By Emily Salvatori, Assistant Editor
On Saturday, March 25, West Liberty University held the 25th Annual West Virginia Undergraduate English Symposium. The English Symposium gives students in West Virginia an opportunity to present literary scholarship. Any student from colleges across the state can submit literary scholarship. This is the second time West Liberty has hosted the English Symposium.
West Liberty University had four students present at the Undergraduate English Symposium. These students were Hannah Hlad (“Emily Dickinson: Theologian or Athiest?,”), Abby Reeves (“The Impossible Truth: Unhinging the Structures of Language and Storytelling in Henry James’s The Turn of the Screw,”) Paige Creamer (“It’s Not F***ing Fair: How Women Are Fighting Gender Inequality with Words”) and Natasha Muhametzyanova (“Story of a Broken Egg: The Issues of Identity in ‘Erasure.’”)
Awards were given at the end of the day for both Outstanding Student Essay and Outstanding Student Presentation. Claudia McCarron (Shepherd University) received first place in Outstanding Student Essay and Megan Steele (Wheeling Jesuit University) received second place in Outstanding Student Essay. Adam White (Concord University) received first place in Outstanding Student Presentation and Emily Coffman (Davis & Elkins College) received second place in Outstanding Student Presentation.
West Liberty English Professor Dr. Angela Rehbein said, “A group of faculty from around the state collaborate to read all the submissions and choose the ones of the highest quality. Those students are then invited to come give presentations. They made it through a blind review where no one knew who wrote what. We really wanted to do it that way so it was based on quality to keep it as fair and even as we could.”
Schools that were at this year’s event included West Liberty University, Wheeling Jesuit University, Concord University, Davis & Elkins College, Marshall University, and Shepherd University. These 18 students were chosen solely based upon the quality of their work.
Rehbein said, “For the students, it’s a really fun day. They bring their parents, their faculty mentor, or their friends; some brought their boyfriend or girlfriend. It’s just a nice chance to show people what we do in English, and really to celebrate what our students are doing and celebrate what we’re doing across the state trying to promote literature and promote English. I love it; it’s a really rewarding event to be a part of.”
The West Virginia English Symposium offers students a chance to present their work, hear the work of other students across the state, and showcase and celebrate English and English students across the state.
Photos provided by Dr. Angela Rehbein