The deadline to submit to the Sigma Tau Delta 2018 International Convention in Cincinnati, OH, is Monday, October, 30 at 5 p.m. Central Daylight Time (CDT). In this week’s blog, High Plains Student Representative Mercedes Lubbers shares her experience of submitting a paper to and attending the 2017 Convention. Time is running out, so if you’ve been on the fence about whether to submit, read on to learn a bit about the value of presenting at conferences as an undergraduate.
When I first started down my degree path of a BA in English Language and Literature I had no intentions of applying for, or attending, the Sigma Tau Delta convention as an undergraduate. In my mind, convention was something for graduate students or those whose papers were much better than mine. As I progressed toward my senior year, my teachers encouraged me to apply for graduate school and submit to convention. They told me that presenting at the Sigma Tau Delta convention would look good on a CV for graduate school and let me know that I had nothing to lose if my paper was not accepted—although they were certain it would be.
Still slightly unconvinced, I submitted a paper on Henry James. I had no confidence it would be accepted, but it was! I couldn’t believe it! This was a paper I had written while helping direct a high school debate tournament. A paper I had written for a class—and it had been accepted? I was over the moon. I told everyone I could think of.
The thrill and excitement of having a paper accepted to present at a convention paled, however, in comparison to attending the event. There is so much to learn and, often, it is an opportunity to travel. For me, attending the Sigma Tau Delta 2017 International Convention was my first time ever out of Kansas. I traveled all the way to Louisville, KY; I ate food I would have never tried before; I listened to other papers that enlightened me and peaked my interest. At this convention, I decided to take another leap. I applied for the High Plains Student Representative position—and now here I am. Toto and I may not have been in Kansas anymore, but we had found our people!
If you’re hesitating to submit a paper to convention—if you believe you don’t have what it takes—I encourage you to submit anyway. We cannot grow and we cannot learn if we always let our fears hold us back. Faculty members, undergraduate students, graduate students, and more all attend the convention. You’ll have the chance to try local food and you’ll listen to ideas you might not have previously considered. You may feel a sense of belonging or find that you love presenting. More importantly, it will help you gain confidence—not to mention it will look great on your CV! I encourage you all to take a chance and apply for the 2018 Convention. Presenting at convention is one of the best experiences you can have in academia. Here are some tips for submitting to convention:
- Search the website for the submission deadline (Monday, October 30, 2017, 5 p.m. CDT).
- Review the requirements for submission.
- What is the theme? Do they require that your paper fit the theme or can it be general?
- Review your paper or abstract for spelling errors.
- Have friends and professors read your work for errors or areas for improvement.
- Review your paper one last time!
- Submit before the deadline after making sure your submission meets requirements!
Good luck! And I hope you enjoy your first convention experience as much as I did!
Submit to Convention!
Submissions are due Monday, October 30, 5:00 p.m. CDT
Student Representative, High Plains Region, 2017-2018
Alpha Theta Omicron Chapter
Wichita State University, Wichita, KS