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2016 Convention Stories

I am, I am, I am a Part of Sigma Tau Delta

Rachel RouppRachel Roupp
Treasurer, Mu Xi Chapter
Mansfield University, Mansfield, PA

When I got to the Hyatt Regency for my first Sigma Tau Delta conference I felt excited and anxious. I immediately picked up my program and went to my room. I discovered that my key didn’t work, so I headed down to the front desk.

I got in the empty elevator, and I decided to use the time that the descent to the lobby would take to read over the conference program. I was busy circling interesting panels when the elevator stopped, and someone else got on. I didn’t pay attention until the stranger said, “I am, I am, I am! Of course, of course, of course!” They were referring to the shirt I was wearing, which featured Plath’s famous quote on a patch that I’d sewn on myself.

Story Picture

I looked up to see a smiling face that I would later recognize as Executive Director, William C. Johnson. He asked me my name, my chapter, and how I was enjoying my first convention so far. I eagerly answered all of his questions, and his responses to me were just as enthusiastic. In the two minutes that we shared that elevator he created a connection with me. Out of the hundreds of people there, he took time to greet me. I was left feeling welcomed and appreciated.

The next afternoon, I found a table with pitchers of ice water sitting on them, and went to get a drink. Not realizing my own lack of coordination, I managed to spill ice across the table. While scrambling to pick it up I heard someone behind me chuckling, and turned to see William C. Johnson again. He immediately recognized me from our previous conversation. While I was embarrassed, it meant so much to me that he remembered who I was. Out of all of the members that he has met, he still remembered who I was and took time to speak to me.

That was the part of the Sigma Tau Delta that has stayed with me. Absolutely everyone there made me feel like a valued part of the community. I was immediately having conversations with people who I had just met. I was astounded by the way that I integrated into the Sigma Tau Delta family. The sense of pride and welcoming in the community is something that makes me want to strengthen my chapter and attend the annual conference every year.