WKU Department of English 2nd Annual Convocation
- Author: Melissa Rush
- Author: Monday, September 10th, 2018
From left to right: Delaney Holt, Samantha Hutchens, Alicyn Newman, and Jessica McCormick.
During the hectic first few weeks of school, the Department of English provided an oasis of laughter, information, and motivation for English students by hosting their 2nd Annual Convocation.
Students at all levels, from freshmen to graduate students, attended the event, which was held at the rustic Faculty House behind Cherry Hall. Here, the students discovered the many opportunities offered by the English Department. Dr. Rob Hale, department head, welcomed a variety of speakers, including University President Timothy Caboni and students from different degree paths, who outlined career opportunities available to English majors.
Dr. Caboni extolled the value of an English degree in today’s society and job market. “The ability to read well, express oneself, and communicate effectively,” he explained, can aid in achieving a lucrative career after graduation. He expressed a theme that would be repeated throughout the afternoon: avail yourself of every opportunity available to you.
Clubs and other extracurricular activities of interest to English majors were introduced, as were contact persons for students interested in obtaining more information. The breadth of available activities was evident, and included the English Club/Goldenrod, the Professional Writing Club (sponsored by Kirkpatrick Price), the Film Club, and the Korean Pop Culture Club. Academic opportunities such as Sigma Tau Delta (the honor society for English majors), and the student publications The Ashen Egg and Zephyrus were also highlighted.
Dillon Miller spoke eloquently about his experience studying abroad in Scotland last spring. His lively descriptions piqued the interest of the audience in exploring the Study Abroad and Study Away programs. Senior Delaney Holt shared the excitement of the Undergraduate Research Conference, and Allie Millay, a two-time participant in the Internship Program, shared how her time in these placements has been valuable to her development leading to graduation.
Alicyn Newman spoke of the Mary Ellen & Jim Wayne Miller Celebration, a Creative Writing Series; and Rachel McCoy described many departmental scholarships available to WKU students.
Students from all five areas of the English department-- Creative Writing, Literature, Professional Writing, English for Secondary Teachers, And TESL, shared common-sense advice for success in students’ academic pursuits: talk to each other and your professors, enjoy your time on the Hill, take chances, and, perhaps most important of all, don’t be afraid. Cherry Hall is filled with talented, caring, and inspiring educators and a distinguished faculty.
Dr. Hale closed the Convocation with an emotional reading of “Notecard,” a poem written by the late Professor Mary Ellen Miller. Dr. Miller was a WKU Poet Laureate who passed away in June of this year after teaching for over 50 years at WKU.
Students were encouraged to take copies of The Ashen Egg and Zephyrus for enjoyment and inspiration. Autographed copies of books were given away as door prizes throughout the day. Professors mingled with new and current students alike, sharing encouragement. All students were invited to join and participate in all the available programs. Popworks, the local gourmet popsicle company provided delicious frozen treats for students and faculty to cap off the celebration.