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:

Sigma Tau Delta LinkedIn Group

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.

All Alumni Welcomed!

Jon L. Peacockby Jon L Peacock
Alumni Representative, 2012-2013

When I went to last year’s convention, I felt I was completely detached from Sigma Tau Delta and would only be there as a distant observer. I had been involved in the past, even served as President of my school’s chapter when I was going to Long Island University: Brooklyn Campus. However, as many students eventually do, I graduated. So, when I received a notice online about the convention in New Orleans, and began casually looking through the program schedule, I was not expecting much for a mere alumnus like myself.

Boy, was I wrong! They invite alumni to all convention events, just as students and faculty are invited, which is something I was unaware of. Not only that, but they also have a special “chapter” for alumni to continue a more official connection with Sigma Tau Delta, the Alumni Epsilon chapter (AE), and there are a few events set aside just for alumni.

There was a reception for faculty and alumni, hosted by the President of Sigma Tau Delta, and since I signed up for AE before the convention I was invited to attend this free event of schmoozing with the big-wigs. At the informal caucus (now known as the Alumni Networking session), I got to meet other alumni and discuss how we would like to see Sigma Tau Delta serve its alumni in the future. There was also a formal caucus and election of the Alumni Representative (AR) and Associate Alumni Representative (AAR). I ran for AAR and was elected. When, during the summer, the AR resigned, I stepped up to the position of AR.

Alumni and soon-to-be-alumni gather at the Informal Alumni Caucus at the 2012 Convention in New Orleans.

Alumni and soon-to-be-alumni gather at the Alumni Informal Caucus at the 2012 Convention in New Orleans.

This year’s convention will be better than ever. In addition to all the wonderful Convention events, such as panels ranging from Shakespeare to Doctor Who, amazing featured speakers Ursula K. Le Guin, Timothy Egan, and Anne Fadiman, and everyone’s favorite Bad Poetry Contest (not to be missed), there again will be events directed specifically for alumni and graduating seniors. We have expanded the Alumni Networking/Meet & Greet session, so there is plenty of time set aside for all alumni and graduating seniors (you know who you are!) to get together and discuss what they can do next within this wonderful Society.

So, come spend the week in Portland with us; Buy a nice hat, check out Powell’s Bookstore, and see what the convention still has to offer the alumni of Sigma Tau Delta!