Santa Clara University

English department

Sigma Tau Delta

By Simone Billings, Faculty Moderator


groupThe Santa Clara chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, the international English Honor Society, again has had noteworthy activity during AY 2010-2011.

In Winter term, the chapter held a Pizza with the Profs at Round Table Pizza Parlor and enjoyed camaraderie with fellow students and several professors – a good showing all-round. Also during Winter term, the chapter hosted a Career Panel for which three alumni at different stages of their careers came to discuss their trajectories after graduation. Zach Finley, graduate of Harvard Law School, now is a senior associate in Orrick’s San Francisco office and a member of the Corporate and Global Finance Groups. Christina Fialho worked for Upwardly Global - a nonprofit program aimed to help skilled, work-authorized immigrants and refugees to find employment in the U.S. She is now studying law at SCU in order to become a legal advocate for forced immigrants. And Tony Walsh had just returned from teaching English in Japan for a year and told students how he had secured that position.

During Spring break, senior Hilary Titus and juniors Julianne Parayo and Tanya Schmidt represented Santa Clara University at the March 2011 convention in Pittsburgh, PA. Our panel on Beyond Words was on the first day, Thursday, with each student reflecting on lessons learned while studying or working abroad: Julianne in the SCU London Fall study abroad, Tanya in Peru on a summer Donovan fellowship as she taught English in primary school and worked at a hospice run by Mother Theresa’s order, and Hilary in El Salvador during the Fall SCU program.

The individual presentations followed during the convention: Tanya presenting her critical essay comparing two Spanish films; Julianne presenting her critical paper on Salinger; and then, on the final day, Tanya read her poetry about her experiences in teaching children in Peru while Hilary read her creative nonfiction on some initial experiences in El Salvador. All represented our chapter and our school fabulously! On the last night, we attended the awards banquet and were able to hear Dave Eggers read and have him sign our copies of What Is the What. A fine convention.

The chapter inducted 27 new members this year, so the future of the chapter seems to be secure as it looks forward to another successful year in 2010-2011 under the leadership of continuing president, Tanya Schmidt. Congratulations to all—our 25 graduating seniors and our continuing members—for their myriad achievements and their achievements to come.

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