WKU Department of English Hosts 4th Annual English Majors Convocation over Zoom
- Olivia Alsup
- Wednesday, September 9th, 2020
On Friday, September 4, the WKU Department of English held its 4th annual English Majors Convocation over Zoom. The convocation welcomed both new and returning students to the department by highlighting all of the exciting opportunities available to students in English, Film, and Gender & Women’s Studies. Department Head Dr. Alison Langdon kicked off the event to the 55 students and faculty in attendance before opening up the floor to current students and alumni to present the different clubs, organizations, and annual events held this year.
Within the department, there are many clubs that are still meeting virtually this semester. English Club, Professional Writing Club, Film Club, Korean Pop Culture Club, Sigma Tau Delta (International English Honors Society), and the Women’s Writers Club were all highlighted throughout the event with club’s information and websites included in the chat of the Zoom call.
Senior Abigail Raley notes that right now clubs are “an excellent opportunity to connect with people off campus,” and added “It’s a good way to meet people within the department, especially if you’re a new student.
There are also many publication opportunities available to students through The Ashen Egg, Zephyrus, the Talisman, the Undergraduate Research Conference, and the Mary Ellen & Jim Wayne Miller Celebration of Writing.
“It’s about much more than succeeding [in being published],” says senior Sarah Lyons about submitting to The Ashen Egg. “You get to build career credentials and resumé building, but you also get to enjoy a really enriching editing process. You get to appreciate and learn one-on-one with professors and have those interactions. You just get to become a better writer over time.”
Alongside publication, students can share their writing with others and hear work from guest presenters in the department by participating in events such as Goldenrod, Open Mic Nights, the Creative Writing Reading Series, and Messages in a Bottle.
Current students also shared academic opportunities they have had as students in the English department. Cameron Fontes detailed his exciting experiences with the Study Abroad Program and strongly encouraged students to consider studying abroad once the program reopens. Joseph Shoulders discussed the variety of scholarships available within the department. Fallon Russell and Lauren Sheppard spoke about the Department of English Internship Program and how the skills they developed during their time as interns will transfer to their respective career pathways.
Students of each concentration within the English department—Literature, Creative Writing, Professional Writing, TESL, English for Secondary Teachers, and Gender & Women’s Studies— provided information to prospective English majors and encouraged students to take advantage of all the opportunities available to them.
Lauren Sheppard reflected on her time in English for Secondary Teachers saying, “When I began this course of study, I was unsure of my chosen path, but as I progressed, I found that not only was the work fulfilling, but that I felt a genuine calling to the profession. Every challenge I’ve faced, every lesson planned I’ve created, every student I helped has put me one step closer to fulfilling my ultimate dream. I feel really lucky to be a part of this program.”
Although the switch from in-person to online was a daunting task for an event of this size, faculty and speakers kept the energy high with prize drawings throughout the convocation giving students opportunities to win books and WKU English goodie bags.
Dr. Langdon said of the event, “Even though we would prefer to be face to face, and there’s a little higher energy when you’re face to face, it was great to see all of those students there and faculty there. Those folks who were speaking about the various opportunities and activities did a fantastic job.”
The convocation concluded with a socially distanced Meet & Greet with faculty and students on FAC lawn where students were encouraged to find out more about all of the great opportunities available in WKU English.
“It was definitely odd seeing everyone in tiny boxes on my laptop screen instead of enjoying popsicles outside of the faculty house,” said Senior Fallon Russell. “But I’m glad that the event still got to happen so that we could share information about opportunities within the department.”
Students who were unable to attend the convocation can view a recording of the event here along with the archived chat. For more information about activates and events within the department, visit www.wku.edu/english or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.