Opportunity to Impact Lives through a BWB Internship

Sophie Hulen was the 2016 recipient of the Sigma Tau Delta/Better World Books Summer Internship. Read on to learn about her experience, and to see what you could gain from applying for the 2017 BWB Internship.

Child Reads Harry PotterOne Christmas, before I was even old enough to read them myself, I was given the first two books in the Harry Potter series. The attachment was strong and immediate. As the remaining books in the series were released, I repeatedly was at the front of the line for the next chapter, eager to learn the fates of my favorite characters and watch their stories unfold. In fact, during my childhood, I was more often seen with a Harry Potter book—or any other book to be perfectly honest—than on a sport’s field or with a video game controller in my hands. I loved—and still love—to read. But this love is not a luxury granted to many children in our country.

I learned of Better World Books’ literacy program through my chapter’s textbook drive. Here was a program that helped put books like Harry Potter in needy hands. Every time someone purchases a book from BetterWorldBooks.com, they donate a book through one of hundreds of non-profit organizations. Through the charitable work of Better World Books, our country’s children are more easily able to access the same material that has shaped who I am today. And this is why I was so excited to be granted the Sigma Tau Delta/Better World Books 2016 Summer Internship.

BWB InternshipBWB Internship

One of the greatest benefits of a BWB Internship was that my six-week program was not built around a set group of tasks. Due to my interest in writing and communication, I was put in charge of a competitive marketing analysis. This meant I would do extensive research of their clients and competitors, creating a comprehensive analysis of what BWB was doing well, and what could be done better. Through this project I was connected with several executive members of the company, included in national conferences over Google Hangout, and was able to speak with a few of the company’s United Kingdom partners as well. To conclude my time with Better World Books, I was given the opportunity to present my analysis at their annual international marketing meeting.

Not only was I given the chance to do work I enjoyed, I essentially was in charge of my own work. Although I was supervised by the head of the marketing department, she gave me the freedom any traditional employee would have been given. I was, and still am, extremely grateful for the level of respect granted to me by my supervisor, as well as the rest of the staff both in Alpharetta and other offices across the country and in the UK.

BWB InternshipI absolutely recommend this internship to other Sigma Tau Delta members. The interpersonal, research, and presentation skills I learned and practiced during this time will prove invaluable to me in the future, and I am extremely glad I was able to spend my summer with Better World Books, doing my part to ensure books continue to reach needy children around the world. I can only hope my efforts introduced to someone a book that will impact their life in a similar way to how Harry Potter impacted mine.

What will motivate you to apply for the 2017 summer BWB Internship?

2017 Summer Internship

February 6 is the application deadline for the Better World Books (BWB) six-week paid summer internship for undergraduate members of Sigma Tau Delta chapters that have run Better World Books textbook drives. The internship takes place in the Atlanta metro area beginning in May or June and ending in June or July. The recipient will work 30 hours per week, earning $10 per hour. Sigma Tau Delta will provide an additional $1,500 stipend to assist with travel and housing expenses.

View: Application Submission Instructions

Sophie HulenSophie Hulen
Chapter President
Alpha Xi Epsilon Chapter
Wittenberg University, Springfield, OH

Chapter’s Hardship Leads to a Better World

Sigma Tau Delta chapter members are hardworking, willing to see projects through successful completion. Sometimes, though, chapters face moments of hardship and need reminding that their determination and actions can lead to a better world.

Rho Iota’s Story

The Rho Iota chapter at Clarion University in Clarion, PA, faced a daunting challenge in fall 2015. The chapter lost numerous members to graduation and was in the midst of gaining a new Sponsor. The beginning of that semester brought many brainstorming sessions about how to reinvigorate the chapter.

Our chapter soon realized we had the necessary tools right in front of us. Sigma Tau Delta encourages chapters to donate to Better World Books, a company committed to promoting literacy and re-purposing books otherwise destined for the trash. Better World Books donates five percent of net sales from books collected and sent in by Sigma Tau Delta chapters to benefit a literacy initiative in the convention host city.

Sigma Tau Delta chapters make a sizable donation of textbooks through Better World Books Textbook Drives every year. These donations help spread literacy and a love of reading far beyond any single chapter’s capabilities.

Better World BooksThe Rho Iota chapter was fortunate to have a room, often used to hold book sales, bursting with textbooks. We knew, though, that we could do more than simply pack up boxes. Our members reached out to faculty and students on campus, specifically in the English department, and offered to take old textbooks. This campaign for used books, which lasted over the course of the fall semester, was a success in many ways. The book drive allowed members to make stronger connections with faculty, students, and other groups on campus. It also helped draw in and engage new Sigma Tau Delta members.

Our chapter members learned that community service projects not only promoted literacy throughout the English department, campus, and community, but also allowed the campus community to see the Society’s potential impact.

Sign-up to Create a Better World

When chapters collect textbooks and donate to Better World Books, it is an opportunity to give back, promote Sigma Tau Delta, and strengthen individual chapters.

The Better World Books drive is going on now, and the holiday season is the perfect time for a chapter service project. Show off the impact your chapter can have on your school and community by joining the effort today. Additionally, your chapter will receive $1 for every accepted A-list book donated. A-list books include college textbooks and study guides published in the last 10 years, unused workbooks, or any book used in a college classroom. If your chapter still needs more reasons to join the cause, participating chapter members are eligible to apply for the 2016 Better World Books Summer Internship.

On the Society website Sigma Tau Delta features the top 25 chapters with the largest donations. Can your chapter beat last year’s champion, the University of California, Los Angeles, who came in at 455 accepted books? Visit the Better World Books Campus Textbook Drive Resource Center today to sign up to run a textbook drive!


Kaitlynn SassKaitlynn Sass
Student Representative, Eastern Region, 2016-2017
Rho Iota Chapter
Clarion University, Clarion, PA

AuthorSHIP Project Grant: Encouraging Young Minds to Write!

AuthorSHIP Project Grant Chapter Members

AuthorSHIP Project Grant Chapter Members

Phi Psi, Shippensburg University‘s chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, was the 2015-2016 Sigma Tau Delta Project Grant recipient for their AuthorSHIP Project Grant contest, a Central Pennsylvania competition that encourages young writers in multiple writing styles. The three categories include poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. A first and second place winner is selected from each category in both the high school and middle school division, resulting in a total of twelve awards.

AuthorSHIP Project Grant

In the first week of December 2015 notification of the contest was sent via email, and flyers were sent to nearly fifty middle school and high school teachers. Information about the AuthorSHIP contest was sent to twenty school districts within a sixty-mile radius of Shippensburg University. We accepted submissions online until March 31, 2016, and received 174 manuscripts across the three categories—the highest entry rate so far!

The guidelines for the AuthorSHIP contest are fairly flexible: there is no length requirement and students may submit as many pieces of writing to as many categories as they wish. We encouraged students to proofread and edit their submissions before submitting final drafts. The students could submit pieces they wrote for a specific class, such as research papers, or individual pieces they specifically created for this contest or have been working on previously. No matter how new or old their piece was, it could be submitted as long as they personally wrote the piece.

The students submitted their writing to an online database that every member of the Phi Psi chapter could access. Members were split into three groups and each group was assigned an award category (poetry, fiction, nonfiction) to judge. After reading the submissions multiple times, the members held a meeting to make the final decisions. As difficult as it was to agree on the winners, the final entries were picked via majority vote.

AuthorSHIP Project Grant Winners

AuthorSHIP Contest Winners

AuthorSHIP Winners

Picking the awarded entries was challenging for the members because of the level of creativity and emotion used by the students. The students’ writing made members laugh, cry, and reflect. Some of the common themes were science fiction, mystery, dystopian worlds, personal narratives, and poetry about nature. Gender and social stereotypes were explored in many of the selected winners’ works. It was inspiring to read these emotionally charged stories written by young minds.

AuthorSHIP Project Grant Anthology

AuthorSHIP Anthology

An anthology of winning submissions for the AuthorSHIP Project Grant was compiled by the Writing Contest Subcommittee to distribute to winners, and an awards ceremony was held in April to publicly recognize the winners. Many members of the Phi Psi chapter attended the ceremony, along with the winners and their teachers and family members. Everyone was excited to meet each other and congratulate the writers. The AuthorSHIP contest encourages young people to write and even if their work is not selected in the current year, they are encouraged to submit pieces the following year!

Sigma Tau Delta Project Grants

Sigma Tau Delta’s Project Grants are designed to encourage local chapters to be innovative in developing projects that further the goals of the Society. The Society will award a limited number of grants, for no more than $500 each, to support local chapter activities. Funds may be requested for separate projects or for parts of larger projects, and chapters should explore ways to use Project Grants in combination with funds secured from other sources. Funds may be requested for ongoing projects, but there is no guarantee that projects funded during one grant period will receive funding in future grant periods.

Winning chapters may also receive up to $350 in travel assistance for sending at least one student representative to the annual convention to participate in a workshop and/or roundtable. Winning chapters are encouraged to share a chapter exhibit at the convention.

Applications must be complete and received by November 1. No late submissions will be accepted. Award winners will be notified by November 15, with one-half of the awarded funds available immediately; the other half when a final project report is filed.

Sigma Tau Delta Project Grant Resources

2014-2015 Project Grant Reports

Authorship Project Grant MDiehlMaria Diehl
2015-2016 Project Grant Recipient
Phi Psi Chapter, President
Shippensburg University, Shippensburg, PA