Alpha Alpha Iota one of 16 named ‘Honor Chapter’ across 625 chapters nationwide

  Tuesday, October 22, 2019
  Announcements, Awards and Recognitions

By Priscilla Ramirez

RIO GRANDE VALLEY, TEXAS - The National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society has named UTRGV’s Alpha Alpha Iota Chapter of Sigma Delta Pi an “Honor Chapter” for its activities during the 2018-19 academic year.

“It was very special because we weren’t expecting it,” said Ana Peña-Oliva, the organization’s co-advisor, lecturer of Hispanic Linguistics, and Undergraduate Spanish Program degree specialist.

“We do these activities for the students and the Spanish program,” she said. “We didn’t even think of doing it for a national award, so we were very surprised.”

Sigma Delta Pi is the nation’s oldest and most prestigious honor society for Spanish majors and minors. Membership in the organization defines a student as exemplary in the Spanish field of study.

Sigma Delta Pi hosts numerous events throughout the year, such as the Day of the Dead Calaveritas Contest held in November 2018 to increase cultural awareness among students by writing verse to express themselves.

UTRGV’s Alpha Alpha Iota Chapter was among 16 selected for the recognition across 625 chapters nationwide.

A National Executive Committee chooses the chapters based on the quality of projects that showcase the “mission of honoring excellence in the study of Spanish language.”

This is the first time UTRGV has been recognized for its Sigma Delta Pi chapter.

The application for the organization is available for undergraduate students who have completed at least three semesters of courses and at least 18 hours of college-level Spanish work. Graduate students may also apply as long as they have unconditional status and completed two graduate courses.

Other requirements and more information can be found here.


The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) was created by the Texas Legislature in 2013 as the first major public university of the 21st century in Texas. This transformative initiative provided the opportunity to expand educational opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley, including a new School of Medicine, and made it possible for residents of the region to benefit from the Permanent University Fund – a public endowment contributing support to the University of Texas System and other institutions.

UTRGV has campuses and off-campus research and teaching sites throughout the Rio Grande Valley including in Boca Chica Beach, Brownsville (formerly The University of Texas at Brownsville campus), Edinburg (formerly The University of Texas-Pan American campus), Harlingen, McAllen, Port Isabel, Rio Grande City, and South Padre Island. UTRGV, a comprehensive academic institution, enrolled its first class in the fall of 2015, and the School of Medicine welcomed its first class in the summer of 2016.