Spanish majors and minors at UC Merced have a new measure of excellence to pursue, thanks to the recent charter of the university’s chapter of Sigma Delta Pi. UC Merced is the seventh UC campus to charter a chapter of the National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society, which was founded at UC Berkeley in 1919.
Sigma Delta Pi is a registered campus organization, which means it has officers and its own operational budget. Founding members – four students and two faculty members – were inducted in November. Armando Lomeli is the group’s founding president. Other officers are Tim Alexander, Sonia Ortiz and Sonia Roman.
Membership into the society comes with lifetime benefits, according to advisor Elinor Torda.
“The purpose of the society isn’t just to promote Spanish language and culture,” Torda said, “but also to encourage students to strive to meet a standard of excellence.”
To qualify for membership, students have to show academic and personal excellence, including a minimum overall grade-point average of 3.0, a 3.0 GPA in all Spanish courses and demonstrate genuine interest in all things Hispanic.
Membership benefits include scholarships, research funding opportunities and consideration for national awards and honors.
Spanish has only been available as an undergraduate major at UC Merced since 2013, so it’s a feather in the program’s cap to already have students who qualify for the honor society.
“I think having a Sigma Delta Pi chapter at UC Merced provides students with valuable opportunities,” honorary society member and Professor Virginia Adán-Lifante said. “But what is also significant is that creating this chapter tells our students that we appreciate and support the effort they make to excel academically.”