Graduation is an exciting time when hard work finally pays off and you receive the degree(s) into which you have poured so much blood, sweat, and tears—make sure to tag Sigma Tau Delta in your graduation posts on social media so that we can celebrate with you! However, graduation also ushers in a time of nervous new beginnings and sad farewells. Coupled with the mixed anxieties of a new home, entering the job market, or beginning graduate school you must bid adieu to your campus community and the friends who made it your home. Amid these goodbyes you may rest assured that Sigma Tau Delta represents one portion of your life that can move forward with you, and today, as a fellow alumna, I’d like to share with you some of the alumni opportunities available to aid you in continuing to engage with Sigma Tau Delta post graduation.
Going to Graduate School?
For those of you embarking on the treacherous journey that is graduate school—may the odds be ever in your favor!—your Society transition can be all but seamless. Check to see if your new institution has an active Sigma Tau Delta chapter. If so, once the semester begins reach out to your new chapter’s Advisor to learn about any chapter-specific membership requirements (I was surprised by local dues at my new graduate institution) and prepare to dive into your new home. If you happen to be transferring to an institution lacking an active chapter, you always can reach out to faculty about reactivating an old chapter or creating a new one. However, your continued involvement with the Society is not dependent upon a faculty member committing to lead a chapter into greatness.
Additionally, several scholarship opportunities are available to our graduate school and alumni members:
- Continuing Education Scholarship: Alumni members are eligible to apply for up to $2,500 to further their education on a part-time or non-degree-seeking basis in programs of study that are consistent with Sigma Tau Delta’s mission.
- Graduate Scholarship: Sigma Tau Delta offers the Graduate Scholarship in honor of Edwin L. Stockton, Jr., Past-President, who served for 18 years. Members are eligible for this scholarship if they will be enrolled in an English-related graduate program during fall of the next academic year.
We also have a number of awards, grants, and internship opportunities for graduate student members of Sigma Tau Delta:
- Scholarly Paper Awards for Graduate Students: Sigma Tau Delta will award up to $250 for the best graduate student scholarly paper presented at a non-Sigma Tau Delta professional, academic conference. The paper must be on an English-related subject.
- Sigma Tau Delta Journals (Publication): The Sigma Tau Delta journals publish annually the best writing and criticism of undergraduate and graduate active chapter members of the Sigma Tau Delta English Honor Society.
- Sigma Tau Delta Journals (Awards): The best writing is chosen, from around 1,000 submissions, for publication. Not only do these publications go to chapters worldwide, but they also honor the best writing in each category, with six awards totaling $2,500.
- Lambda Iota Tau (LIT) Research Grant: LIT Research Grants are designed to support individual members at the undergraduate or graduate level as they complete original research that furthers the goals of the Society. Grant money of up to $1,000, with up to $500 for runners-up, will support travel to and use of archives or collections important to their research.
- Sigma Tau Delta Journal Internship: A paid three-month internship opportunity is available with the Sigma Tau Delta Journals. This opportunity will provide a minimum of two Sigma Tau Delta student members (undergraduate or graduate) with editorial and publication experience.
- Penguin Random House Internship: Priority Selection Application: The Penguin Random House internship program offers candidates the opportunity to work in the Penguin Random House Adult & Children’s divisions, attend weekly professional development programming, and learn about the world of publishing.
- W. W. Norton & Company Internship: Priority Selection Application: Sigma Tau Delta is partnering with the W. W. Norton college division to offer Sigma Tau Delta students the opportunity to gain experience in college/university publishing through a 12-week internship program.
Beginning a Teaching Career?
Sigma Tau Delta offers awards and grants for Sigma Tau Delta graduates who are embarking on a new career as an educator:
- P.C. Somerville Awards for Future Teachers: P.C. Somerville Awards, named in honor of Sigma Tau Delta’s first President, are for active members who will begin their first year of teaching elementary, middle, or high school English. Applicants should demonstrate academic scholarship, chapter service, and an aptitude for teaching to apply for this $2,000 award.
- Classroom Library Grants: These grants are offered to our alumni members who are early-career English teachers and have been teaching in a Middle School or High School classroom for five years or fewer. That is, applicants may or may not be recent college graduates; the Classroom Library Grant is intended to help new Middle School and High School teachers, whether in their first years out of college or in the first years of a second career, to build a classroom library for their students.
Discord: Sigma Tau Delta’s Online Community
In an effort to further extend the alumni community and to promote networking and conversation, the Central Office and Alumni Representative, DeAndra Miller, have come together to create a Discord. We encourage recent and upcoming graduates to join our server and begin building community for benefits such as job-searching, talent-swapping, community-building, and fun!
This Discord is new, but we believe with time it will continue to grow and be a way for you to continue your lifetime connection to the Society. It will also keep you apprised of scholarships and awards that are still available to you, as well as conference and publishing opportunities within and outside of the Society.
And of course, joining is absolutely free!
We can’t wait to see you there!
Beyond the Ivory Tower
In addition to joining the Sigma Tau Delta Discord, all members are encouraged to follow Sigma Tau Delta on social media. Sigma Tau Delta publishes a wide variety of interesting, Society-related content across all our social media platforms; however, several of these platforms are more closely attuned to alumni needs.
- LinkedIn: The Sigma Tau Delta LinkedIn company page is the perfect environment to share advice on the job market, career opportunities for English majors, suggestions for nailing a job interview, and tips and tricks on indy publishing. Additionally, LinkedIn’s extensive networking platform and job listings make it the perfect resource for entering the job market and helping you climb that proverbial ladder.
- Alumni Facebook Group: This group is open to all Sigma Tau Delta alumni as a means of maintaining Society ties. The group posts field-related articles as well as updates on Society events such as the convention, job opportunities, advice on the job market, and publishing opportunities.
- English Careers Blog Series: Now that you’ve graduated, consider submitting a blog to WORDY by Nature to share with your fellow Sigma Tau Delta members how you are using your English degree. Contrary to popular belief, teaching, while a completely valid and laudable pursuit, is not the only career path available to English majors. Sharing real stories from English majors on the diverse ways they are using their degree helps to validate future generations of English majors in their decision to pursue this course of study.
Finally, before you graduate make sure your current Chapter Advisor updates the email address you have entered in Write Away, the online chapter management system. Alumni with current personal email addresses entered in Write Away will receive email correspondence from Sigma Tau Delta, including our bi-monthly Footnotes newsletter and emails about our Society blog, WORDY by Nature.
Sigma Tau Delta wishes you the best of luck as you move on, and looks forward to continuing our relationship with you.
What are some of your unique or exciting post-graduation plans?