RIO GRANDE, Ohio – Two students from the University of Rio Grande’s chapter of the English Honors Society, Sigma Tau Delta, were selected to present research papers at the organization’s annual conference.
English majors Conner Zingarelli, of Circleville, and junior Alyssa Smith, of Columbus, ventured to Minneapolis to present their work to a panel of peers and educators. Dr. Elizabeth Brown, professor of English, said the conference is in a different city each year and is glad her students over the years have gotten the chance to travel the country for the event.
“It’s a great experience for the students and a wonderful opportunity for them to see new places and network with other students from around the country,” Brown said. “The conference features speakers and workshops as well as several panel presentations like what Conner and Alyssa took part in. I’m very proud of them for their hard work and opportunity to represent Rio in Minneapolis.”
Zingarelli wrote his paper on the adaptations of Batman’s cinematic image throughout the years. He said extra research was a key component of preparing to answer the panel’s questions during his presentation.
“The recent trend of superhero movies got me thinking about why so many have been made, especially Batman and how they have changed from the original,” Zingarelli said. “Being accepted to present my paper at a conference and learn that other people want to read my paper and hear my thoughts is a really great feeling.”
Smith said her paper explored the ways naturalism, a literary movement meant to portray believable reality situations, is still used in dystopian young adult literature today.
“I was so happy when I was chosen,” Smith said. “This was a completely new experience for me. I’m really passionate about this topic and wanted to show young adult novels can have an academic purpose.”
Sigma Tau Delta members Adam Hollingshead and Kristen Rollins also attended the conference to show support for their classmates.
The English Honors Society has had a chapter at Rio for the past 25 years and has participated in the conference seven years in the past decade.
Jessica Patterson is a communications specialist for the University of Rio Grande and Rio Grande Community College.