Organizations and Opportunities

Graduate Research Symposium
Every spring the Graduate School at WCU sponsors the Graduate Research Symposium & Graduate Research Competition, an opportunity to develop professional skills in public speaking. Many graduate students in English present their research at this Symposium, an important first step in professionalization.

Students who then wish to take their scholarship to larger conferences can apply for the Graduate Student Research Travel Award.

Literary Festival
In March or April of every year, the English Department hosts a Literary Festival that brings luminaries of the writing world to Cullowhee. Students have opportunities to meet with these writers in small groups - a graduate student whose ten-person class met with poet Nikky Finney for an hour and then went to her evening reading called this occasion "a highlight of my life"!

Graduate Student Association (GSA)
The GSA offers opportunities to network and have fun with other graduate students on campus. It offers workshops, events, travel grants, and more to help graduate students succeed.

Sigma Tau Delta
Sigma Tau Delta’s primary purpose is to confer distinction upon outstanding students in English. Sigma Tau Delta is one of the largest members of the Association of College Honor Societies, with over 600 active chapters.

Benefits of membership include recognition of excellence, scholarship and publishing opportunities, and a one-year subscription to two journals and the newsletter. Members have the opportunity to present papers at the annual Sigma Tau Delta convention and publish creative and/or traditional scholarship in the Sigma Tau Delta Rectangle (creative) and Sigma Tau Delta Review (traditional scholarship). Members can apply for national scholarships and get involved in local chapter events, such as assistance with the WCU English Department Spring Literary Festival. All members receive a pin, a membership certificate, and honor cords.

We invite applications for membership in the Theta Sigma Chapter of Sigma Tau Delta from WCU graduate students and undergraduate English majors and minors early in the Spring Semester.

Membership Requirements

  1. Completion of at least 3 semesters of college credit (45 semester hours)
  2. An English major or minor
  3. Completion of at least 12 credit hours in English language or literature
  4. Completion of at least 6 hours of English language or literature courses at WCU
  5. At least a 3.0 GPA in English courses
  6. At least a 3.2 cumulative overall GPA
  7. Graduate students who have completed at least 9 hours of graduate English courses at WCU and who have at least a 3.8 GPA both in their English courses and overall are also eligible for membership.
  8. An induction fee of $50 (Please make checks payable to WCU English Department/Sigma Tau Delta.)

For more information, please contact faculty sponsors: Mae Claxton (mclaxton@wcu.edu) or Sandra M. Saunders (saunders@wcu.edu).

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