Southwestern Student Leadership Candidate

TU-14-photo-Laszik-Stephanie Stephanie Laszik
Candidate for Southwestern Student Representative, 2014-2015
Graduate Student, Epsilon Omega Chapter, University of Texas at Tyler
Tyler, TX

Positions, other memberships, offices, etc., currently or recently held:

  • Sigma Tau Delta: Epsilon Omega Chapter Member since 2012
  • Publication Committee President 2012-2014
  • Vice-President Fall 2013-2014
  • Other: Phi Alpha Theta 2013
  • Sigma Alpha Pi 2012 (National Engaged Leader Award)
  • Walter Prescott Webb Historical Society 2012 (Secretary, 2013)
  • Spanish Club 2012
  • Significant Practicum Experience: Pixels, Panels, and Prose, Tyler, TX, 2013 (Presenter)
  • Student Research Conference, Tyler, TX, 2013 (Presenter)
  • Phi Alpha Theta 2014 Biennial Convention, Albuquerque, NM, 2014 (Presenter)

Explain why you are running for office and comment on any skills, experience, or personal qualities you possess that would contribute to your performing the following duties: promoting communication among chapters other than your own, producing official publications, assisting your Regent, serving on the Student Leadership Committee. Further comments or ideas are encouraged. Include your region and your first and last name at the top of the page. Please do not include sensitive personal information in your essay. Candidate essays will be displayed publicly before the election. Do not exceed 500 words:

As a seasoned representative of student interests through my contributions to various academic organizations, I would be honored to rise to the occasion and offer my dedication to the interests of my fellow Southwestern Sigma Tau Delta members. With a firm belief in the opportunities and necessity in networking, I will promote communication across the Southwestern region and further develop active participation throughout chapters. I look forward to having the opportunity to represent my chapter and region and assist the Regent and Student Leadership Committee in the following year. The ability to promote the core beliefs and goals of Sigma Tau Delta is important to the continued growth, success, and integrity of the field of English studies.

There is still time to apply for a student leadership position for any region. Simply bring your completed application form to the convention and turn it in at the convention registration desk any time before the Regional Networking meetings on Thursday afternoon.

Put Some Tofu On It!

Vegetarian and Vegan Cuisine in Portland

kwilliams150by Katherine Williams
Southwestern Student Representative
Arkansas Tech University

Known for its eccentric, eco-friendly environment, Portland offers a variety of vegetarian and vegan cuisine for both residents and tourists. I found healthy, meat-free alternatives at every stop during my visit to Portland for the fall Board meeting last September. According to Wikipedia, Portland is the most vegetarian-friendly city in the country; whether or not that statistic is exaggerated, the city has so many delicious cafés, bistros, and ethnic restaurants that even meat-eaters would enjoy the vegetarian dishes. These are my personal recommendations.

Mother’s Bistro and Bar: 212 SW Stark Street (

With its beautiful Victorian atmosphere, it almost felt like we were back in last year’s convention city, New Orleans. This restaurant has been lauded by Food Network and it offers a cookbook for culinary fans. I had the Hummus and Greek Salad Combo from the appetizer section. It was plenty of food and very satisfying. It was also very affordable. It comes with pita chips, hummus with a spicy chili sauce, and the perfect Greek salad. ($$)

veggiegrill: 508 SW Taylor Street (

pix_visitThis all-vegetarian franchise is less than a block away from our hotel! The restaurant has a fast-food feel with a sit-down atmosphere and offers a delicious variety of iced teas (including green and black teas) and specialty beer on tap. I tried the Grillin’ Chickin’ with Sweetheart Fries, sweet potato fries with an amazing hearty flavor that come with the most delicious non-dairy chipotle ranch dipping sauce you will ever taste. It kept me full all day without feeling stuffed or tired. ($)

Old Town Pizza: 226 NW David Street (

slide6-pizzaLocated in Old Town, part of the walkable districts of Portland, you can pass through the Chinatown arches on your way to a historic pizza shop noted by Jay Leno and Rachel Ray. It’s also known to be haunted. I shared an Antipasto plate, Pesto Pizza, and Dragon Lady Pizza with my friends. Although the antipasto plate includes different cuts of meats, I enjoyed the veggies and cheeses. Of the two pizzas, I enjoyed the Pesto Pizza the most; the combination of mozzarella and feta cheeses and pine nuts was sublime. Those of you who love veggie pizzas would enjoy the Dragon Lady Pizza with olives, artichoke hearts, and other veggies. ($$)

 Voodoo Donut: 22 SW 3rd Avenue (

Anyone who’s anyone goes to Voodoo Donut for their wacky donut names and delicious treats. Several of their most well-known donuts have a vegan option. ($)


Don’t Forget About the Food Trucks…

FoodTrucksAnother cheap and delicious option in Portland is to visit the endless food trucks along 10th Avenue (on the way to Powell’s City of Books). These portable food vendors offer every style of food your heart could desire, from Japanese to Mediterranean to Thai food. Many offer vegetarian and vegan meals at an affordable price (my tofu pad thai was only $5). However, be prepared to wait awhile for the vendors to get your meal together; most seem to deliver in the order in which the customer appears.

…or the Convention Hotel!

The hotel is offering a 15% discount on dinner service and daily discounted lunch specials at Bistro 921. If you are too busy to get away to eat, these discounts will make it much more affordable to just grab a sandwich or salad in the hotel so you can rush back to the fun.

If you are a vegetarian or vegan, be sure to read the menu carefully; most menus I’ve found in Portland restaurants have an icon that indicates if the entrée is vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free. If you have questions about an entrée you would like to make vegetarian (by taking out the meat portion), have no fear about asking the wait staff. Most residents of Portland are very friendly and understanding of your request and they probably can offer advice on specials in the restaurant.

Oh the Places You Could Go

A Glimpse into a Possible Future with your Student Leadership Committee

kboles150by Kelsey Hixson-Bowles
Student Advisor, 2012-2014
Kansas State University

As one of the two Student Advisors, I want to tell everyone about the chance to run for Student Leadership. Think of this post as a brief FAQ about Student Leadership, and how and why you should consider getting involved. If I’ve missed any of your burning questions, feel free to email me at I look forward to seeing you in Portland!

Who makes up Student Leadership?

Student Leadership Committee meeting in NOLA, spring 2012

Student Leadership Committee meeting in NOLA, spring 2012

The Student Leadership members are the students elected and appointed to represent the interests and perspectives of students to Sigma Tau Delta’s Board of Directors. The Student Leadership Committee consists of two student-elected representatives from each region–a Student Representative (SR) and an Associate Student Representative (ASR)–as well as the two Board-appointed Student Advisors (SA), who chair the committee and hold voting powers.

What do Student Leaders do?

  • Provide the student voice to the Board of Directors
  • Advise and support student members through blog posts, newsletter articles, Facebook postings, convention workshops, and other means
  • Develop and encourage regional networking and collaboration
  • Host fun and informative events in our regions and at the international convention
  • SAs and SRs attend the fall and spring Board meetings; ASRs are encouraged to attend the convention

What exciting things is Student Leadership planning?

Perhaps the most exciting thing is helping SRs and ASRs better connect their regions so that individual chapters can partner up on service projects, submit collaborative workshop proposals to the convention, create regional conferences, etc. Having a well-connected region provides individual members more opportunities to contribute to projects in their areas of interest, as well as learn about other chapters, members, and schools.

Student leaders meet with the Board of Directors in NOLA, spring 2012

Student leaders meet with the Board of Directors in NOLA, spring 2012

In September, the SRs and SAs will meet the rest of the Board at the fall Board Meeting. This is a crucial chance for us to make plans for the school year and to learn first hand what all of the other committees are working on. It also gives us an opportunity to scope out the site of next year’s convention in order to tell our readers all about it on our blog.

I could go on and on about the work we hope to do in the next year, but I think it’s safe to say that we are always thinking about how to serve the membership at large and provide opportunities to get involved.

Sounds kinda cool…how will Student Leadership benefit me?

Student Leadership is one of those things where the more you put in, the more you get out. Some SRs and ASRs have put together regional literary magazines, gaining experience in publication and editing beyond what can be done at the chapter level. Others have organized regional conferences which honed their event planning and networking skills. Leaders who put their energies into writing for WORDY by Nature have found online followings, which led to the creation of personal blogs.

Allie, Christina, and Joe discuss student leadership plans while exploring Portland after the fall Board Meeting, fall 2012

Allie, Christina, and Joe discuss student leadership plans while exploring Portland after the fall Board Meeting, fall 2012

In addition to these irresistible intrinsic benefits, there are also extrinsic benefits to being a part of Student Leadership. To help offset the cost of travel, SRs (who keep up with their duties) receive travel reimbursements for the fall and spring Board meetings. ASRs (who keep up with their duties) are often offered travel support to the convention.

Awesome! How do I apply?

You must attend the 2013 Convention in Portland to apply and run for Student Representative or Associate Student Representative. Fill out an application form and turn it in by email, or in person to your Regent, or at the convention registration desk before the Regional Caucus (Friday). At the caucus you will have the opportunity to address your region and tell them why they should vote for you. Each chapter gets one vote (so don’t worry about those big chapters outweighing the smaller ones) and you find out right away if you’ve won! If you are elected, you will need to attend training sessions during the lunch breaks on Friday and Saturday, where you will learn everything you need to know to get started.