November is Sigma Delta Pi National Charter Month: 3rd Annual Facebook Birthday Cake Picture Competition

Why not plan an initiation ceremony to celebrate Sigma Delta Pi’s National Charter Month in November?!?!  An induction of new members can be held any time of year, and many chapters hold multiple initiations annually (once received, all orders processed within 24 hours).

National Charter Month commemorates Sigma Delta Pi’s founding on November 14, 1919 at the University of California, Berkeley by graduate student Ruth Barnes. Please plan now to highlight your chapter and its activities during the month of November.  This is also a wonderful opportunity to locate and display your chapter’s charter!

And don’t forget our 3rd annual Facebook Birthday Cake Picture Competition to celebrate National Charter Month and Sigma Delta Pi’s 96th birthday. 

To enter:

1) During the month of November, chapters are invited to post a picture of their unique Sigma Delta Pi b-day cakes at our FB page:

2) The pictured cake must include a reference, etched in icing on the cake, to Sigma Delta Pi’s 96th b-day.

3) It must be an actual cake that displays the Sigma Delta Pi logo.

4) for the accompanying “description,” include the name of the originating chapter and institution.  For example: “Eta Upsilon, Illinois State University.”

The winning picture will be featured during the entire month of December at Sigma Delta Pi’s FB page, and the winning chapter will receive an award certificate.  Cakes will be judged on artistic merit and originality.


Sigma Delta Pi Graduate Research Grant Program for 2016: Call for Applications!

Sigma Delta Pi is pleased to announce its graduate research grant program for the summer of 2016 and the 2016-17 academic year. An eligible graduate student who is an active member of Sigma Delta Pi may apply for one grant of up to $2000 to support travel ABROAD to Spain or Spanish America for the sole purpose of research related to Hispanic Studies.  No more than four total grants may be awarded in 2016 based upon the quality and depth of the pool of applications.

Click here for additional details and the downloadable application form.

Call for Student Papers: 4th Annual Sigma Delta Pi “Best Practices” Session 2016

Call for Student Papers
for Sigma Delta Pi’s 4th Annual “Best Practices”  Session
to be held at the 98th Conference of the
American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese
Miami Marriott Biscayne Bay Hotel: Miami, FL
July 8-11, 2016

Student Members of active Sigma Delta Pi chapters are invited to submit a proposal for a 15-minute presentation on your chapter’s “best practices” that focuses on Sigma Delta Pi activities at your local institution.  We strongly encourage proposals from student members who are actively involved in initiating, organizing, executing and/or participating in Sigma Delta Pi activities at their institutions.

By November 2, 2015, please e-mail the following to Sigma Delta Pi’s Executive Director (

1) your full name
2) name of your Sigma Delta Pi chapter and college/university
3) name of your chapter adviser
4) title of your proposed presentation
5) summary of your proposed presentation (no longer than 150 words)

3-4 papers will be selected from the submissions received, and the student presenters will be notified in early December 2015.

A student whose paper is selected for presentation will receive a $300 travel stipend plus paid conference registration courtesy of Sigma Delta Pi and a complimentary awards banquet ticket courtesy of the AATSP (American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese).  However, the same student is expected to secure travel-related funding for all remaining expenses through his/her college/university, either via the academic departments, the dean’s or provost’s office, the office of student activities, or other institutional sources.   Colleges/universities often provide funding for students presenting at conferences.  Your chapter adviser can assist you with exploring these funding options.  Sigma Delta Pi is unable to provide monetary support beyond the $300 travel stipend and conference registration per selected student.

For information on the AATSP conference in July 2016, please visit the website:

Any questions should be directed to the Executive Director, Mark P. Del Mastro:


Important Chapter Planning Info for New Academic Year!


When planning for your upcoming chapter activities and induction ceremonies for the fall 2015 term, please note:

1) Chapter Handbook: For ideas regarding chapter activities, procedures, etc, all chapters advisers and student officers are encouraged to review this useful reference at (3rd edition).  Remember that chapter-initiated regional projects should be coordinated closely with neighboring active chapters to ensure there are no conflicts of interest with other chapters’ activities.  And NO chapter projects may be executed at the national level without authorization of Sigma Delta Pi’s national office.

2) Chapters without an induction of new members within the past three years must complete the Chapter Reactivation Petition to resume chapter activities and before planning future initiation ceremonies:

3) PLEASE DOWNLOAD a current order form, which is always found at (all chapters MUST pay national dues for new initiates, both active and honorary, BEFORE your ceremony); shipping rates have changed, so please download a current order form before requesting materials.

4) Membership criteria are listed in the national by-laws: (please ensure that your local criteria matches the national, including your chapter website information)

5) Initiation ritual (both 2007 and 1974 versions) is available to active chapters by e-mailing

6) Procedures for nominating distinguished guest lecturers for either the Orden de Don Quijote or Descubridores along with details for other national awards:

7) Official ceremony paraphernalia (registry, table candle holders, altar runner), apparel and honor cords may be purchased at

8) details for purchasing the official Sigma Delta Pi banner (to display behind the ceremony table and/or during any chapter-sponsored event) are found at

9) details for purchasing the official Sigma Delta Pi medallion (purchase by chapters only, not individual members, due to limited quantities) are found at

10) the chapter starter kit that contains many of the items necessary for your initiation ceremonies:

11) lists of new members should be included with your chapter’s annual report in the late spring (these lists should no longer be sent separately).

12) candidates who miss your induction ceremony may be initiated in a subsequent, condensed ceremony using the abbreviated ritual found at #5 above (many advisers conduct such ceremonies in their offices).

13) Sigma Delta Pi’s national policy manual should be reviewed at: .  Please note the following found on page 8:

“… chapters may not charge their members more than double the rate of national membership dues;” (no more than $50 per member with $25 per member paid to the national office)

Initiation ceremonies may be held ANYTIME during the year, and there is no limit on the number of inductions a chapter may hold.  Many chapters perform two inductions each year–in the spring and fall–and some also conduct initiations during the summer.  As the national office never closes, payments for membership dues/orders for membership pins and certificates may be submitted all year long.  Please read carefully the official order form for the quickest methods to request materials.

14) Contact information for Sigma Delta Pi Vice-Presidents for your respective regions:

Northeast (CT, DC, DE, MA, MD, ME, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, VT)
Marie-Lise Gazarian, St. John’s University,
Southeast (AL, FL, GA, KY, MS, NC, SC, TN, VA, WV)
Maria R. Rippon, Furman University ,
Midwest (IA, IL, IN, MI, MN, ND, NE, OH, SD, WI)
Elizabeth Amaya, Millikin University,
Southwest (AR, CO, KS, LA, MO, NM, OK, TX)
Comfort Pratt, Texas Tech University,
West (AK, AZ, CA, HI, ID, MT, NV, OR, UT, WA, WY)
Marcela Rojas, Azusa Pacific University,
Finally, do not hesitate to contact the Executive Director, Dr. Mark P. Del Mastro (, with any questions.  We also encourage you to visit this news blog often and “Like” us on Facebook ( for additional announcements and news as updated regularly.

Sigma Delta Pi Confirms Two New Honorary Presidents

Dr. David T. Gies, Commonwealth Professor of Spanish at the University of Virginia and President of the International Association of Hispanists, and Dr. Emily Spinelli,  Executive Director of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese, have been elected Honorary Presidents of Sigma Delta Pi, the National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society.  Their outstanding advocacy of Sigma Delta Pi and their ongoing accomplishments in academic leadership and scholarship earned them this exclusive recognition that prior to 2015 had only been granted to 15 other Hispanists during the Society’s 95-year history. Drs. Gies and Spinelli will be formally appointed at Sigma Delta Pi’s Triennial Convention in Miami, Florida during the annual conference of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish & Portuguese on July 8-11, 2016.  A complete list of past appointees is available at