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Morris Approved for Membership in Sigma Delta Pi

Posted by Jenna Ray on Wednesday, May. 1, 2013

The University of Minnesota, Morris Spanish Discipline has been approved for a charter membership in Sigma Delta Pi, the National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society. Founded at the University of California, Berkeley in 1919, Sigma Delta Pi now extends its membership to students at 592 universities nationwide. The Morris chapter, Omega Omicron, held its first installation ceremony on Tuesday, April 23.

Fourteen Morris students were inducted as active members, while four faculty members were inducted as honorary members. In order to be eligible for induction, students had to complete at least three years of undergraduate Spanish coursework with a minimum 3.0 grade point average, rank in the upper 35 percent of their undergraduate class, and demonstrate genuine interest in “things Hispanic.”

“My induction in Sigma Delta Pi ensures that I will continue to be involved in the Hispanic language and culture,” says Omega Omicron inductee Markki Meyer ’13, North Branch. “I'll be able to build connections with other college students, graduates, and faculty who share my passion about Spanish.”

“[Induction] is a way to give local recognition of student achievement, and maybe regional and national recognition, too,” says Stacey Parker Aronson, associate professor of Spanish and Omega Omicron advisor. She notes that the student awards and scholarships available through Sigma Delta Pi can provide recognition of members’ accomplishments as well as incentives for new students to join.

During the installation ceremony, Professor Emeritus Thomas C. Turner was initiated into the Order of the Discoverers, La Orden de los Descubridores, one of the highest honors of Sigma Delta Pi. This honor recognizes outstanding service in the fields of Hispanic scholarship, the teaching of Spanish, and the promotion of good relations between English-speaking countries and those of Spanish speech.

As per its membership agreement, Omega Omicron must form an affiliated student group. Student officers for the new group include co-presidents Katherine Jacobson ’14, Bloomington, and Ashley Thorpe ’15, Kandiyohi, vice-president Amy Grant ’14, Big Lake, and secretary-treasurer Erica Mumm ’14, Roseville. Aronson’s hope is that the chapter can partner with Vamos Juntos, an existing student organization affiliated with the Spanish Discipline, “to expand our already extensive programming, since Sigma Delta Pi encourages the kinds of outreach we already do.”

Sigma Delta Pi is a non-profit organization incorporated in the State of South Carolina, a member of the Association of College Honor Societies and partners with the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese and the North American Academy of the Spanish Language.