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Rho Omicron of Florida Atlantic University

Florida Atlantic University

Los socios de la Rho Omicron.

Chapter Rho Omicron was established at Florida Atlantic University in the spring of 1989 by Dr. Vincente Rangel.  After five years of inactivity, Dr. Jill Kruger Robbins reactivated the chapter in the fall of 1994, and under her leadership, Rho Omicron earned the distinction of “Capítulo de Honor y Mérito” in 1994-95 and 1995-96.  There was another period of inactivity from 1996-2002, when Dr. Yolanda Gamboa reactivated the chapter.  Under her leadership, Rho Omicron earned the distinction of “Capítulo de Honor y Mérito” in 2002-03 and 2003-04.  Dr. Nancy Poulson became the faculty advisor in fall 2008.  Since that time, the chapter has earned the distinction of “Capítulo de Honor y Mérito” in 2010-11, 2011-12, 2012-13, and won the Premio Octavio Paz for the triennial 2010-2013. In addition, Rho Omicron earned the distinction of “Capítulo de Honor y Mérito” in 2015-16, and won the Premio Ignacio y Sophie Galbis for that same year. 

Among Rho Omicron's many activities in 2015-16 was the “First Annual Book Drive.” The chapter collected Spanish books that were donated on to Aventura City of Excellence School for their Spanish program. Rho Omicron started a new series of cultural presentations about Latin American countries titled "Hablemos de..." (Let’s talk about…) which has been very successful and has achieved high attendance. The first one was “Hablemos de Colombia”, presented by two chapter members: Andrea Ruiz and Karol Owens.  A conference about the cinema of Cuba, “Survey of Cuban films (1959-1989)”was presented by the chapter president, Betsaida Casanova. Rho Omicron initiated its new series of “Andean Dance Workshops.” Artist Candy Hurtado, chapter vice president, held a series of dance workshops teaching students about Andean dance, music and culture. The first in a series of literature conferences organized by the chapter this year, “Masoquismo trangresor en la narrativa española del Siglo de Oro  (Literature of the 16th and 17th century Spain) was given by Dr. Nuria Godón. Dr. Elizabeth Cruz Petersen spoke on “Women with Character in Early Modern Spanish Theater." Several of Rho Omicron members attended a poetry seminar presented by Dr. Yolanda Gamboa. This activity was coordinated with Rho Omicron's sister organization Uniendo Culturas. Dr. Michael Horwell and Dr. Yolanda Gamboa gave a talk, "Cervantes y El Inca Garcilaso de la Vega a los 400 años de su muerte: Lecturas Transatlánticas de su obra," commemorating the 400th anniversary of the death of these two authors. Rho Omicron presented the Oscar nominated Colombian Film Embrace of the Serpent. After the showing, Dr. Michael Horswell gave a talk about the film, and there was a section of comments and questions.  Dr. Mary Ann Gosser Esquilín gave a talk on “Barataria: El Quijote puertoriqueño” about the Puerto Rican novel Barataria by Juan López Bauzá. Rho Omicron also organized “Hablemos de Perú,” a cultural presentation presented by chapter member Julissa Mansilla and chapter vice president Candy Hurtado. Dr. Nancy Poulson gave a talk, “Una tarde poética celebrando a Rubén Darío”, celebrating the work of important Nicaraguan poet Ruben Darío with an afternoon of poetry recital and an exposition of the life and work of Darío.  Dr. Tugba Sevin spoke on "El poder de las palabras" (The Power of Words) about the Sephardim experience reflected in Spanish literature.

For the first time, at the chapter's request, the Comparative Studies PhD annual conference presented two panels in Spanish. Two of Rho Omicron's members: Julissa Mansilla and chapter president Betsaida Casanova presented their research papers. The chapter has helped promote the collection of donations for a Relief effort lead by “Uniendo culturas” to help Ecuador’s earthquake victims. Throughout the year Rho Omicron has also promoted other cultural activities that many chapter members have attended.  In addition, during these five years the chapter consistently celebrated two annual initiations, both in the fall and spring semesters. Since 2013 the chapter co-sponsored a bi-weekly tertulia literaria in the Living Room Café, which each week focused on a different literary period and discussed major works representative of each literary aesthetic. Finally, the chapter has offered free Spanish-language tutoring through CLAS (all semester long), and chapter leaders have attended all the ILEAD, an annual leadership conference to improve their leadership abilities.