Thirteen undergraduate and graduate students in the Spanish program of the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, as well as an Honorary Member from the faculty, were officially inducted into the Zeta Omicron Chapter of Sigma Delta Pi, the National Collegiate Hispanic Studies Honor Society, during a ceremony on Dec. 12 in the Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center.
"The ceremony went really well," Casilde Isabelli, the group's faculty advisor, said. "The parents and family members of the students were in attendance. Many commented afterward how memorable the ceremony was."
The ceremony was the first in many years, and Isabelli, along with Beatriz Robinson, who was inducted as an honorary member, hopes to induct new members every semester.
"The students who were inducted into the Honor Society for their excellence in Spanish are students who understand the importance of becoming bilingual graduates and experts in Spanish, and have therefore multiplied their cultural awareness and opportunities in life," said Robinson.
The honor society serves as another example of the University's growing diversity, recognizing the benefits of bilingual studies.
"Our Zeta Omicron Chapter for Sigma Delta Pi is of great importance to our University," Robinson said. "Not only from the point of view of diversity, but from the point of view of excellence in academic studies as a whole. These days, every graduate entering the professional world needs to be at least highly proficient in a second language, if not bilingual. The difference in the opportunities that a bilingual graduate has is enormous, and our University offers its students opportunities to fight and get over the sad and dreadful disease of 'monolingualism.'"
To become a member as an undergraduate, students needed to have completed three years of study of college-level Spanish including at least a course in Hispanic literature or culture and civilization at the junior level. Students needed a minimal grade point average of 3.0 in all Spanish courses taken and have a 3.2 cumulative GPA. Graduate students must have successfully completed two graduate courses in Spanish.
"It was a privilege to receive this honor at the same time with some of my own fabulous students," Robinson said. "It was awesome for me to share such an important moment with my colleagues and students."
Jesús Antonio Castañeda
Beatriz M. Robinson
The group's faculty advisor is Casilde A. Isabelli; faculty sponsors are Jaime Leaños and Darrell B. Lockhart.
Sigma Delta Pi does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, age, or disability. For more information about Sigma Delta Pi, visit the website, or contact Casilde Isabelli at (775) 682-8917.