Induction ceremony promotes language, culture

By Linsey Heiser
March 22, 2001

photo by Linsey Heiser

by Linsey Heiser

news editor

It was an evening full of culture and recognition. Six students were inducted in the Gamma Xi chapter of Phi Sigma Iota, Cabrini’s international foreign language honor society. The ceremony was held on Friday, March 16 in Grace Hall.

The evening began in the Grace Hall Atrium with a flamenco dance presentation by Eileen Basonne, who has had 15 years of formal dance training. Basonne welcomed the audience to clap along while she demonstrated three different rhythms of flamenco. She then performed a flamenco dance that she had choreographed.

Basonne shared a little about the history of flamenco dancing and how it originated in India and evolved from “gitanos,” or gypsies. “Flamenco is a way of life, a spirit, a passion, a rhythm, a fire, a spark.”

After the presentation, the induction ceremony took place in the Grace Hall Board Room. Dr. Cynthia Halpern, department chair of romance languages and faculty adviser of Phi Sigma Iota, began with opening remarks. She explained that the night was to honor outstanding students in foreign language. “This is truly a night to remember,” Halpern said.

Theresa McFadden, a 1998 graduate who majored in Spanish and elementary education, gave a presentation on the value of learning a second language. McFadden currently teaches elementary-level Spanish at a school in New Jersey.

“The key for learning a foreign language is communication, not correctness. It is better to speak incorrectly than not at all,” McFadden said. “We are living in one very interconnected world and learning a second language can lead to a wealth of exciting opportunities.”

Also attending the ceremony was Dr. Arlene Nobel, associate professor of foreign languages at Valley Forge Military College. Nobel gave certificates of excellence to students who excelled in her French classes.

Massimo Musumeci, instructor of Italian, also gave out certificates of excellence to several students who have taken Italian at Cabrini.

After the presentations, several of the current members first lit a candle for a foreign language and gave a history of that language. The languages spoken about were Spanish, French, Italian, Latin, Chinese and English as a second language.

In order to be initiated into Phi Sigma Iota, students must have taken at least one upper-level language course and have a B average or better. The new inductees were senior Kristen Scarborough, juniors Carolyn Ashton and Geri Lynn Utter and sophomores Renee DiPietro and Tara DiTrolio.

The new members were inducted into the honor society and were pinned with roses, pins and ribbons by the current members.

Scarborough is honored that she was inducted into Phi Sigma Iota. “It’s very motivating, inspiring and it makes me want to study even harder.”

Ashton agreed with Scarborough. “It’s a great honor to be inducted and it opens up more opportunities for me after I graduate.”

The purpose of Phi Sigma Iota is to promote cultural diversity on campus. The honor society will have several fundraisers and programs dealing with diversity this semester on campus.

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Linsey Heiser

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