USC's Chi Chapter of Sigma Delta Pi receives inaugural Phoenix Award
The University of South Carolina's chapter of the National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society, Sigma Delta Pi, received the inaugural Phoenix Award for its extraordinary activity 2011-12 as compared to previous years.
USC’s chapter was the only one of 585 chapters nationwide selected for this prestigious recognition. In addition, Chi Chapter also was selected as an "Honor Chapter" for its outstanding projects in 2011-12.
Each May, all chapters of Sigma Delta Pi across the U.S. are asked to submit an annual report detailing their activities and projects from the academic year. Based on these reports, the National Executive Committee chooses approximately 10-15 "Honor Chapters" annually. This recognition is based on the caliber of chapter projects that reflect the Sigma Delta Pi mission of honoring excellence in the study of the Spanish language, contributing to cultural understanding and upholding the goals of the society.
Taylor Jones, president of USC’s chapter, was instrumental in earning this prestigious national recognition that was awarded to only 14 chapters in 2012. A senior Honors College student double majoring in applied mathematics and Spanish, he has taken advantage of the leadership opportunities available at USC. He participated in the Department of Student Life’s Leaders Engaging Across Perspectives (LEAP) program and credits his skills to this program and others.
“I've definitely used what I learned in LEAP and other leadership development opportunities conducted through [the Leadership Programs office] to help lead the chapter to winning national recognition for the first time EVER,” he said.
LEAP is an eight-week leadership certificate program offers students the opportunity to explore leadership through a variety of lenses by engaging in dialogue on leadership through a global, national, statewide and local scope. During these sessions, students learn more about their own personal leadership style, make connections between their academic disciplines and co-curricular experiences and reflect on how these experiences influence their leadership.
Stefanie Burke, program advisor for Leadership Programs, said the diverse group of LEAP program participants learn from each other as well as about themselves during the sessions.
“Giving the students the space to explore their leadership style in context of their major empowers them to be confident in the impact they can make and to envision how they will make that positive impact,” she said. “Students have to think critically not only about their leadership at USC but also about how they will be a leader in life beyond the university. One reason why this program is so effective is because students are learning from each other, the experiences they have had and experiences others share.”
At USC, Jones also serves as a team leader for EMPOWER, a diversity peer education group, and vice president and treasurer for the Math Mentorship Peer Program.
For more information about Leadership Programs at USC, visit www.sa.sc.edu/leaders.
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