Joplin, MO (SNS) – Three students from the English Department at Missouri Southern State University were invited to present papers – with two receiving awards – during Sigma Tau Delta’s 2015 International Convention, held March 18-21 at the Hyatt Regency in Albuquerque, N.M.

The annual convention is for members of Sigma Tau Delta, the international English honor society.

“It’s a huge convention for members of the honor society,” said Dr. Holly McSpadden, faculty sponsor for the Missouri Southern chapter. “They have thousands of submissions each year and only a few hundred are invited to present.”

Kristine Steddum – a senior from Webb City – received first place in the Common Reader category. She received a $600 cash award for “Our Bones Speak: A Poetic Response,” based on Simon J. Ortiz’s “From Sand Creek.”

Jessica Witman – a junior from Carl Junction – received third place and a $150 cash prize in the same category for her response, entitled “The Colonel.”

Joshua Horton – a senior from Joplin – was invited to present his essay “Math to Convey Terror,” based on the works of horror writer H.P. Lovecraft.

The Missouri Southern chapter will hold its annual book sale from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday, April 1, through Friday, April 3, on the second floor of Billingsly Student Center.

“We’ll have books from all genres for sale,” said McSpadden. “The sale helps raise money to pay the costs for students to attend the annual convention.”

Sigma Tau Delta has more than 870 chapters in the United States and abroad, with approximately 9,000 members inducted annually. The Society strives to confer distinction for high achievement in English language and literature in undergraduate, graduate and professional studies, exhibit high standards of academic excellence and promote exemplary character and good fellowship among its members.