100 Years of History: Sigma Delta Pi, the National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society (1919-2019), and its Chapters
This panel was originally accepted and scheduled for presentation at the AATSP’s 102nd Annual Conference in Puerto Rico in July 2020. Because of the conference’s postponement due to COVID-19, in early June 2020 participants recorded their planned presentations as provided below.
Mark Del Mastro, College of Charleston
Panel Organizer and Chair
Dr. Del Mastro is Professor of Hispanic Studies and Associate Provost for Curriculum and Academic Administration at the College of Charleston. Since 1997, he has served as Executive Secretary-Treasurer/Director of Sigma Delta Pi, the National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society, and he is former faculty adviser for both The Citadel’s (1993-2010) and the College of Charleston’s (2011-15) Tau Iota and Nu Zeta chapters respectively. His recent book, Sigma Delta Pi: Rediscovering a Century, 1919-2019, was published in April 2020 with Juan de la Cuesta Hispanic Monographs.
Pandemics and Leading Women: 100 Years of the National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society
Marie-Lise Gazarian, St. John’s University
Dr. Gazarian is Professor of Spanish and Director of the Graduate Program in Spanish at St. John’s University. She has published 15 books to include Ana María Matute, la voz del silencio and Fernando Arrabal; Oráculo entre cielo y tierra. For her contributions to Hispanism, she was awarded Spain’s Encomienda de la Orden Civil de Alfonso X el Sabio and Chile’s Orden al Mérito Docente y Cultural “Gabriela Mistral.” Since 1973, Dr. Gazarian has served as adviser of St. John’s Chapter Epsilon Kappa of Sigma Delta Pi, and since 1989 (with the exception of one triennium), as Sigma Delta Pi’s Vice-President of the Northeast. In addition to the many national awards St. John’s chapter has earned under the guidance of Dr. Gazarian, she has also been recognized herself by Sigma Delta Pi with induction into the Orden de Don Quijote, one of the Society’s highest honors, and in 2019 with the Jorge Luis Borges Award for her lifetime contributions to the National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society.
Comfort Pratt, Texas Tech University
Dr. Comfort Pratt is an Associate Professor of Curriculum and Instruction at Texas Tech University. Since August 2004, she has been the adviser of Chapter Alpha Phi of Sigma Delta Pi. During her term as adviser, the chapter has gained much recognition both locally and nationally through its numerous high impact programs, community engagement activities, significant contributions to the Society, and dedication to the Society’s mission. Under her leadership, Chapter Alpha Phi has won multiple national awards to include 15 consecutive Capítulo de Honor y Mérito recognitions and 5 consecutive Octavio Paz Awards. She has also personally received three Minaya Álvar Fáñez Awards as outstanding adviser of the year, the José Martel Award for exceptional adviser for a triennium, and was she inducted into the Orden de los Descubridores. Dr. Pratt has also chaired Sigma Delta Pi’s Graduate Research Grant Competition Committee since its inception in 2007, and she is also in her seventh year as the Society’s Vice-President for the Southwest.
A Brief History of Chapter Alpha Phi of Sigma Delta Pi, Texas Tech University, 1944-2020
Anel Brandl, Florida State University
Professor Brandl is a Teaching Professor of Spanish and Linguistics, and the Assistant Director of the Spanish Basic Language Program at Florida State University (FSU). She also serves since 2017 as the faculty advisor of FSU’s Alpha Delta Chapter of Sigma Delta Pi. She first became a member of Sigma Delta Pi as a graduate student in 2008, and she is deeply interested in Spanish as a heritage language and enjoys working with Sigma Delta Pi members to promote the study and understanding of the Spanish language and Hispanic culture at FSU.
Raysa Amador, Adelphi University
Dr. Amador is Professor of Spanish and Chair of Adelphi University’s Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures and Director of the Latin American Studies program in Adelphi’s College of Arts and Sciences. Since 1987, she has served as Adelphi’s Tau Chapter of Sigma Delta Pi. For her work as someone who “has demonstrated a commitment to promoting and advancing diversity, inclusion and multiculturalism at Adelphi University,” she was the inaugural recipient of the Presidential Award for Diversity and Inclusion in the spring of 2020.