Jun 11, 2014

Columbia State Student Takes 1st Place in National Writing Contest

Photo Caption: Columbia resident, James Pegler shows off his 1st place award from Sigma Kappa Delta. He graduated from Columbia State this spring with summa cum laude honors.

(COLUMBIA, Tenn. - June 11, 2014) - - -
James Pegler, a 2014 Columbia State graduate, won this year's 2014 National Literary Analysis Writing Contest given by Sigma Kappa Delta, the national English honors society. His winning essay, "Burning Decay and Destruction Down," will be published in the society's journal, "Hedera Helix."

Pegler wrote on Sharon Olds' "Late Poem to My Father," which deals with three generations of abuse in the speaker's family and the effect that it has on each following generation. Pegler's command of language and understanding of the poem is apparent in his concluding statements.

"The redemption and resolution of this poem is the fact that Olds recognizes the torment of her father and responds with an empathetic love for the child that had to endure such abuse," Pegler wrote.

"The society couldn't have asked for a more dedicated and motivated individual at its helm," said Brittany Hall, instructor of English and sponsor of Columbia State's Sigma Kappa Delta chapter.

"James comes to the class room already very knowledgeable, a sign that he observes, understands, and connects the 'outside' world with the academic. His writing is superb both in style and content," added Beverly Mitchell, professor of English.

Pegler was also a member of the international honors society, Phi Theta Kappa, and was a member of the All-Tennessee academic team. He received the 2014 Humanities Award, served as a Peer Leader, and was nominated for the Jo L. Hutton Outstanding Student Award. In addition, his poem, "Mirrored Crystal Falls," was recently published in the Columbia State literary journal, "Perceptions."

"When I came to school here, I didn't know if I was capable of doing well," Pegler said. "The faculty and staff have shown me that I have what is needed to succeed."

An Auburn, Calif. native, Pegler plans to attend East Tennessee State University in the fall where he can pursue his interest in history and anthropology. He intends to continue his education through the doctoral level and ultimately teach at a college or university.

Columbia State is a two-year college, serving a nine-county area in southern Middle Tennessee with locations in Columbia, Franklin, Lawrenceburg, Lewisburg and Clifton. As Tennessee's first community college, Columbia State is committed to increasing access and enhancing diversity at all five campuses. Columbia State is a member of the Tennessee Board of Regents, one of the largest higher education systems in the nation. For more information, please visit www.columbiastate.edu.

Tennessee's Community Colleges is a system of 13 colleges offering a high-quality, affordable, convenient and personal education to prepare students to achieve their educational and career goals in two years or less. We offer associate degree and certificate programs, workforce development programs and transfer pathways to four-year degrees. For more information, please visit us online at tncommunitycolleges.org.

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