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Awards & Honor Societies


The Sterling Stoudemire Award & Prizes for Excellence in Spanish

The Department gives a certificate and a $2000 cash prize to the most outstanding student in Spanish. The award is presented at the Chancellor’s Award Ceremony held each Spring. In addition, smaller cash prizes are given to outstanding students in Spanish during the Department’s awards/commencement ceremony.

The Kimberly Kyser Award for Excellence in Italian

The Department gives a certificate and a cash prize of varying amounts to the most outstanding students in Italian. The award is presented at the Department’s Award Ceremony held each spring.

The Camões Prize for Excellence in Portuguese

The Department gives a certificate and a $2000 cash prize to the most outstanding student in Portuguese. The award is presented at the Chancellor’s Award Ceremony held each spring.

The Graduate Teaching Fellow Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching

Each year, undergraduate students nominate a Graduate Teaching Fellow from French, Italian and Spanish.


Honor Societies

Romance Studies maintains three chapters of National Honor Societies for its students:

Pi Delta Phi

The National French Honor Society. The purpose of the Society is to recognize outstanding scholarship in the French language and francophone literatures & cultures, to increase the knowledge and appreciation of Americans for the cultural contributions of the French-speaking world, and to stimulate and to encourage French and francophone cultural activities.

Membership in Pi Delta Phi is open to all, regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, or disability, provided that the candidate meets the eligibility requirements of the Society. Membership is lifetime and there is a one-time initiation fee of $35. A formal induction will take place every spring semester.

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Dorothea Heitsch.

Sigma Delta Pi

The National Hispanic Collegiate Honor Society. The installation of the Zeta Psi chapter of Sigma Delta Pi took place May 1, 1968. It was followed by the initiation of two Socios Honorarios–Sturgis E. Leavitt and Sterling Stoudemire–and fifteen Socios Fundadores. Since that date and under the directorship of its founder, María A. Salgado, the chapter at Chapel Hill has continued to hold yearly meetings and initiations. At the present time, the chapter has initiated over 400 members, including Spanish playwright Antonio Buero Vallejo and fiction writer Francisco García Pavón. Among the benefits of belonging to the Honor Society are scholarship and travel awards given for merit.
Members must have completed 3 semesters of work, must have taken a Spanish literature or civilization course above Spanish 260, and have an overall average of 2.75 and 3.0 in Spanish.

To accept your nomination, please click here.

Faculty Advisors: Dr. Martha Alexander and Dr. Cristina Carrasco

Gamma Kappa Alpha

The Italian Honor Society. Students are nominated for membership in Gamma Kappa Alpha by the instructors of undergraduates. This organization recognizes outstanding scholastic performance in the fields of Italian language and literature and encourages students to acquire a greater interest in and a deeper understanding of Italian culture. Students are asked to contribute a one-time induction fee of $30. Inductees receive a certificate and an honor cord.

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Amy Chambless