Three TAMIU Students to National Writers Conference

Three TAMIU Freshman
Travel to Writers Conference

Three Texas A&M International University freshmen are on their way to Weber State University’s 20th Annual National Undergraduate Literature Conference in Ogden, Utah, March 30 – April 1.

Carina González, Cristina J. Hernández and Óscar Widales found out earlier this month that their essays were “… among the finest that were submitted from every state in the nation” and they qualified to attend this year’s Conference. (photo)

The Conference is the only one in the nation that requests submissions from undergraduates and gives them an opportunity to present papers, both critical and creative, to an audience of peers from campuses across the country. It attracts some of the finest undergraduate students from every state to present their papers and to hear some of the most important writers in contemporary literature.

The essays were originally written as an assignment for English 1301 with Dr. Annette Olsen-Fazi, TAMIU associate professor of English and French.

“I feel extremely honored to have been accepted to the NULC and I did not think I was going to be accepted. My parents and I were very excited when I got the letter in the mail, for it is the only undergraduate literature conference in the nation! I am very thankful to Dr. Olsen-Fazi because she helped us a lot in our class and motivated us to write really good essays,” exclaimed Widales, a communications major.

His submission, “A Baseball Dream,” tells the story about his Mexican father whose dreams of playing professional baseball in the United States were crushed after an injury. After he returned to Nuevo Laredo, however, he met Widales’ mother and were married. “My dad would have never met my mom had he been taken in the Major Leagues,” wrote Widales.

Business administration major Cristina J. Hernández wrote about one of her high school teachers, Jorge Valadez and his impact on students even after he had a heart attack.

“I worked on a lot on this particular essay because I wanted to illustrate how Mr. Valadez was different from other teachers and why I was writing about him. He is a wonderful teacher and I wanted to let people know, since he is so modest,” said Hernández.

“I was glad my professor thought my essay was good enough to be submitted, but I thought it would just be a good read for the people who were selecting the essays. I did not think it would actually be selected. Being accepted feels like a big accomplishment for me. This was my first English college class and I am only a freshman, yet, my essay was selected from among thousands. I am very excited,” continued Hernández.

Carina González, biology major, said she was thankful for Dr. Olsen-Fazi’s instruction and Dr. Carlos Cuellar’s help for her submission, “The Man Behind the Smile.”

“When I received notification of the NULC I was extremely surprised, and I am quite excited and grateful for the opportunity of presenting this paper at the national conference. I humbly cherish this achievement,” she added.

“These students worked very hard on their essays, as do all students in 1301 and 1302 at TAMIU," said Olsen-Fazi. "Sometimes students complain I drive them too hard, or that I expect too much of them. However, the results speak for themselves. Hard work pays off, and TAMIU can be very proud of these exemplary young scholars who will represent our University and our community before an audience of students and academics from many different universities across the nation.”

For more information on the Conference, visit online.

For more information, please contact Olsen-Fazi at aolsen-fazi@tamiu.edu, call 326-2657 or visit offices in Pellegrino Hall, room 216F.

University office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Relations, Marketing and Information Services at prmis@tamiu.edu