Department of Spanish and Hispanic Studies celebrates student success


The department of Spanish and Hispanic Studies at TCU celebrated its third annual Awards Day Monday afternoon in the Brown-Lupton Universtiy Union Ballroom.

A group of over 50 students, parents and professors attended the ceremony and the reception that followed.

Awards Day is held to celebrate the scholastic achievement of Spanish majors and minors.

The awards given out were the Faculty Choice Awards for Excellence in Spanish, the Special Recognition for Service to La Mesa Hispánica Award and the Antonio Rivarés Award for Outstanding Scholastic Achievement in Spanish. The Spanish department also recognized the members of the Spanish club, La Mesa Hispánica and the graduating seniors in the department.

According to the Spanish department website, the Special Recognition for Service to Mesa Hispánica Award is presented to a student who performs for outstanding service to the Spanish club. Jenna Wiles, a sophomore Spanish major, was announced the winner.

Each professor in the Spanish department also gave out two Faculty Choice Awards, one for the best student in the fall semester and one for their best student in the spring semester.

The Antonio Rivarés Award is presented to a graduating Spanish major who has demonstrated consistent outstanding scholastic performance and continued interest in the activities of the Spanish program, according to the Spanish department we. Jacob Jones was awarded the 2013 Antonio Rivarés Award.

“I am thankful for the professors that honored me, it is a very prestigious award,” Jones said. “I thank them for this and also for equipping me with the skills I need to be a teacher in the future."

The Antonio Rivarés Award is dedicated to former department chair and Spanish professor Antonio Rivarés, Lee Daniel, professor of Latin American literature in the Spanish department, said.

“Rivarés was someone who was very active when he was professor. After retirement, he agreed to come back to teach, and after that he was always around,” Daniel said. “He would always come around to make sure everything was going well.”

Spanish professor Karla O’Donald said Awards Day was created three years ago to celebrate the success of students in the Spanish department.

“It has helped us to elevate the efforts of our students,” she said. “And it just feels good to have a star. School is hard enough, so it feels good to receive something you can put on your fridge.”

Daniel said students in the Spanish department deserve to be acknowledged because the subjects they learn are so difficult.

“Learning another language can be very frustrating, and there are times when you reach a sort of plateau where you feel you’re not learning anything,” he said. “But to stay with it, be persistent, and continue to learn and do well, it is something that needs to be recognized.”