Dr. Kate Benzel
UNK Martin Distinguished Professor of English, 308.865.8294

A University of Nebraska at Kearney English major from Grand Island has been awarded the coveted $2,500 Henry Regnery Endowed Scholarship from Sigma Tau Delta, the international English honor society.

Justin Sevenker of Grand Island received the award at the Sigma Tau Delta national convention.

“Justin Sevenker is one of the very best students at UNK,” said Dr. Kathryn Benzel, UNK professor of English.

“His work is exceptional, not only in the English department but also in other departments across campus. And now he is recognized nationally. It is a great honor for Justin to receive this annual Sigma Tau Delta endowed award for scholarship and service to Sigma Tau Delta; we are indeed very proud to have him as an English major.” Sevenker is a UNK senior with a major in English and a minor in Spanish.

The scholarship was endowed in 1992 in honor of Henry Regnery, founder of Regnery Publishing, Inc., in Washington, DC. Applicants are required to submit application information, a scholarship essay and a paper originally submitted as coursework with an endorsement from the professor for whom the paper was written.

Sevenker is active in the UNK Sigma Tau Delta chapter. He is currently vice president of the organization. Further, he organized the Sigma Tau Delta Poetry Slam this spring and was co-chair for the Sigma Tau Delta Renaissance Fair.

A member of the Honors Program, he has served as the fiction writer and the reporter for the Honors Newsletter.

He has also been active on Stout Hall Council, serving as treasurer from 2001-2003, a Student Senate representative 2000-2001 and currently, as the recycling chair.

He was the fiction editor for The Carillon, the UNK English journal, in 2003 and the journal’s managing editor for 2004.

As a member of the Honors Program, and he has been active on Stout Hall Council as the UNK Student Senate representative from 2000-2001, the treasurer from 2001-2003, and currently, as the recycling chair. Stout Hall is the Honors Program residence hall at UNK.

Sevenker was selected to serve as a mentor with the First Year Experience Leadership team in 2003, tutored students at the Writing Center and is a member of the UNK Department of English five-year review team.

In addition to his membership in Sigma Tau Delta, he is a member of Phi Kappa Phi national honor society and Alpha Mu Gamma foreign language honor society.

In 2003, Sevenker was a member of the Publications Committee for the National Conference of Undergraduate Research (NCUR) Lancy Platte Studies publication. Sevenker has presented multiple papers at the UNK Student Research Day, receiving the first place award for Best Literary Criticism in 2002 and 2003; the Sigma Tau Delta National Conference, UNK NCUR Lancy Platte Studies Fall Symposium and at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR). Sevenker received a NCUR Lancy Grant in 2003 and an Independent Research Grant for the summer of 2004. He has been published in the UNK Undergraduate Research Journal in 2002, 2003 and 2004; and in The Carillon in 2001. For his work in The Carillon, he was awarded third place for poetry and first place for fiction. His work was included in the Platte Studies Seminar publication in 2004.

Sevenker is a Dean’s List student and was included on the National Deans’ List in 2003.

Other scholarships he has received include the UNK Board of Regents Scholarship, Home Federal Scholarship, Humbert and Cora Austin Stout Scholarship, Borders Group Scholarship, Phyllis Roberts Scholarship, and the Honors Program Room-Waiver Scholarship.