April 11, 2008
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – Assistant Professor of English Michael Theune was awarded the 2008 Elaine W. Hughes Outstanding Sponsor Award by Sigma Tau Delta, the international English honor society, for his work with Illinois Wesleyan University’s Alpha Eta Pi chapter.
The Elaine W. Hughes award is given annually to recognize a sponsor who gives generously of his or her time, talents and creativity to a local chapter.
Acting as sponsor of Alpha Eta Pi since he joined the faculty in the fall of 2002, Theune has overseen the group’s meetings and activities, induction ceremonies, and student and faculty English research colloquia. His tenure as advisor has also seen the first productions of The Delta, Alpha Eta Pi’s academic journal and the creation of the annual undergraduate literature conference, MUSE, now in its fourth year.
“On many occasions Dr. Theune has gone above and beyond what would be expected of a faculty advisor,” said 2007-2008 Alpha Eta Pi Co-President Valerie Higgins in the nomination letter she wrote on Theune’s behalf. “He makes a point of allowing the student members to make the final decisions in arranging and publicizing Sigma Tau Delta events, but he is always ready to offer advice or aid when needed.”
Theune is enthusiastic about being the Alpha Eta Pi sponsor as it allows him to “work outside the classroom with students who have signaled very clearly a deep interest in the study of English. It is a pleasure to be a part of everything Sigma Tau Delta does, to see students performing intellectual work at high levels and displaying amazing professionalism in organizing MUSE and other events.”
In 2007, Alpha Eta Pi received the Outstanding Chapter Award from Sigma Tau Delta. “Dr. Theune has been essential in the creation of the chapter we have today,” said Higgins, “from the growth in number and quality of our activites to the active spirit of the chapter.”
Theune believes that the students’ dedication is the driving force behind the chapter’s success. “It was an honor to have received the Outstanding Sponsor Award, but I think that this award is easy to receive when you have an outstanding chapter.”
Contact: Jessica Block ‘09, (309) 556-3181