A Call to Excellence for English Majors: Photogallery

English ConferenceEnglish major Anna DeBoer ’16 recently attended the annual English Department Graduate Student Conference held in honor of Professor Emeritus Dr. Daniel Diephouse. She shares her experience of the event in the story below.

This Valentine’s Day, Trinity’s English Department celebrated higher education with its fourth English Graduate Student Conference. The two-day event began Friday, February 14, and featured presentations by alumni, a conference writing workshop, and dinner. Saturday’s events included a brunch and discussion centered around current Trinity students considering graduate school.

As a whole, the conference acts as an encouragement to students, demonstrating ways in which we can use a degree in English. On an individual level, it encourages us to be advocates of our own thinking and writing, to go beyond what we think we can do. It is a call to excellence.

It encourages us to be advocates of our own thinking and writing, to go beyond what we think we can do. It is a call to excellence.
– Anna DeBoer ’16

Friday afternoon, I walked into the conference room. I saw many familiar faces—classmates and professors. There were a few others who were not so familiar—the graduates who had come back to demonstrate to us the benefits of continued education.

Professor VanderWeele acted as host of the conference, which he said got its start as a “gift” from faculty in honor of Dr. Dan Diephouse, professor emeritus of English, at his retirement. He said he hopes other events will follow this event, the fourth Diephouse conference. He introduced Diephouse to the students and also noted Professor Jones’ involvement in planning the event.

Next, he introduced the graduates for the first round of presentations. Natalia Wegrzyniak ’11, in the midst of her master’s degree work at Governor State University, read her paper on Tony Harrison’s poem “V.”

Listening to Wegrzyniak’s in-depth analysis of a poem she is passionate about reminded me of all the writings that have inspired me. Her presentation spoke to us undergraduates about more than the paper’s thesis; it also served as a reminder to take the material we have been inspired by and to simply write.

Next, alumnus and Trinity adjunct professor Tim Hendrickson ’96, began with a challenge: “Come up with big ideas. Write outside of class, outside of what your teacher tells you to write.” Hendrickson recently earned his Ph.D. at Northern Illinois University.

Other alumni presenters included Elyse Lamszus ’08 and Allison Backous-Troy ’07. The weekend included a time of reading, writing, critique, and discussion.