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Foreign Language Department: Honors & Awards

Rebecca Friemann, 2013 Recipient

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, and Rebecca Friemann 2013 (pictured right).

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 Department of Foreign Languages 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 Department of Foreign Language annually holds the Phi Sigma Iota Honors Convocation in the spring.  Inductees, their families and friends, the language faculty and guests enjoy the festivities.   In 2009 alumna Colleen Moulin was the keynote speaker and addressed the importance of culture in foreign language study.

2011 Phi Sigma Iota inductees

Jayzell Payne accepts his
award from Sra. Reyes.

Fernando Prieto –
a gentleman and scholar.




Jessica Fultz, Ashley Thiel and Tayler Simmons

Dr. Kenny and Ashley Thiel

Dr. Cerminaro-Costanzi and Julie Le

Knowledge of languages is the first gateway to wisdom. - Roger Bacon, 1214-1294

Foreign Languages Department | Immaculata Hall | 570-340-6038
Send comments to Alice Reyes at