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Student Life

English Studies Association

Worried about getting a job after graduation? Interested in exploring various career options? The English Studies Association (ENSTA) at Illinois State University provides an outlet for English majors and minors to actively seek answers to these questions.

ENSTA is an undergraduate English organization that enhances students' development and supplements the English Studies program at ISU. Through leadership opportunities, guest speakers, service events, and activities, members participate in the English community and prepare for their future. The association is open to all English majors and minors regardless of their specific interests, whether English Education, Writing Studies, Publishing Studies, or Literary Studies.

ENSTA meets monthly. Each of these meetings typically includes a presentation by a guest speaker followed by an informational meeting and refreshments. Meetings will be announced via e-mail. The English Studies Association also maintains a Facebook group.

For more information, please contact Professor Tara Lyons.

Rhetoric Society of America at Illinois State

The Rhetoric Society of America at Illinois State University, or RSISU, was founded in Fall 2010. It is affiliated with the national Rhetoric Society of America organization.

The mission of RSISU is to promote activities that enhance the study of rhetoric at Illinois State University in accordance with the tenets of the Rhetoric Society of America. RSISU encourages the collaborative learning of scholars and teachers of rhetoric through various activities including reading and writing groups and an annual conference.

RSISU meets at least once per semester, usually in the first three weeks of the term. RSISU also organizes several activities per year.

Reading groups

Participants in RSISU reading groups agree on a text to read before the reading group meets. The reading group will meet to discuss the text and its implications in studies in rhetoric. The purpose of reading groups is to expand members’ knowledge of texts that are important to the field.

Writing groups

Writing groups are intended as a time when RSISU members can practice conference presentations or get peer response for publication submissions. Participants in writing groups must be willing to spend time offering feedback to peers and are also encouraged to bring work to share.


RSISU is working toward hosting a spring conference that will provide an opportunity for members of the community to view the scholarship of RSISU members. Non-members may also be invited to participate in the conference as readers, panel chairs, and/or keynote speakers. In addition, RSISU members participate in many other local, regional, and national conferences, especially including the RSA Biennial Conference.


While housed mainly in the Department of English, membership is open to all faculty members and students, both graduate and undergraduate, who are dues-paying members of the Rhetoric Society of America.


Euphemism, Illinois State University’s online creative arts journal edited by ISU students, welcomes any student volunteers who would be interested in offering their time, energy, and expertise as part of the editorial staff. We publish poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, visual art, spoken word, experimental sound and video projects, and original music.

For more information about the journal and links to our current and past issues, visit the euphemism website .

Our primary goal is to publish an interesting and exciting collection of works each semester. Throughout this process, students involved with Euphemism gain experience editing and publishing submissions and working collaboratively with their peers. There are many different opportunities, but your level of commitment and involvement is completely up to you. If you would like to be part of the Euphemism community, please contact us via our website or send a quick message to to be added to our email list.

English Major Advisory Board

The English Major Advisory Board offers undergraduate students the opportunity to share their perspectives about the English major (especially its curriculum) with department leadership and offer suggestions for how it might be revised. The Board, which meets monthly, is chaired by the Director of Undergraduate Studies and ordinarily consists of five undergraduates representing a range of stakeholders, including:

  1. Students at different levels of the major (first-year through senior)
  2. Those focusing on different areas of English studies
  3. Those who transferred in to ISU as well as those who began their tenure as first-year students.

Board members typically serve one-year terms beginning in the spring semester, with the possibility of serving a second (with exceptions made for seniors in their final semester). For information regarding the Board, including the application process, please contact Dr. Tara Lyons, Director of Undergraduate Studies.

Sigma Tau Delta

The ISU chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, the national English honor society, offers academically excellent students professional, service, and social opportunities. The national organization hosts an annual conference at which members can share their research, two journals where members can publish their scholarly and creative work, and numerous scholarships. The ISU chapter sponsors community and department service projects and regular fellowship events.

The chapter's activities include sponsoring the Department’s year-end Faculty and Student Awards Ceremony, co-sponsoring the Department's annual English Studies Symposium, publishing the annual journal of student research Polyglossia, collecting books and raising money for a local literacy group, sponsoring readings by visiting authors and scholars, planning group trips to plays, collaborating with the Illinois Wesleyan University chapter on the annual MUSE Conference; and hosting the annual Live Poets’ Night and Dead Poets’ Night.

Sigma Tau Delta welcomes both undergraduate and graduate students. In order to be eligible to join Sigma Tau Delta, an undergraduate student must be a junior or senior, must have completed at least 15 hours of English, must have an ISU GPA of 3.3 both in the major and cumulatively, must submit one sample of his or her own writing, and must have a recommendation from a faculty member. New members are initiated into the chapter in October and March.

For more information, visit the Sigma Tau Delta website.

English Studies Symposium

The English Studies Symposium is an undergraduate conference co-sponsored by the English Department and Sigma Tau Delta, the English honors organization. The Symposium offers undergraduates in English Studies a chance to present their research and interact with faculty and peers.

The conference, which was started in 1996, typically features two panels of student research presentations, a keynote address by an English Department faculty member, and opportunities to meet informally with faculty members to discuss topics such as internships, the publishing unit, graduate school, careers in English, etc.