Awards News

Elaine W. Hughes Outstanding Advisor Recipient

011921-Outstanding Advisor

Please join Sigma Tau Delta in congratulating our 2020-2021 Elaine W. Hughes Outstanding Advisor recipient: Sonia Mae Brown. Brown is the Chapter Advisor of Langston University‘s Alpha Psi Delta Chapter. Please read on for an excerpt of the nomination letter submitted by Brown’s student, Jade McNeal.

On behalf of the Alpha Psi Delta Chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, I would like to express how impactful Dr. Sonia Mae Brown has been to Langston, this organization, and our personal lives. It’s a blessing to get to call her our own because every student that she meets is left with a lesson, smile, and a brighter soul. One immediately must respect Dr. Brown’s intelligence because she always drops knowledge, and she understands the struggles of college students. She is humble and seeks all her students to win. She is phenomenal at what she does, and you can tell her goal is to leave others with a gem every time. Dr. Brown evidences all the characteristics required for the outstanding advisor award: she is giving of her time, her talents, and her creativity.

Dr. Brown’s unwavering commitment to students can be seen in the academic programming that she creates every semester. Every year, Dr. Brown hosts a graduate school workshop to help Juniors and Seniors prepare for graduate school. This year, Dr. Brown refined the workshop into a week-long boot camp that culminated in one-on-one consultations with faculty and a sneak peek into the University of Kansas’ graduate programs. Dr. Brown has also created a series of seminars on Black Life, Black Culture, and Black Experiences. This series titled Black(Er) Day School aims to teach students about relevant aspects of Blackness using Black Literature as a tool. This seminar series is offered every Saturday during February to celebrate Black History Month. Students who participate in these seminars learn about the aesthetics of Blackness and are introduced to authors, literary texts, and literary periods. Her passion for literature extends from the classroom to these literary events and departmental service. In 2018, Dr. Brown began offering Grammar Bootcamp, which is a departmental venture aimed to increase student understanding of grammar and grammar issues. This Bootcamp helps to revitalize student interest in literature and language by making them comfortable with the politics of language.

Not only does Dr. Brown create programming for Langston students, but Dr. Brown is committed to the Langston community and the larger academic community. Dr. Brown has taken students to student conferences and workshops such as the Black Love Symposium, which was a celebration of the writings of Zora Neale Hurston. Another example of commitment to the community can be seen in the fact that Dr. Brown encourages a yearly chapter service project. In 2019, the Alpha Psi Delta Chapter of Sigma Tau Delta performed over 100 hours of volunteer service for the Langston Community Food Pantry. This year, the chapter’s service project is volunteering as tutors in a virtual after-school tutoring program to assist students in the town of Langston.

As an Advisor, Dr. Brown is innovative and inspiring. She has created challenges and competitions to encourage chapter participation. These challenges encourage students to be civic citizens and prompt the development of essential college skills: communication, teamwork, time management, and stress management. As an advisor, Dr. Brown is an effective mentor for society members: she is knowledgeable in her field, is warm and considerate, is enthusiastic about sharing her expertise, is eager to invest in others, is respectful, and is empathetic.

I am blessed to have had Dr. Brown respectfully take me under her wing and guide me from shy sophomore to sassy senior. I feel free to navigate through the world and dominate in my lane. I’m prepared to blossom into the real world because of her tips, teachings, and life lessons that will stick with me forever.

Through Dr. Brown, many doors and great opportunities have opened for me, such as being a qualified candidate to attend Graduate school and becoming a lifetime member and President of this chapter and organization. On behalf of the Langston Community, and Alpha Psi Delta chapter we are left with Dr. Sonia Mae Browns’ legacy in our hearts and are ready to take on the world to create our own. . . .

College is the foundation of one’s life and career as an adult, the birthplace of adulthood. A professor is the one who helps shape and molds an individual into lifetime students to be respected within the field. With Dr. Brown being a part of our lives, we can all testify to her being the molder and leaving her legacy through us. Langston University is a small HBCU located in Langston, OK. Langston has 2,500 students; of these 14 are currently majoring/minoring in English. Given the low interest in English as a major, Dr. Brown has done a phenomenal job of growing, shaping, and mentoring our chapter. . . . The work that Dr. Brown does in her role as a faculty advisor has greatly impacted Sigma Tau Delta members, the English department at Langston University, and the Langston town community.

More from Footnotes: January 19, 2021

Virtual Convention Update
Sigma Tau Delta Webinars
Outstanding Literary Arts Journal Award Winners
Regional Virtual Events

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