Assumption Students Recognized for Academic Excellence in Spanish with Induction into Spanish Honor Society

Apr 06, 2022

The University’s Department of Modern and Classical Languages inducted six students into the Phi Rho Chapter of Sigma Delta Pi, the Spanish Honor Society, for demonstrating academic excellence and command of the foreign language.
Ryan Prendergast ’23, Kaitlyn Calnan ’24, Elizabeth Cappelli ’24, Elaine Danas ’24, Tasneem Mohammed ’24, and Alexandra Rippstein ’24, met all required criteria of new inductees, which include achieving a grade point average of 3.0 or higher in Spanish courses, an overall GPA that places them in the top 35 percent of their class, as well as successfully completing one 300-level Spanish literature or Hispanic Culture course. 
The induction ceremony, which took place on Thursday, March 31, was conducted by students entirely in Spanish. In addition to inducting new honorees, seniors were awarded graduation cords. Professor Maryann Leone, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Modern and Classical Languages and co-advisor of the honor society, shared that “past officers of Sigma Delta Pi have translated the ritual so that those who are not Spanish speakers may follow along. The ceremony reflects deep ties to Hispanic culture, bonds that we hope our students will maintain and strengthen throughout their lives.”
The Sigma Delta Pi honor society was founded in 1919 at the University of California, Berkley. Assumption’s chapter, Phi Rho, was established in 2004 by Dona Kercher, Ph.D., professor emeritus of Spanish and film. At the time, Assumption’s chapter was the 530th Spanish honor society in the world. 
This year’s guest speaker for the induction ceremony was Daniel Frost, Ph.D., associate professor of Spanish at the College of the Holy Cross. Prof. Frost teaches Spanish, literature, and culture and is the author of Cultivating Madrid: Public Space and Middle-Class culture in Madrid, 1833-1890. 
Growing up in upstate New York, Prof. Frost was surrounded by landscapes and literature. It is on these topics that he has written many articles as well as on how emerging technologies figure in 18th and 19th centuries literary representation in Spain. Prof. Frost studied at Hamilton College and Harvard University, where he earned a doctorate in romance languages and literatures. He has travelled to Latin America to develop and promote study abroad programs and has presented research and taught in Madrid at the Universidad Complutense. Prof. Frost is currently collaborating with Prof. Leone  on a chapter for a book about Spanish ecocriticism, considering human-nonhuman dichotomies in discourse about human progress and agricultural reform in 18th and 19th century Spain.         
Professors Leone and Arlene Guerrero-Watanabe, Ph.D., associate professor of Spanish, serve as advisors to Sigma Delta Pi. Student leadership includes Emily Snay ’22 (president), Leah Scontras ‘23 (vice president), Julie Dwyer ‘23 (secretary), and Gabriella Lindhurst ‘23 (treasurer).