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Published on May 25, 2021

Sigma Delta Pi Induction Ceremony

Sigma Delta Pi Ceremony May 2021

Every year the World Languages and Cultures Department welcomes new members into Sigma Delta Pi, the National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society.  The Department’s Nu Chi chapter of Sigma Delta Pi was established at Eastern in 1979, making it the Eastern’s oldest honor society in the School of Arts and Sciences.  Since its inception, hundreds of students have been recognized for their outstanding achievement in Hispanic studies. 

This year’s ceremony, held on May 3, was officiated by Dr. Kin Chan, Department Chair, Dr. Sonia Cintrón-Marrero, professor emerita, and Dr. Carmen Cid, Dean of Arts and Sciences, along with current Nu Chi members and students Brianna Nolan ’21, Jacob Paciotti ’21 and Ashley Smith MS ’21.  Serving as the chapter’s President, Brianna officially opened the ceremony, followed by recounting the history of the Society by Jacob, the chapter Secretary.  Dr. Cid spoke of the qualities that Sigma Delta Pi stands for and what is expected of each member.  Dr. Chan read a farewell poem to graduating seniors and Ashley, the chapter’s Treasurer, recited a poem about the importance of Hispanic culture.  Dr. Cintrón-Marrero quoted a section of Don Quixote to conclude the opening remarks.

­­­­­Next, Brianna began the candle-lighting part of the initiation ceremony.   As the new members of Sigma Delta Pi lit their candles, Brianna spoke of the importance of the society’s colors represented by the candles - red and gold - as well as the light emitted by the flame.  With the lighting of the candles, Sigma Delta Pi welcomed five new members: Areli Angel Peña, Luz Marina Clavijo-Parrado, Claire Lavarreda, Lizbeth Macías and Yenifer Serrano.

Areli Angel Peña is from Waukesha, WI. At Eastern she has been a member of the Organization of Latin American Students (OLAS) since 2017, as well as the Vice President of Biology Club for the 2020-2021 academic year.

Luz Marina Clavijo-Parrado is from Bogotá, Colombia. At Eastern, she completed her Spanish degree in 2021, having made the Dean’s List and been recognized in Eastern’s 2021 Inclusive Excellence Awards.  To Luz, being a part of Sigma Delta Pi is an honor because it recognizes her hard work in and outside of academics.

Claire Lavarreda, from East Haddam, CT, completed a degree in History and Social Science with a minor in Spanish in 2021. She received two academic excellence awards and is a member of Phi Alpha Theta, the national history honor society. Her Sigma Delta Pi induction is important to her because her father is from Guatemala, and she has always wanted to learn Spanish.

Lizbeth Macías is from Waukesha, WI and completed her course work in Elementary Education and Spanish this year.  She hopes to be a bilingual teacher after graduation.  Becoming a member of Sigma Delta Pi connects her to the Spanish culture through language, something she was not allowed to express during her middle and high school years.

Yenifer Serrano is from New Orleans, LA and is working towards a double major in Early Childhood Education and Spanish. She is an active member of the Eastern community, currently serving as the Vice President of FEMALES, the secretary of Kappa Delta Pi and a Student Ambassador. Being a member of Sigma Delta Pi is an honor to Yenifer because it recognizes the hard work she has put into her classes and this Society proves that her hard work has been worth it.

According to Jacob, a 2019 inductee, “Sigma Delta Pi is a fantastic honors organization that truly highlights the accomplishments and success of both the students inducted into the Society and the Spanish program as a whole. For me, this was the first honor society that I was inducted into on campus, and it truly gave me a sense of accomplishment in my Spanish studies and further reinforced the idea that I was in the correct major and that I was on the right path going forward.”

With the return to in-person learning for the 2021-2022 school year, the Department hopes to go back to its traditional Sigma Delta Pi luncheon ceremony next year.  Former Sigma Delta Pi miembros are encouraged to join in the festivities.  Email the Department ( or look for your invitation next winter. 

Written by Corina Yanes, BA 2021