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Thursday, June 01, 2023 — Houston, TX

Student published in national magazine

By Michelle Phillips     1/14/10 6:00pm

It is one thing to have your work read on your own campus, but one Rice student recently found her work read on campuses across the nation. Cintia Roman, a Lovett College sophomore, had her short story, "Birthday in Ecuador," published in the fall 2009 issue of The Collegiate Scholar, which is produced by The National Society of Collegiate Scholars.The Collegiate Scholar, NSCS's online literary magazine, is published once at the end of every semester and features poems, short stories, essays, journalism, art and photographic pieces. All members of the society may submit work, Janine Deegan, the Outreach and Communications Coordinator for NSCS, said.

"We wanted this magazine to be a way for students to showcase their talent," Deegan, who oversees the publication of the magazine, said. According to Deegan, this has been the magazine's goal since its founding in 2002, when it became the first online literary magazine open solely to college students.

Roman, a cognitive science major following a pre-medical track, was among 19 students from around the country whose work was chosen to be published in the most recent edition of the magazine, according to its Web site. The magazine is only one of the many scholarships and awards offered by NSCS, Roman said.

"I just found [the magazine] there, just snooping through all the options that they have," Roman said.

After reading the stories of previous editions, Roman said, she decided to submit her own. In what she says was the first story she has ever written, Roman penned a nonfiction piece about her seventh birthday, spent with distant relatives in Ecuador, and the connections she found with the family members she barely knew.

"The message of family connectedness and love across the world was very touching, and I wanted to share it with our members," Kayla Manning, the Region 5 Manager of NSCS, said of Roman's piece. Manning was on the panel for judging submissions to The Collegiate Scholar this semester. Though they receive dozens of submissions, the magazine's guidelines allow for only three short stories to be selected for each issue. Roman said that she received notification that her story had been selected the Sunday of Thanksgiving break, though it was only posted online recently.

Roman said she primarily joined NSCS to take advantage of the scholarships and discounts that the society offered. According to Deegan, NSCS is an interdisciplinary honors society that invites first- and second-year students with a GPA of 3.4 or above.

The organization has 240 chapters nationwide. The one-time $75 joining fee primarily goes to funding the scholarships and offerings the society provides, Deegan said, one of them being The Collegiate Scholar.

Roman joined NSCS during the first semester of her freshman year, she said, and is now the secretary of the Rice chapter. As part of her duties, she helped organize an induction ceremony Dec. 7 for new chapter members.

She said she has always been interested in writing, and has had some of her poems published in local, state and national anthologies before. However, according to Roman, it was her creative writing class last semester, ENGL 201: Introduction to Creative Writing, that inspired her to write this story.

"I didn't even take the class for the distribution requirement - I just took it for myself," Roman said. The piece she submitted to The Collegiate Scholar was actually the first assignment for that class, Roman said. She said she hopes to get into ENGL 301: Fiction Writing this semester. While she admits that her hobby does not seem to coincide with her aspirations to be a doctor, Roman said that her dream would be to somehow combine the two.

"I used to tell people that my dream job was to be a doctor in a third-world country who wrote about her experiences," Roman said.

But even if that dream is not realized, Roman said she certainly intends to continue creative writing as a hobby.

To read Roman's piece, go to www.tinyurl.com/RomanEcuadorStory. Her story is on page 25.

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