The Department of English at Virginia Tech held its 11th annual Undergraduate Research and Writing Symposium on April 15.

Eighteen students presented undergraduate research in such fields as creative writing, professional and technical writing, literary studies, and linguistics. The presentations included poetry readings, literary analyses, and a design portfolio showcase.

The following students presented original writings for the Creative Writing program: Laura Copan, “A Thank-You Threat to My Future Husband”; Kayleigh Green, “Me vs. My Grandmother”; Valerie McLean, ”4468 Itaska St.”; Sarah McCliment, “Strangers I’ve Met on Crooked Roads”; Alison Miller, “Aurora”; Molly Ryan, “The Dead Fly” and “Excerpt from Abercorn”; Caroline Sutphin, “Ode to an Empty Warehouse”; and Katherine Wagner, “The Last Visit.”

Three students from the Professional and Technical Writing program, Megan Burpo, Elizabeth Fan, and Lindsey Flowers, presented their personal portfolios and websites.

Six original research papers were read by students in the Literature and Language program: Kira Jerslid, “Relating Stein to Picasso: Observing Art to Understand Poetry”; Lisa Moskowitz, “Joyce, Homer, and the Graphic Novel: The Search for the ‘Epic’ in Our Every Day Lives”; Jillian Mouton, “Behold the Programme! Count Fosco as Showman in Wilkie Collins’s The Woman in White”; Casey Myers, “Exploring Social Meanings of Morphosyntactic Variation Using the Matched Guise Paradigm”; Sara Runey, “Mary Elizabeth Braddon’s Lady Audley’s Secret and the Gendered Borderlands of Insanity”; and Grace Silipigni, “Exploring Exodus in African-American Rhetoric: An Analysis of Biblical Presence in David Walker’s Appeal, in Four Articles and Martin Luther King, Jr.’s ‘I’ve Been to the Mountaintop.” The selection committee recognized Lisa Moskowitz for the best paper in Literature and Language.

At the conclusion of the symposium, 24 undergraduate students were accepted into Sigma Tau Delta, the international English honor society: Julia Barnes, Laine Brummell, Michael Carter, Kelsey Comerford, Alexis Dudek, Kelsi Faley, Mackenzie Fleming, Katelyn Forbish, Andrew Fuller, Laura Gallagher, Betty Gray, Kayleigh Green, Devon Keyes, Ashton Lineberry, Ali Marhefka, Miranda Marques, Sarah McCliment, Alex Nelson, Joshua Oliver, Josiah Pierce, Hannah Rad, Laura Schwartz, James Steck, and Andrew Walters.

For more than a decade, the symposium, formerly known as the English Undergraduate Research Conference, has showcased the department’s commitment to promoting undergraduate research in its full diversity. The department’s undergraduate majors—Literature and Language, Creative Writing, and Professional and Technical Writing—all emphasize the importance of producing research in multiple genres.

The event was organized by Rob Jacks and Patty Morse, and more than 90 guests, including Virginia Tech faculty, staff, and undergraduate students, attended.