By Courtney McEunn
Student Life Editor
At 3:30 p.m. on Apr. 19 in the Shelper Ballroom, the English and Foreign Language department hosted the English program awards reception to announce the winners of both the John G. Morris poetry contest and the Leigh Holmes Creative Nonfiction Essay Contest.
The winner of the poetry contest was Sophia Montoya and the winner of the nonfiction contest was Gina Welborn. Both winners presented their submitted work at the reception.
After the announcement of the contest winners, the CU Beta Omicron chapter of the Sigma Tau Delta Honor Society initiated four new members in a formal induction ceremony.
The winner of the Leigh Holmes Creative Nonfiction Essay Contest was announced first. A panel of judges picked from CU’s staff of English professors were tasked with deciding the winner for this contest.
Gina Welborn won with her essay “The Importance of Being Honest.” Dr. John Morris presented Welborn with a $300 prize and asked her to read a sample of her essay at the English program awards ceremony. Honorable mention went to Courtney McEunn for her essay titles “War Zone.”
For the John G. Morris Poetry Contest, CU alumni and writer Joey Brown was selected to as an off-campus judge. In total, the contest had about 49 poems submitted by 17 different writers. Brown selected five finalist poems to be recognized at the awards ceremony.
Sophia Montoya won first place and the prize of $300 with her poem “A Good Book.” Montoya was asked to read her poem at the ceremony, and she said it was her first time every reading one of her poems in front of an audience.
In second place, Rosemarie Billings won the cash prize of $200 with her poem “Fireflies.” In third place, Ryn Swinson won the $150 cash prize with her poem “Acquaintance.”
Brown named Thomas Juarez and Courtney McEunn as the two honorable mentions. Juarez’s poem was titled “Kaleidoscope” and McEunn’s was “sour.”
Along with stating the winners and giving out the cash prizes, Brown also wrote down individual notes about what she enjoyed and though of each poem. While she was not at the ceremony, Dr. Morris read all the notes and presented each prize for the students.
The John. G. Morris poetry contest and the Leigh Holmes Creative Nonfiction Essay Contest kick off in the spring of each semester at CU. Flyers are posted all around the campus, inviting students of all majors to enter. The only students who cannot enter are those who won first place in previous years.
Immediately following the announcement of the contest winners, Beta Omicron chapter of the Sigma Tau Delta Honor Society began their initiation ceremony. Dr. William Carney kicked off the ceremony by stating the qualifications of joining Sigma Tau Delta and giving more information about the chapter.
Sigma Tau Delta inducted four new members into their CU chapter: Thomas Juarez, Courtney McEunn, Alec Santos and Ryn Swinson.
Following the initiation ceremony, students and staff enjoyed a small banquet of food and drinks. Everyone mingled and congratulated each other for the contests and those who were just inducted.
For more information about the Beta Omicron chapter of Sigma Tau Delta at Cameron University, email Dr. Carney firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, for more information about both contests, email Dr. Morris email@example.com.