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Shepherd’s chapter of Sigma Tau Delta English honor society has won a $100 Regents’ Common Reader Award for hosting a poetry festival in October 2018. Local high school students were encouraged to participate in the free festival, reading their own work or poems by others. The event highlighted poems from Work and Days by Tess Taylor, the Sigma Tau Delta common reader book for the 2019 international convention. The Regents’ Common Reader Award provides an opportunity for individual Sigma Tau Delta chapters to organize and host a local event or activity based on the common reader and encourages chapters to share a convention-related experience even if they are not able to attend.

English major Lilli Sutton, of Boonsboro, Maryland, earned a scholarship to a poetry workshop by winning a poetry contest conducted by the Department of English and Modern Languages. Sutton won the opportunity to participate in a workshop taught by Maryland poet laureate Michael Collier that took place February 9 as part of the inaugural event for the Society for Creative Writing. Sutton’s poems focus on human relationships, the self, and the natural environment. Her work has previously been published in Shepherd’s literary magazine Sans Merci and The Albion Review.

An essay by English major Claudia McCarron, of Charles Town, has been published in the 2018-2019 volume of the Sigma Tau Delta Review, an annual journal that publishes critical essays on literature, rhetoric, and composition, and essays devoted to pedagogical issues. The paper, titled “The Revelation to Jane: Christianity and Apocalypse in ‘Jane Eyre,’” is the first work by a Shepherd student to appear in the Review. McCarron’s paper examines the parallels between Jane Eyre and the book of Revelation. The paper argues that Jane Eyre can be read as a female-centered reworking of this Biblical book.

A lecture by Dr. James Broomall, assistant professor of history and director of the George Tyler Moore Center for the Study of the Civil War, aired on American History TV’s Lectures in History on C-SPAN 3 on February 2 and 3. He discussed the artist James Hope and the 1862 Battle of Antietam. Broomall’s lecture is posted in its entirety at Podcasts of the lecture are available for download from the C-SPAN 3 website, iTunes, and other podcast distribution sites.

Charlie Kiser presented a President’s Lecture on February 26 titled “Understanding Bitcoin, Blockchain, and Cryptocurrency.” Kiser, a cryptocurrency, blockchain, and technology veteran, is CEO of Atlas Blockchain Group Inc., a publicly traded cryptocurrency mining company based in Vancouver, British Columbia. He is pictured above with Karen Rice (l.), director of Lifelong Learning, and President Mary J.C. Hendrix.

On February 23, nearly 200 future Shepherd students attended the Accepted Student Day event. This year’s event was the largest since the event’s inception in 2016.

First-year (freshman) students who have been accepted or paid their enrollment deposit were invited to campus to help facilitate their college selection and decision-making process. February through May are critical months for students to make their final college choice decision, emphasizing the importance of this event. Colleges and academic departments were well represented by 28 faculty. Seventeen professional staff provided information about student support services and engagement opportunities, and current students were on hand showcasing their clubs and organizations.

The event also offered students an opportunity to take a few important “next steps” in the enrollment process. Thirteen accepted students paid their enrollment deposit, 23 secured housing (18 paid housing deposits), 19 purchased meal plans, 118 signed up for Orientation Step 1, and 78 met individually with financial aid counselors.

An event like this requires a lot of pre-planning and coordination by members of the Office of Admissions and would not be possible without the commitment of faculty, staff, and current students.