Saint Martin’s junior to present two papers at international English conference

March 5, 2010

Lacey, Washington – Saint Martin’s junior Katie Hawkins will present two papers at the Sigma Tau Delta conference on March 19-20 in St. Louis, Missouri. Sigma Tau Delta is the international English Honor Society.

The two papers are critical essays that Hawkins wrote for her English classes as a sophomore at Saint Martin’s. In the first, entitled “Dante’s Use of St. Bernard’s Contemplative Process in The Divine Comedy,” she examines St. Bernard of Clairvaux’s process of divine contemplation and applies it to the structure of the entire poem. In the second, entitled “Getting to the Top: The Split of Identity in Capitalistic Society,” she discusses the expected role and sacrifice of successful men and women in the capitalistic business world as seen in Caryl Churchill’s play “Top Girls” and David Mamet’s “Glengarry Glen Ross.”

“I am very much looking forward to the conference; I consider it a great honor,” says Hawkins. “I’m glad that I will be able to represent [Saint Martin’s] chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, our English department, and the university as a whole.”

Hawkins, who sings in the University Chorale and is an editor of the student newspaper, The Belltower, enjoys both creative and academic writing. A member of Saint Martin’s women’s basketball team, she was also recently named to the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Basketball Academic all-conference team for the second year in a row. Her long term goals include going into publishing, hopefully as an editor.

Hawkins credits Saint Martin’s English professor Stephen Mead for pushing her writing to the next level, especially in the areas of literary analysis and criticism. Both papers that she is presenting were written for classes taught by Professor Mead, one for an Introduction to Drama class and the other for a class on Dante and Chaucer. Hawkins is also grateful for the support she received from English professor Jamie Olson, the faculty advisor for Saint Martin’s Sigma Tau Delta chapter. Professor Olson encouraged all of the chapter members to submit work to the convention.

“Katie brings to her studies a craftsmen’s work ethic, an athlete’s persistence, and a scholar’s imagination that is always receptive,” says Mead. “She is always trying out new ideas, new methods, and it’s all self-motivated. To my mind, Katie typifies the Benedictine balance of body and mind, meditation, and action.”

Adds Olson, “Last year, when the English Department decided to revive the local chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, Katie was one of several students who worked hard to get us organized. Now, she has again led the way by being the first in the group to travel to the society’s annual convention. Scholarly opportunities like this one are rare at the undergraduate level, and I hope that other English majors become inspired by Katie’s example and follow in her footsteps.”

For more information on Sigma Tau Delta and the convention, visit:

Saint Martin’s University is an independent four-year, Catholic, coeducational university located on a 380-acre wooded campus in Lacey, Washington. Established in 1895 by the Catholic Order of Saint Benedict, the University is one of 18 Benedictine colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and the only one west of the Rocky Mountains. Saint Martin’s University prepares students for successful lives through its 21 majors and six graduate programs spanning the liberal arts, business, education and engineering. Saint Martin’s welcomes 1,250 students from many ethnic and religious backgrounds to its main campus, and 650 more to its five extension campuses located at Joint Base Fort Lewis-McChord, Everett College, Centralia College, and Tacoma Community College.

For additional information:

Genevieve Canceko Chan
Director of communications & marketing
Saint Martin’s University