International English honor society - Sigma Tau Delta From August Benefield's 'The Garden' Sigma Tau Delta students with author Lucia Perillo From Amy Pollard's 'Eden'
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Faculty sponsors

The two faculty sponsors for Sigma Tau Delta in the SMU English department are Dr. Julia Chavez and Dr. Jamie Olson. Past chapter presidents include Ericka Manthey, Kayleen Kondrack, Amber Graves, and Toni King.


Do you Sigma Tau Delta?

Find out more about becoming a member of Sigma Tau Delta. Contact Dr. Julia Chavez or Dr. Jamie Olson for details.

About the Kappa Upsilon chapter of Sigma Tau Delta


Department overviewEnglish (M., m.)Writing (m.) Les Bailey Writers Series Sigma Tau Delta


Sigma Tau Delta, the international English honor society, was founded in 1924 at Dakota Wesleyan University. Its mission is to foster all aspects of the discipline of English, including literature, language, and writing; provide cultural stimulation on college campuses; promote interest in literature and the English language in nearby communities; and confer distinction for high achievement in the discipline of English.

Kappa Upsilon, our local chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, was founded at Saint Martin's in 1968 by the late Dr. Les Bailey. It is one of more than 800 active chapters in the U.S. and abroad, each of which promotes exemplary character and good fellowship among its members. Students who join the Kappa Upsilon chapter of Sigma Tau Delta make a commitment to serve society by fostering literacy and sharing their enthusiasm for the English language and its literature.

At Saint Martin's University, the members of Sigma Tau Delta have kept actively engaged in organizing literary events on campus, including a marathon reading to mark Charles Dickens' bicentenary, creative writing workshops, and public readings by such authors as Lucia Perillo, Ngozi Achebe, and Bruce Beasley. On a regular basis, the chapter does fundraising both to support its own activities, including the literary journal SMUniverse, and to make donations to charities. Members have also been involved in community service, such as reading stories to children at local bookstores.

Nearly every spring, Kappa Upsilon sends one or more of its members to present papers at the society's annual convention, which in recent years has been  held in St. Louis, Philadelphia, New Orleans, and Portland. At the Portland convention in 2013, our chapter was honored with a plaque commemorating the 45th anniversary of our founding.

Membership in Sigma Tau Delta is open to students of all majors, and the Kappa Upsilon chapter typically takes applications once each semester. To be considered eligible to apply, students must have maintained a B average in their coursework and taken two English courses beyond the first-year writing sequence. Benefits of chapter membership include a certificate, copies of the two Sigma Tau Delta journals (the Review and the Rectangle), an official society pin, eligibility for scholarships, an honor cord to be worn at commencement, and the opportunity to submit works for consideration to the annual convention, the two journals, and various online publications.

College of Arts and Sciences