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WBC Students Present Essays at English Convention


Two Williams Baptist College students traveled to Savannah, Ga., this spring to deliver scholarly essays at the national Sigma Tau Delta convention.  Senior English education majors Bailey Layman and Adam Eckard were selected with college students from across the country to present works they had originally written for classes at WBC.

Professor Jerry Gibbens, chair of the Williams English department, and Dr. Steven Harthorn, assistant professor of English at WBC, accompanied the students and served as moderators at a session of the conference.

Simga Tau Delta is the International English Honor Society, and it seeks to exhibit high standards of academic excellence while promoting exemplary character and interest in literature and the English language.

In order for a student to submit work for possible convention presentation, the assignment must first be recommended by one of the student’s professors.

“Our students’ papers were chosen after being juried for presentation,” noted Gibbens.  “Sigma Tau Delta is highly selective and being chosen is a great honor for Bailey and Adam.”

Layman, a Birch Tree, Mo., native, presented an analysis of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, which she had written for WBC’s Studies in Shakespeare class.  Eckard, who is from Cave City, Ark., delivered a paper that describes a district market day in Belize, which was an original assignment for the Systems of Grammar class at Williams.

“Both Bailey and Adam are extremely capable, creative English majors who are enthusiastic about their writing and about continuing to develop their analytical skills as literary scholars,” added Dr. Sheri Midkiff, professor of English at WBC.  “Our department is very proud of the achievements of these two young people.”

Layman and Eckard were honored for their outstanding achievements during the Williams Sigma Tau Delta Induction Banquet, which was held in March.

“The Sigma Tau Delta convention was such an amazing opportunity,” said Layman.  “Not only did I get to hear great speakers, but I got to explore Savannah.  I especially want to thank the English department at WBC for making the whole experience enjoyable.  Professor Gibbens and Dr. Harthorn were great tour guides and made the trip seem like a vacation.”

“Presenting at the conference really was a great experience,” concluded Eckard.  “Knowing that my paper was specifically chosen from a pool of national contenders exemplifies the quality education I have received from Williams and its English department.”

WBC is a four-year, liberal arts college at Walnut Ridge.

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