Academic excellence in Spanish honored

Nancy Hall

Eleven students were inducted last Tuesday into Sigma Delta Pi, the only international honor society exclusively for students of Spanish language and culture.

Dr. Sharon Magnarelli performed the ceremony with family, faculty and friends in attendance. “The students being honored tonight should be praised,” Magnarelli said.

This year’s inductees, with three seniors and eight juniors, comprise the largest group to be inducted into the Epsilon Epsilon chapter since it came to campus in 1998.

There were many Spanish professors on hand to welcome and congratulate the students throughout the ceremony. Dr. Luis Arata, chairperson of the fine arts, languages and philosophy departments, was in attendance as well as professor Phyliss Giuliano (coordinator of the foreign language placement exam) and adjunct professor Laura Rodriguez.

Representing the university was the senior vice president for academic affairs, Kathleen McCourt. “It means a lot to the university to see our students doing so well,” McCourt said. “There is nothing that gives [faculty and administrators] more satisfaction than to see students accomplish great things.”

Prior to the official beginning of the ceremony, Dr. Aileen Dever, an assistant professor of Spanish, read quotes from Chilean poet Pablo Neruda. After this, Spanish was the language of choice during the ceremony, as the 11 female inductees became members of the honor society.

Spanish professor Dr. Ronald Quirk also took part in the ceremony by introducing this year’s honorary inductee, Dean Hans Bergmann of the College of Liberal Arts.

The students inducted into Sigma Delta Pi this year are Jeanmarie Cahill, Rebecca Desautels, Christina Fichera, Elizabeth Gambardella, Marisa Gambardella, Sharon Garces Alvarez, Stefania Pellegrino, Frances Silva, Cara Tonucci, Jaime Vartanian and Melissa Warner.