Jamie Bowman came to The University of Alabama on a Presidential Scholarship and Regions Scholarship. During her sophomore year, her essay, “Confronting Ghosts: Seeing the Past in the Present,” won third place in its division at the Undergraduate Research Conference. That same year, Bowman was awarded one of the Returning Scholar Awards from the Department of English, and in her junior year, she was awarded the Buford Boone Memorial Scholarship from the English department. In spring 2015, she was honored by the Department of English for the completion of her honors thesis entitled, “The Sacred Oxford University: Incorporating Bildungsroman with the Totemic in the Oxford Novel” and was named the Outstanding Graduating Senior. The department also honored her at the Arts and Sciences Convocation on Honors Day; she was one of three students receiving this honor.
Bowman was also a member of the Omicron Delta Kappa Honor Society and worked in the Writing Center on campus for two years. She interned for Slash Pine Press and Alabama Heritage Magazine.
The following interview was conducted in spring 2015. Bowman now attends graduate school at Durham University, England and is working toward a master’s degree in English Literary Studies.
What is Sigma Tau Delta and how is it beneficial to the Department of English, English majors, and minors?
Sigma Tau Delta is the International English Honor Society with chapters spanning across the country and around the world. It provides students of English with the opportunity to be involved in their universities and communities, honoring them for their academic successes.
How long have you been a member of Sigma Tau Delta and how did you initially get involved in the organization?
I was inducted into The University of Alabama’s Phi Xi Chapter of Sigma Tau Delta in spring 2013, at the end of my sophomore year. I wanted to be more connected to the Department of English, and being part of the honor society seemed like the best way to be involved.
How long have you been the President of Sigma Tau Delta and how did you come to office?
I have been the President of Sigma Tau Delta since fall 2014. I was elected by the former President and officers to step into the position. It has been a lot of hard work but also a true honor.
What are the eligibility requirements for membership of Sigma Tau Delta?
Sigma Tau Delta is open to English majors/minors and Creative Writing minors. You must have completed 12 hours of English courses (at least 6 of those in literature courses). You must also have an English GPA of 3.33 and an overall GPA of at least 3.0.
What awards and/or acknowledgements has Sigma Tau Delta received recently?
Our chapter of Sigma Tau Delta attended the annual international convention, which was held in Albuquerque, New Mexico, over Spring Break this year. There, we were honored for with a plaque in recognition of our chapter’s 35th anniversary. We are still waiting to hear back on other awards our members may have received for their paper presentations.
Can you give us some information about Dewpoint and how it was founded?
Dewpoint is the literary magazine published by UA’s Sigma Tau Delta chapter. It has been published since 2012. It was founded by Sigma Tau Delta English majors who wished to produce a literary magazine at UA. Many Sigma Tau Delta chapters across the nation produce literary magazines, and we are able to compete against them as well as share our writing with them. Producing this magazine is also a great way for those interested in editing and publishing to gain experience while in college. Dewpoint accepts submissions of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and creative or critical essays.
What kind of work do the editors lean toward?
We strive to look for writing that is unique, thoughtful, and sometimes humorous. Ultimately, we produce a magazine that we would want to read, full of authors who are bringing new and interesting voices to their creative writing. We have no overall preference. We look for pieces we want to read again, which perhaps gives each annual magazine a different voice.
The Dewpoint’s website says that you are in conversation with contemporary authors. How do you incorporate that notion into the tone of your publication?
This statement relates to the fact that we are a magazine that invites participation from writers on a large scale, since we accept submissions from anyone, anywhere. We are lucky to be a part of a top rated MFA program for creative writing, and to have access to up and coming writers who will go on to be amazing teachers and published poets and authors.