5 Reasons Why You Should Run for Student Leadership

Last year when I arrived in Minneapolis, MN, for the Sigma Tau Delta 2016 International Convention I remember arguing with myself: Me? In Student Leadership? Sure, I’m a member in my share of honor societies and extracurricular clubs—key word there, “member.” No more than a once or twice a week commitment. My heart was in my throat just seeing the other members vying for the role of Southern Student Representative, but my interest was piqued. I took an application packet and filled it out in my best pencil print, hoping it wouldn’t smudge too terribly.

Left-Right: Amber Jurgenson, Elizabeth Upshur, Heather Williams

What does Sigma Tau Delta Student Leadership entail, you ask? Student Leadership is a committee of six Student Representatives (SR) and six Associate Student Representatives (ASR), each who serve one year terms and are led by two Student Advisors (SA) who serve overlapping two year terms. The most important role of a Student Leader is to represent student voices in their region. During each Student Leader’s term, he or she assists the Central Office as well as Society members in his or her appointed region.

Student Leadership Elizabeth and Kevin

Kevin Brown and Elizabeth at the fall Board meeting.

I can’t imagine what last year would have been like without being a part of Student Leadership. I remember heading back home to Clarksville, TN, full of plans and boundless energy, with the full support of the outgoing Southern SR, Amber Jurgenson; my new incoming ASR, Heather Williams; and our wonderful Southern Regent, Kevin Brown. After my year as Southern SR, I would like to offer five reasons why you should consider running for Student Leadership while at the 2017 Convention in Louisville, KY, March 29-April 1.

1) Become an Important Resource for your Region

My two main goals for my term as SR were to capitalize on evolving social media for communication and showcasing opportunities for members to publish, volunteer, and lead on their respective campuses. I love being a Sigma Tau Deltan, and the opportunity to field questions on how best to apply for our scholarships and other Society opportunities has been unforgettable. I also served members of my region by identifying and disseminating information about literary magazines that were looking for submissions; posting funny literary themed memes on social media; and sharing important Society and literary info in our regional Facebook group.

2) Attend Board Meetings in the Convention City

Louisville PronunciationIn September, I had the opportunity to attend the fall Board meeting in Louisville, KY, where my voice could be heard on matters pertaining to my region. The Student Leaders also were each assigned to various committees to help serve the Board. While there, I helped scout Louisville—yes, the city has multiple pronunciations, and any one of them is fine. I had a blast with my fellow SRs finding restaurants and off-site entertainment like live music, theatre, and waterfront trails that would be fun for convention attendees.

3) Hone Your Organizational Skills

Being an SR is not all scouting out new cities and fun monthly web chats with fellow SAs, SRs, and ASRs, though. There is real, nitty gritty work to be done. I collaborated with the other SRs to brainstorm ideas for the annual Student Leadership Service Project and to prepare for the 2017 Convention. As an SR I also wrote blogs for WORDY by Nature. I kept in contact with the Southern Region’s chapters, created a directory to better disseminate information, and compiled regular SR and ASR reports for our Regent, all which helped hone my organizational skills.

4) Sharpen Your Networking and Leadership Skills

My networking skills grew as a result of my time at the Convention running for the Southern SR position, scouting in Louisville, and reaching out for fundraising opportunities. Additionally, working with different teams and committees helped my leadership skills. Being an SR means that some days you delegate and some days you are delegated to. But you’re always working with a team, completing projects for the benefit of every Sigma Tau Deltan.

Student Leadership-Louisville5) Become a Better Professional

Student Leadership-ElizabethI ran for Student Leadership to make myself a better professional, because I know these skills will be invaluable as a future teacher and mentor. I even earned university internship credit for my work!

So, I have just a few questions for you, my fellow Sigma Tau Deltans. Do you want to grow as a student, and more importantly, as a Society member? Make like-minded literary friends? Spend a year helping your fellow Sigma Tau Deltans and advocating their concerns? Help plan the 2018 Convention? Practice and grow as a writer, and help other members in your region do the same? If so, run for Student Leadership this year!

Join Student Leadership

Student Representative

Student Representative applicants must be Sigma Tau Delta members at a school with an active chapter and must plan on attending a school with an active chapter through the end of their elected one-year term, 2017-2018.

Candidates for the Student Representative (SR) and Associate Student Representative (ASR) will be elected at their regional caucus on March 31. Individuals will assume their offices at the end of the 2017 International Convention.

View: 2017-2018 SR/ASR Application

Student Advisor

Do you want to be even more involved with the Society? Student Advisors provide the student voice to the Board of Directors and serve as full voting members of the Board. They also chair the important Student Leadership Committee. Student Advisors must be student members of active chapters for their full 2017-2019 term, and must be willing advocates for the needs and concerns of the student members of Sigma Tau Delta. Together, the two Student Advisors work to promote the goals of the Society among its members. Complete position duties are listed on the Society’s website.

Student Advisor applicants must be Sigma Tau Delta members at a school with an active chapter and must plan on attending a school with an active chapter through the end of their elected two-year term, 2017-2019.

Candidates for the Student Advisor position will be interviewed and appointed by the Board of Directors. Individuals will assume their offices at the end of the 2017 International Convention.

View: 2017-2019 SA Application

EUpshurElizabeth Upshur
Student Representative, Southern Region, 2016-2017
Alpha Zeta Upsilon Chapter
Austin Peay State University, Clarksville, TN

An Evening at the Guthrie Theater

Amber JurgensenAmber Jurgensen
Student Representative, Southern Region, 2015-2016
Rho Gamma Chapter
Louisiana Tech University, Ruston, LA

This fall, the student leaders had the chance to attend a production of To Kill a Mockingbird at the Wurtele Thrust Stage of the Guthrie Theater, an important cultural and historical landmark of the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. The play, adapted from the much-beloved book by Harper Lee, remained true to its source material with only a few slight alterations. The actors brilliantly performed their roles on a visually stunning set that was incredibly detailed and well-designed to incorporate integral aspects of Maycomb, AL. Based on this incredible performance, a visit to the Guthrie is highly recommended during your stay in Minneapolis for the Sigma Tau Delta 2016 International Convention.

Guthrie Theater

Guthrie Theater / Photo Credit: Meet Minneapolis

The Guthrie, named for Sir Tyrone Guthrie, opened its doors in 1963. Since then, it has been the staging ground for numerous Shakespeare plays as well as such familiar titles as She Stoops to Conquer, A Streetcar Named Desire, and The Great Gatsby. The theater moved to the west bank of the Mississippi River in 2006, providing its audience with a breathtaking view as they wait for productions to begin. Its proscenium stage, studio theater, and thrust stage allow for a wide variety of theatrical ventures to be produced and displayed to the public. The esteemed theater celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2013, and remains a vital part of the cultural atmosphere in Minneapolis.

Group at Guthrie TheaterTo Kill a Mockingbird heralded the start of the 2015-2016 season at the Guthrie, running from September 12 to October 18. Set in 1950s Alabama, the story follows a young girl nicknamed Scout as she observes her father’s efforts to defend an African American man named Tom Robinson against a white woman who has wrongfully accused him of assault. The play’s themes of justice and injustice, juxtaposed with the point of view of a child, her brother, and her friend, accurately mirror Harper Lee’s story, which generations of readers have cherished. The casting was impeccable, the accents authentic, and several scenes left me with goosebumps. I exited the theater with the sense that justice had been done to a tale I knew well, and the play was a source of discussion throughout the night and well into the next morning.

During the 2016 International Convention, “The Critic” and “The Real Inspector Hound” will be produced on the McGuire Proscenium Stage, and You for Me for You will be shown in the Dowling Studio. In addition, backstage tours will be available, and one may dine at the Sea Change Restaurant and Bar. Don’t miss out on your chance to visit this world-renowned theater!

Have you been to the Guthrie before? Tell us about your experience in the comments!

Guthrie Theatre Discount

The Guthrie has made available to us a discount code for the 7:30 p.m. production of “The Critic” and “The Real Inspector Hound” on Friday, March 4. The code is only valid for this show and is only to be used by Sigma Tau Delta. Convention attendees, please check your email for the discount code.

Winning an Internship with About.com

Kelsey PotterKelsey Potter
2015 Sigma Tau Delta Summer Internship Stipend Recipient
Delta Epsilon Upsilon Chapter
The University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY

About.com is a website you probably frequent. With over 3.5 million credible articles from knowledgeable experts, About.com often is one of the first websites to populate with a Google search. This summer, I had the fantastic opportunity to work as a public relations intern with About.com, and it was a life-changing experience. Because of Sigma Tau Delta’s Summer Internship Stipend, I was able to afford the costly move north to New York City, and I am so grateful to have spent my summer there.

One awesome thing about my internship was the location. Every morning I rode the 6 and S trains down to the About.com office in the center of Times Square along Broadway, right beside the Good Morning America studio. My desk was by the window where throughout the day I could peek outside to see the excited crowds gathered below. Once I saw a performance with dogs jumping into giant pools of water, and the next day, a live airing of a cooking competition—all from my window!

about.comI am an English and Integrated Strategic Communication double major, and my internship was a perfect blend of what I’ve learned at the University of Kentucky. The company was not advertising for interns on their website, so I submitted my resume through the “If you don’t see a position that interests you, click here to let us know how you can make a difference at About.com” section. My initiative was successful and I was off to New York.

At About.com, I flexed my writing skills by creating blog posts and researching the field to create an internal newsletter. I aided in event planning and working with clients, and offered my input on future projects. Working for such a large company was daunting, but I always felt my opinion was valued, and my two supervisors were great about keeping me involved and informed. Working at About.com gave me a perfect view into what I could do once I graduate, and without Sigma Tau Delta’s stipend, I never would have been able to afford the cost of living in the city to participate in the internship.

Playbill CollageAfter work, most of my free time was spent trying to obtain discounted tickets for plays. During my first weekend in the city, I won lottery tickets to see The Tempest, put on by Shakespeare in the Park, and it took me by storm. I also student rushed for tickets to see Finding Neverland, and scored inexpensive second row seats! I was so excited to see my namesake, Kelsey Grammar, preform live. I also explored the city, finding so many interesting parades and festivals, such as the Museum Mile Festival.

Tea and EBookNow that I’m back home in Kentucky it’s strange I don’t have to take a train to get to class or work. While I can’t say I miss the lack of personal space or the sweltering heat, I know on my morning stroll I will yearn for pancakes from Timmy’s Diner on York Avenue. I will wish I could swing by Central Park to sit and drink my coffee. I had to say goodbye to the Big Apple, but after Sigma Tau Delta’s generosity allowed me to experience it, I know I’ll be seeing New York City again soon.

Take a behind-the-scenes tour of the About.com office with CEO, Neil Vogel.

When has a bold move worked in your favor to offer you a once-in-a-lifetime experience to advance your career and education?

Sigma Tau Delta Summer Internship Stipend

Application Period: February 1 – March 21
Sigma Tau Delta offers funding for current undergraduate and graduate student members accepting non- or low-paying summer internships. The Summer Internship Stipend is a competitive program providing a limited number of stipends of up to $1,500 each.

The internship must involve working for an “organization” while being directed by a supervisor/mentor within that organization, and the internship’s duties must be consistent with the applicant’s level of education, area of study, and career goals. Financial need will be taken into consideration. Applicants are responsible for obtaining and providing verification of the internship. Decisions will be made by May 2.