We want to update you about our planning for the 2021 Sigma Tau Delta Virtual Convention. The current pandemic has forced colleges and universities to rethink their goals and to reimagine ways to focus on the essentials of their mission, and we are doing similar work in reimagining a successful 2021 Sigma Tau Delta Virtual Convention.
In August, we sent a survey to Chapter Advisors to gauge their interest in several aspects of the convention. We gathered some valuable information from that survey showing some interest in student events and in workshops for students and faculty and considerable interest in activities outside of the convention proper, such as scholarship information sessions. However, we saw no clear-cut preference in a particular mode of student presentation and much uncertainty about the ability of students and Advisors to plan for the year.
We tried to sort out the issues involved in preserving some version of traditional paper presentations since they are so integral to our normal expectations of students and conference participation, but we could not come up with a scenario that seemed workable.
After much discussion and further investigation into the technical challenges, privacy issues, and potential audience benefits involved in trying to maintain traditional paper presentations, the Sigma Tau Delta Board has made the decision to forego paper presentations and focus instead upon roundtables. Doing so will allow us to organize roundtables to encourage student participation within the constraints of time, technology, and Central Office supervision that we must keep in mind as we continue to plan for a successful virtual convention. Encouraging students to engage with and learn from other students has always been the goal of our conventions, and this format will further that goal. Our belief is that this focus on roundtable discussions will allow for the exchange of ideas that is one of the hallmarks of every Sigma Tau Delta convention.
The englishconvention.org website has been updated:
- Submission Guidelines for Roundtables—Submissions will open on Monday October 12, and close November 9 at 11:59 p.m. CST.
- The 2021 Common Reader, Rough Beauty: Forty Seasons of Mountain Living, by Karen Auvinen; and
- Information about our featured convention speakers, Karen Auvinen and Michael Branch.
Details about the full program will be announced in the coming weeks. Please look to the convention website for ongoing announcements. We hope to make this first ever Sigma Tau Delta Virtual Convention one of the highlights of your academic year.
Glen Brewster and Lexey Bartlett
Sigma Tau Delta 2021 International Convention Co-Chairs