Senior Maya Alpert has won first place in Sigma Tau Delta’s Midwestern Region Blog Contest.
The English honor society will post her winning entry on its web blog, “Wordy by Nature,” later this month as the organization prepares for its annual convention in March. Alpert also received a $150 cash prize.
The contest called on members to submit an essay about what it means to find home, be it a physical location or a spiritual state of mind.
Alpert opted to write about how being home schooled has given her a mindset that she draws upon today.
“For me, the foundation of my success was my educational upbringing,” she said. “I was raised in a very positive educational environment where I was encouraged to follow my academic passions. I wrote about how that experience has been a foundation to me, a launching pad to Stephens.”
Having the flexibility to study at home, she said, allowed her to focus more in-depth on the subjects she was passionate about.
“I knew from an early age that I wanted to be a writer,” Alpert said. “My mother recognized that and encouraged it.”
Alpert transferred to Stephens from a community college in 2013 and has become active on campus.
In addition to serving as secretary of the College’s Sigma Tau Delta chapter, she is editor-in-chief of Harbinger, Stephens’ literary journal.
She credits the English/Creative Writing faculty for her successes.
“The teachers here are amazing,” she said, naming Professors Judith Clark and Tina Parke-Sutherland, Associate Professor Kate Berneking Kogut and Assistant Professor Kris Somerville. “They are all so supportive and get to know you on a personal level. Even though I’m a transfer student, I felt welcomed right away.”
After graduating in May, Alpert hopes to begin a career at a large publishing firm and hopes to become published herself. She mainly writes fiction drawing from her own relationships and experiences.
Alpert, along with other Stephens students, has submitted short fiction to Sigma Tau Delta in hopes of being invited to present at the upcoming convention.
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