Foreign Languages Program: Honors & Awards

Phi Sigma Iota Logo

Phi Sigma Iota - The International Foreign Language Honor Society

Founded in 1917 at Allegheny College in Pennsylvania, Phi Sigma Iota is the highest academic honor in the field of foreign languages.  Having initiated over 60,000 members since its founding, Phi Sigma Iota recognizes outstanding ability and high standards in the fields of foreign language, literature, and culture, including Classics, Linguistics, Philology, Comparative Literature, Bilingual Education, Second Language Acquisition and ESL.  At an induction ceremony each spring Phi Sigma Iota honors eligible

  • Junior and senior undergraduate students with majors or minors in a foreign language who
    • have at least a B average in their overall college work and all foreign language classes;
    • have completed at least one course at the third-year level; and
    • rank in the highest 35 percent of their class in general scholarship.
  • Graduate students of foreign languages who
    • have completed at least one semester of graduate work;
    • have at least a B plus average in all courses taken; and
    • have attained a high degree of competence in at least one foreign language.
  • Outstanding foreign-language faculty of colleges and universities.

Through Phi Sigma Iota, Marywood University and its Foreign Languages Program promote the benefits of speaking other languages and studying other cultures through coursework as well as internships both in the United States and abroad.    
As a Phi Sigma Iota member, you may choose to wear a gold pin on your graduation robe.

The Foreign Languages Program holds the Phi Sigma Iota Honors Convocation annually, in the spring.  Inductees, their families and friends, the language faculty and guests enjoy the festivities.   In 2015 alumna Ashley Schwartz was the keynote speaker and addressed the importance of culture in foreign language study.

Photo of Hope Sholle, medal winner

Dr. Wanda Persichetti Medal for Excellence in Foreign Language Study

Each year since 1984, the Dr. Wanda Persichetti Medal is awarded to the outstanding foreign language graduate. This distinction is based on the student's cumulative average in foreign language courses and dedication to the promotion of foreign language study.  Recent recipients are: Maria Alana Scavone, 2008, Kathleen Rose McCormick, 2009, Caroleena Cole, 2010, Ashley Thiel, 2011, Tayler Simmons, 2012, Rebecca Friemann, 2013, Katlyn Beaton, 2014, Michael Magistro, 2015, and Hope Sholly, 2016 (pictured right).

Photo of Edgar Sedano

2016 Phi Sigma Iota Speaker

Speaker and alumnus, Edgar Sedano, emotionally recites "La Canción del Pirata."

Photo of inductees

2016 Phi Sigma Iota Inductees

Thomas Christopher, Nadine Davitt, Faith Harrison, Melissa Keisling, Melissa Kowalski, Colleen Kramer, Aubrey LeDonne, Tobias Percario, Meghan Seprosky, Alisa Sholly

Photo of Dr Costanzi receiving the award

Dr. Ann Cerminaro-Costanzi, CASE Professor of 2013

On September 19, 2013 during Fall Convocation, Sister Anne Munley, IHM, Ph.D., President of Marywood presented the presitigious 2013 CASE Award to recepient, Dr. Ann Cerminaro-Costanzi. This annual award recognizes those profesors who demonstrate an excellence in teaching and influence the lives of their students.