Students Receive National Award for Success in Hispanic Honor Society

The College of Charleston chapter of Sigma Delta Pi, the National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society, earned two national distinctions for their work in 2012-13. They received the Honor Chapter designation for the third consecutive year (one of only 15 of the 594 chapters nationwide) and the Octavio Paz Award (one of only 9 chapters nationwide).


L-R: Justin Lyons and Jocelyn Moratzka, Vice Presidents; Julie King, President

“Our chapter is very active,” explains Julie King, 2012-13 Nu Zeta chapter president, and 2013 Hispanic studies graduate. “And being president really helped me to take more initiative and be more comfortable with speaking and getting others involved. I know I will carry this motivation and confidence in future jobs and organizations.”

The College’s chapter of Sigma Delta Pi launched a lecture series in 2012 featuring research by Hispanic studies professors. They also held a poetry night each semester, co-sponsored the 8th annual S.C. Spanish Teacher of the Year program, participated in the World Cultures Fair, and even participated in the interview process of potential candidates for professor positions in the Department of Hispanic Studies. The chapter’s leadership team included King, as well as Justin Lyons and Jocelyn Moratzka, who served as vice presidents.

“Getting involved in anything one has a passion for is important. SDP, for me, was a step further than other recreational groups because I had to be granted the honor of membership,” says King. “Working with our advisor, Dr. Mark Del Mastro, also taught me a lot about being a leader. He was always so encouraging of our ideas, participation, and roles within the department. He was enthusiastic and always in touch with us throughout the year.”

Sigma Delta Pi is the largest foreign language honor society for college students in the U.S. with nearly 600 chapters nationwide. The College of Charleston’s Nu Zeta Chapter (#318) of Sigma Delta Pi was installed on November 21, 1977 by Professor Fleming G. Vinson, Associate Professor of Spanish and Italian, with the initiation of four charter members. Also, since July 1, 2010, the Department of Hispanic Studies at the College of Charleston is proud to be the location of the national headquarters of Sigma Delta Pi with Dr. Mark P. Del Mastro serving as the Executive Director.

Drs. Carmen Grace, Silvia Rodríguez Sabater and Professor Devon Hanahan were faculty members who helped direct operations on the Sigma Delta Pi committee in 2012-13.

For more information, contact Mark Del Mastro at