By: Michidael Ceard
Five student inductees of The Alpha Alpha Xi – Barry's chapter of international English honors society - Sigma Tau Delta, were honored with the inspiring keynote address of best-selling author Meredith McArdle at their Nov. 4 ceremony in Thompson Hall’s Gato Gallery.
Barry president Dr. Mike Allen, University Provost Dr. John Murray, and Department Chair Dr. Laura Alonso-Gallo of the English and foreign languages department showed their support for their scholars at the event.
Students must complete 30 undergraduate credit hours and two literature or professional writing classes with a grade average of a B or higher just to receive an invitation into this prestigious society.
They must also have had an overall grade point average of a 3.0 and pay the one-time membership fee of $50.
The ceremony was presided over by professor emerita of English studies, Dr. Lillian Schanfield, who has been a longtime advisor of the honors society at Barry. During the event, she shared information on the significance of the organization at the university.
“We publish a literary magazine called What Oft Was Thought every two years,” said Dr. Schanfield.
The literary magazine publishes the work of Barry students and members from Sigma Tau Delta decide what entries from the annual university-wide literary contest are included.
She also provided information on the history of the national organization and other contributions that the chapter has made to the university like seasonal literary-based events and the encouragement of literary scholarship at national conferences.
Co-advisor Dr. Andrea Greenbaum conducted the induction of the honorees along with two chapter members.
Inductee Viktoria Velika, a junior English literature student, expressed that she loved reading and writing as a child and her love for letters made her proud to receive an invitation.
“It almost made me cry,” said Velika. “I’m very happy, I want to be a published author in the future.”
After, students in attendance listened to the inspiring words of Meredith McArdle, notable fiction author of the Amazon bestseller “The Eighth Guardian.” She spent months learning how to write literature by combing through her local library during her maternity leave from her career as an attorney at a law firm.
According to McArdle, if one has a passion for writing, they should just dive into it.
“Pick up a pen, put it to paper or pick up your computer and just start,” said McArdle.
“Even if you don’t know where you are going at first, the best way to learn how to write is to actually write. You can write something that’s not very good the first time but the more that you do it and the more that you practice, the better you are going to get.”
McArdle’s word’s resonated with Velika during the induction.
“Her words were very inspiring,” said Velika. “After today, I’m going to practice my writing and read before I sleep.”
The induction ceremony ended with a small meet and greet between English and Spanish majors where refreshments were provided.