‘English Night’ Celebrates Student Excellence

Fall 2018’s cohort of Sigma Tau Delta inductees.

Written by Jordan Corey

WILLIMANTIC, Conn. — The English Department held its end-of-semester celebration of student excellence on Dec. 5 in the Betty R. Tipton Room. “English Night” featured an awards ceremony, induction into the Sigma Tau Delta honor society, and student presentations.

“The English Department has been hosting English Night at the end of each semester for decades,” said Barbara Little-Liu, English professor and department chair. “We want to recognize the interesting, innovative and high-quality scholarship and creative work our students are doing in their capstone courses.

Mikayla Fish presents during the poster session of English Night.

“Additionally,” she added, “the various awards, scholarships and other forms of recognition give us a chance to celebrate all of our outstanding students, from freshmen to seniors.”

The Constance Campo Memorial Scholarship was given to Kay Daniels ’19. The scholarship was established in memory of Constance Campo, a long-time member of the English Department staff. The scholarship is for a non-traditional student who has demonstrated excellence in their studies and has shown sensitivity to gender and diversity issues as Campo did.

The Alexander “Sandy” Taylor Memorial Scholarship was given to Keara Berisso ’19. The scholarship was launched by family, friends and colleagues of Sandy Taylor, who was a scholar, Eastern professor and publisher. The award is for an English major, particularly someone who demonstrates a commitment to peace and human rights and who shows an interest in poetry.

Recipients of the First Year Writing Awards were Abby Wilson ’22 and Victoria Bryer ’21. These are given to students in the “College Writing” and “College Writing Plus” courses whose writing is innovative, creative, well-researched or uniquely articulated.

Monica Muriel presents her senior seminar project to a large audience.

Following the awards ceremony, 32 students were inducted into the Sigma Tau Delta international honor society. In order to qualify, English students must have completed a minimum of four 200-level English courses, a minimum average GPA of 3.5 in English courses, and an overall 3.0 GPA. Members are eligible for select scholarships, internship opportunities and other benefits.

English Night closed with senior seminar presentations from the capstone course “The Rhetoric of Crime.” “The students engaged an important issue: the ways that crime is represented in the media and in fiction,” explained Professor Rita Malenczyk of the seminar.

English Department Chair Barbara Little-Liu gives the English Night opening remarks.

Monica Muriel ’19 presented “The Misrepresentation of Crime in the Media and Its Detrimental Effects on the Public,” and Ashlee Shefer ’19 presented “The Safest Place on Earth.” Following presentations, English Night attendees engaged in a poster session, viewing senior projects by Mikayla Fish ’19, Jolee Iannantuoni ’19, Zoe Stephen ’19, Jessica Maloney ’19 and Alec Taylor ’19.

“Over the years, we’ve expanded English Night to include work not just from the capstone seminar classes, but also posters from students completing their capstone in independent directed research,” said Liu. “Eastern’s English Department is blessed with so many talented, intelligent and engaged students. I’m always happy and excited to host this recognition of their accomplishments.”