The award is given annually and is reserved for outstanding graduate or undergraduate students of Spanish who are active members of the honor society.
Gayle Jeffers, president of the the Texas Tech University Alpha Phi chapter of Sigma Delta Pi, recently was given the national Gabriela Mistral award for her academic achievements, noteworthy leadership and initiative in the chapter.
Sigma Delta Pi is a national collegiate Hispanic honor society, and the award is granted by the society's national executive committee.
“Gayle Jeffers is one of only 11 student members of our 611 chapters across the country to receive this prestigious award,” said Mark P. Del Mastro, executive director of the national Sigma Delta Pi honor society. “Her initiative with the Texas Tech chapter and her outstanding achievements academically earned her this exclusive honor, and Texas Tech should be proud of such an exceptional student.”
Established in 1919 at the University of California-Berkley, Sigma Delta Pi honors those who have completed three years of study in Spanish at the college level, including at least three semester hours of a course in Hispanic literature or Hispanic culture and civilization with a minimal 3.0 GPA in all Spanish courses taken.
Candidates also must rank in the upper 35 percent of their class (sophomore, junior or senior) and must have completed at least three semesters or five quarters of college work. Graduate students also may be elected to membership upon completion of two graduate courses in Spanish with an average which, if continued, will make them eligible for a graduate degree.
Texas Tech's Alpha Phi chapter was found in 1944 and has initiated more than 1,400 members.
Jeffers, a bilingual education doctoral student, said receiving this award is a great achievement.
“I am deeply honored to receive the prestigious Gabriela Mistral award,” she said. “I also am immensely proud to be part of an honor society that recognizes and promotes the importance of the Spanish language and culture. Receiving this award confirms that achieving balance as a student is possible.”
The award-winning chapter at Texas Tech has been nationally recognized for its efforts to honor excellence in the study of the Spanish language, contributing to cultural understanding and upholding the goals of the society.
The chapter hosts a variety of activities throughout the year, including the annual Lubbock Spanish Spelling Bee, Spanish discussion tables, seminars and academic lectures, lunchtime enrichment programs, free Spanish and English lessons and bilingual readings in schools and libraries.
For more information about Texas Tech's Alphi Phi chapter of Sigma Delta Pi, visit its website.