilon Chapter, all members are encouraged to follow Sigma Tau Delta on social media. Sigma Tau Delta publishes a wide variety of interesting, Society-related content across all our social media platforms; however, several of these platforms are more closely attuned to alumni needs.

  • EnglishMatters: EnglishMatters is Sigma Tau Delta’s exclusive online network for students, alumni, and faculty members. It functions as an online platform for sharing discussions, events, and activities at the Society and chapter levels. EnglishMatters also serves as a key career development site focused on facilitating mentoring and networking opportunities among current and alumni members. EnglishMatters features a built-in mentoring service that connects you with other Society members based on your selected areas of expertise. Additionally, you have access to more than eight million internship and employment opportunities around the world and can access a private jobs board where members can post information on jobs in their area.
  • LinkedIn Group: The Sigma Tau Delta LinkedIn group is the perfect environment to share advice on the job market, career opportunities for English majors, suggestions for nailing a job interview, and tips and tricks on indy publishing. Additionally, LinkedIn’s extensive networking platform and job listings make it the perfect resource for entering the job market and helping you climb that proverbial ladder.
  • Alumni Facebook Group: This group is open to all Sigma Tau Delta alumni as a means of maintaining ties to the Society. The group posts field-related articles as well as updates on Society events such as the convention, job opportunities, advice on the job market, and information on Alumni Epsilon happenings.

Finally, before you graduate make sure your current chapter updates the email address you have entered in Write Away, the online chapter management system. Alumni with current personal email addresses entered in Write Away will receive email correspondence from Sigma Tau Delta, including our monthly eNews newsletter and emails about our Society blog, WORDY by Nature.

Sigma Tau Delta wishes you the best of luck as you move on, and looks forward to continuing our relationship with you.

What are some of your unique or exciting post-graduation plans?

Get the Most Out of Your Alumni Network

brandeberry_smby Lauren Brandeberry
Alumni Epsilon

I recently came across a wonderful, must-read article about taking advantage of your school’s alumni network. It contains some great advice such as:

While face-to-face meetups are still a common and extremely beneficial way to build connections with alumni, social media is opening up new avenues for networking. In fact, many schools foster alumni networks on Facebook, LinkedIn, and, more recently, Google +. These offer students the chance to talk with alumni across the country as well as those who live locally.

Even though these types of sites may seem like impersonal places to make connections, they can be just as useful as meeting with alumni in more traditional formats. John Muscarello, at 2008 grad of York College of Pennsylvania, used his school’s LinkedIn alumni group to find a job and build a professional network. While some might be intimidated, he says it was easy: “I simply introduced myself to alumni and asked them for help and guidance during my job search.” His success wasn’t a fluke, however. “My sister used the same tactic and found a job in less than six weeks.”
Read the full article

Alumni networks are increasingly important for professional success. Did you know that as a Sigma Tau Delta member, you also have access to a Sigma Tau Delta alumni network? Whether you are still in school, recently graduated, or have been in the workforce for a while, make sure to join these groups to get the most out of your alumni network:

LinkedIn
Sigma Tau Delta LinkedIn Group

Facebook
Sigma Tau Delta Alumni Facebook Group

Alumni Epsilon LogoIf you want to take your alumni experience to the next level, consider joining the Alumni Epsilon Chapter of Sigma Tau Delta to facilitate ongoing communication and networking between Sigma Tau Delta alumni and the activities of Sigma Tau Delta at the national level. Membership in the Alumni Epsilon Chapter allows you to continue receiving important news and information from Sigma Tau Delta, provides opportunities to publish your work and submit to the annual international convention, and offers chances to apply for special scholarships and grants just for alumni members.

To learn more about the various resources available to Sigma Tau Delta alumni, contact your Alumni Representative Jon L Peacock at sigmatd.ae@gmail.com.