Honor society sets new goals, inducts members
Sigma Delta Pi initiated four students to join the six already existing members. The UMHB chapter is part of the National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society or La Sociedad Nacional Honoraria Hispánica, which is the largest foreign-language honor society provided for four-year universities and colleges.
Inductee Vicky Rodriguez, a senior biology major and a Spanish minor, is excited to be a part of this program.
“It presents me with the opportunity to participate in the nation’s largest foreign language society and to meet and interact with similar students and with my professors on another level,” she said.
Senior Spanish major Kelli Hearn was sworn into the UMHB chapter as president. She is thankful to be a part of a program that offers scholarships and service opportunities.
“It is very beneficial … to be involved and surrounded by others with similar hearts and appreciations,” Hearn said.
As a leader in the society, Hearn hopes to plan activities to engage members in various projects such as serving as translators for local, free clinics.
“Activities we intend to do this semester include showing a film that contains Hispanic culture, host a fiesta around Easter and before Lent and provide a night of culture with poetry, food and music,” Hearn said.
However, not anyone can join. Sigma Delta Pi has many requirements students must fulfill before being invited to join the society.
Adviser and Associate Professor of Modern Foreign-Languages, Yolanda Forero-Villegas, said, “It is an honors society which is different than other student organizations. In this case, you are invited to belong to Sigma.”
Forero-Villegas, who was a member as a college student, said members have to be Spanish majors or minors, have an overall GPA of 3.0, Spanish minor/major GPA of 3.5 and have completed courses in ancient civilization and Mexican literature.
“You get to be in Sigma because of your accomplishments, so it looks very good on your resume,” she said.
Additionally, Forero-Villegas said there are other benefits.
“Since I’ve been here, seniors have had a 100 percent job placement,” she said. “That’s big. For jobs in Texas, any person who speaks Spanish will have more opportunities.”
Forero-Villegas hopes the program will grow with the recent increase in Spanish majors and minors. She believes starting a Spanish club would be beneficial. The department will be offering a “Spanish table” as a place where students can practice speaking.
Assistant Professor Anita Coffey believes it will give students a chance to “enhance in oral proficiency.”
The organization will initiate students into the honors society again toward the end of the semester.