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Students Receive Honors at National Alpha Chi Convention

April 19, 2016

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Alpha Chi—a national college honor society representing students across all majors—recently presented fellowships and awards to several Texas Lutheran University students. Seniors Chaney Hill, Haley Czarnek, and Alejandra Lacure all presented research at the 2016 National Convention of Alpha Chi in Alexandria, Virginia.

Hill’s presentation, “Appropriating the Pen: J.D. Salinger's 'Franny,’” was awarded the Benedict Fellowship (a $2,500 scholarship to students for the first year of graduate study toward a master’s, doctor’s, or professional degree at any recognized institution) and Best Presentation in American Literature.

Czarnek was recognized for her presentation, "Laughter at the Scene of the Crime: A Rhetorical Analysis of Ax Murder Humor," and won for Best Presentation in Communications. She additionally received the Alpha Chi Region I Chapter Award.

Hill said her involvement with Alpha Chi has positively impacted her overall TLU experience.

“Alpha Chi has given me so many incredible opportunities this past year,” Hill, an English major, said. “I’ve been able to publish an undergraduate paper through Alpha Chi, attend the national convention, and win this fellowship which will help make graduate school that much more affordable.”

Hill said she chose to showcase this particular Salinger novella because of her connection to the theme.

“I’m very moved by feminist works, and ‘Franny’ hasn’t received much critical interpretation since its original publication in the 1950s,” Hill said. “I wanted to bring into light a lost feminist character not only to do justice to the character herself, but to bring justice to women across the nation.”

Lacure, a psychology and theology double major, competed for a Benedict Fellowship and for the Best Alpha Chi Presentation in Religion Prize with her presentation, "The Journey to Forgiveness: Matthew 18:21-35 and Relational Wounding."

She said being a member of Alpha Chi has allowed her to gain a better understanding of what higher-level academia requires.

“It was fun presenting and it helped me to see areas of my research that I want to continue to develop, and it also gave me an arena to see that my work can make a difference in the world,” Lacure said. “Forgiveness has been a profound part of my personal life and I have seen both theologically and psychologically the power it has to heal those who have been hurt. I want my research to help others see the power of forgiveness when they incorporate it into their own lives.”