About the Department
The Department of Language and Literature at Dickinson State offers a variety of programs to students working toward developing the skills they need for fulfilling careers in literature, writing, and the modern languages. Our courses represent the heart of a liberal arts education, providing students with fundamental skills—reading, writing, and thinking—considered essential to a well-rounded education. As a student in our program, you will gain a knowledge of cultural interaction and critical thinking that will help you to thrive in a global community.
Guide to the Department
In the Guide to the Department of Language and Literature at Dickinson State University you’ll find an introduction to faculty members, learn about the department’s programs and special events, find out how to apply for scholarships, read about recent graduates and learn more about student activities.
Sigma Tau Delta
The Eta Epsilon Chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, the International English Honor Society, was chartered at what was then Dickinson State Teachers’ College in 1947. Sometime after that it became inactive and was re-instated under the leadership of Dr. Barbara Laman in 1996. In its recent re-incarnation, Eta Epsilon has added 75 new members from Dickinson State University to Sigma Tau Delta. Although inactive at the moment, Eta Epsilon received an Outstanding Chapter Award in 1997 and the student editors of Impressions placed second in the national literary magazine competition in 2002.
Student members are eligible for undergraduate and graduate studies scholarships; publication in the society’s magazines: The Rectangle for creative writing and The Review for critical writing; and attending conferences of the Society. In past years students have attended conferences in Cincinnati, St. Louis, Boise, and Corpus Christi. Some also attended the Great Plains Regional Conference in Willa Cather’s hometown of Red Cloud, Nebraska. Chapter Members also provide donated services on campus and the larger community serving as academic tutors and volunteers to the public library. Students have also been active in fund raising activities such as staffing the refreshment stand at athletic events and for two years authored “one of-a-kind valentines,” written on request for specific recipients. Sigma Tau Delta established the DSU English Conference in 1997 and continued providing that venue for student papers, creative writing, and senior projects until 2008 when the conference was supported by the entire Department of Language and Literature. Twice during her tenure as advisor, Dr. Barbara Laman chaperoned Sigma Tau Delta members at international conferences of the James Joyce Society where they presented papers and participated in panels, once to Berkley, CA and once to Tours in France. The chapter is collecting textbooks for re-sale by Better World Books, which in turn donates money to Eta Epsilon and the National Family Literacy Project.
Students who are interested in joining this international society and its thousands of members should contact Dr. Holly McBee in the Department of Language and Literature. In existence since 1924, Sigma Tau Delta has over 600 active chapters world-wide. Students do not have to be English or Writing majors or minors to become members, but must have completed three literature (or writing courses) in addition to College Composition and have 3.0 or better average in those courses and an over-all 3.0 or better GPA.
The letters of the Society represent its motto: Sincerity, Truth, Design. For its initiation ceremonies, Eta Epsilon chapter has brought several note-worthy speakers to campus including: Ev Albers, DSU grad, former faculty member, and founding Executive Director of the ND Humanities Council; Brian Palacek, Bismarck-based humanities scholar; DSU alumnus Ken Rogers, managing editor of the Bismarck Tribune; KC Hansen, DSU Alumnus, poet and instructor at Moorhead Technical College; Dr. Richard Bovard, former Chair of NDSU English Department; and Mark Vinz, poet from Minnesota State University, Moorhead.