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TCNJ students honored at 2019 international English honor society convention

Ally McHugh ’20, Jennifer Johnson MAT ’19, and Kristen Capano ’18

Two current students and one TCNJ alumna won cash prizes at this year’s Sigma Tau Delta Convention in St. Louis, Missouri at the end of March.

Sigma Tau Delta — the international English honor society — recognizes undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate achievement in English language and literature.

Twenty-four TCNJ students and two alumni attended the convention, accompanied by English faculty members Felicia Steele, Diane Steinberg, and Glenn Steinberg

Kelly Vena ’19, co-president of TCNJ’s chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, has attended the convention every year since she was inducted into the organization as a sophomore.

It is refreshing to share a leadership experience with so many peers — inside and outside of TCNJ — who share my love of literature,” she says. “The conversations, debates, and discussions that come out of the convention are so thought-provoking.”

Vena participated in several events at this year’s convention, including a roundtable discussion on fan-fiction, a poetry panel where she presented her own work, and lectures from featured speakers Nnedi Okorafor and Tess Taylor.

But with all of these opportunities comes a great deal of hard work and preparation, often with the support of faculty mentors.

TCNJ’s English Department is one of the greatest support systems that I have,” Vena says. ”The professors are encouraging, helpful, passionate, accommodating, and so intelligent about their subject matter.”

And all of this support and dedication paid off. Two current students and one alumna received awards at the Red and Black Gala on the final night of the convention.

Jennifer Johnson ’19, third place award ($200) in the Critical Essays: American Literature category for her essay “Harriet Jacobs: Invisibility as Power”

Ally McHugh ’20, second place award ($200) in the Common Reader: Critical category for her paper “Aligning Humans & Nature in ‘Elsewhere Flood’”

Kristen Capano ’18, third place ($100) Alumni Award for her paper “Fanny in the Attic: Austen Defies Femininity”


—Alexandra Mauriello ’19

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