The award is named in memory of Ignacio Galbis, the former executive secretary-treasurer, and his wife, Sophia, both of whom served in Sigma Delta Pi for more than two decades.
For the second year, the Lambda Iota chapter has also been recognized as “Honor Chapter.” According to Visiting Assistant Professor of Languages and Sigma Delta Pi advisor Olivia Amaya, “This distinction is given to about 10-15 chapters nationwide. The Honor Chapter Award is bestowed [for] the chapter’s cultural activities and service.”
The chapter held a variety of events last year that led to the awards, including an Earth Day event in which students created paintings that used plant-based paints and different spices for color. They also had a Day of the Dead celebration in the Student Center where all Wittenberg students could design and color a skull mask and paper flowers.
Chapter advisor Mary Zuidema, assistant professor of languages and director of the Language Learning Center, added that despite the chapter’s small numbers (less than 10 students), the group’s strong participation and dedication set them apart from other chapters across the nation.
The chapter is working hard this year to plan activities that are more open and engaging to the public. So far, they have planned a letter-writing campaign that aims to boost the spirits of those being detained on the U.S. border. The chapter also plans to hold a film festival followed by a discussion. The goal of these events is to help people become more knowledgeable about the Spanish language and culture.
In order to become eligible for membership, classes in Spanish Literature and Culture are required, however a Spanish major is not. The chapter also offers honorary memberships to those who do not meet all of the requirements for membership.