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Phi Lambda Beta

Alpha Chi Chapter (University of Florida)

phi lambda beta honorseal
Originally founded in the 1960s at the Vanderbilt University Campus, Phi Lambda Beta is now under the auspices of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese.  It has a dozen active chapters at universities throughout the  United States.  It offers recognition to those students with high achievement in the area of advanced Luso-Brazilian Literature and Culture, both at the graduate and undergraduate levels.

At the University of Florida, Phi Lambda Beta initiates are recognized at the annual Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies Undergraduate Awards Ceremony, held in April each year. Students receive a certificate with the Phi Lambda Beta logo from the president of the society, and their achievement is recorded in the Portuguese Newsletter, published in association with the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese.  Initiation fees are $15.00 and are sent to the president of the society, who, in turn, sends the certificates with the names of the initiates in calligraphy to the faculty sponsor for distribution.  Each speaker is named as an honorary member of the society and receives a certificate. Most initiates are chosen in the spring of each year.

Contact Dr. M. Elizabeth Ginway for more information about the society:



In 1997, Dr. M. Elizabeth Ginway applied for a charter for Phi Lambda Beta 
at the University of Florida. That year, seven undergraduates (Ligia Courneya, Jason Richards, Barbara St. Cyr, Angela Stuesse, Jessica Urba, Carlos Uriarte and Wendi Werneth) and three graduate students (L. Annie Hermansen, Amy Loeffler and Susan Soutter) were initiated into the society.  In their honor, Dr. Charles Wood, Director for the Center for Latin American Studies at the University of Florida, spoke about his experience with Portuguese particular and its importance in Latin American Studies in general.

In 1998, Dr. Martha Ellen Davis, the Associate Director for the Center for Latin American Studies, spoke about the importance of foreign language study and abroad programs in undergraduate education.  Undergraduate members inducted that year included:  Karrie Nickerson and Anna Pagano, and graduates Ariadne Ferro and Deborah Hooker joined.

In 1999, Dr. Candace Slater, visiting Barcardi Fellow at the Center for Latin American Studies, spoke about her experience in Portuguese and the “Literatura de cordel.” Undergraduate inductee: Nara Matos. Graduate inductees:  Fred Boltz, Fernando Ojeda, and Natércia Príncipe.

In 2000, Dr. Jeffrey Needell, Associate professor of Brazilian History at the University of Florida, spoke about Portuguese as the key to the fascinating world of Brazil and Brazilian studies.  Undergraduate inductees:  Alex Lamazares, Stephanie Litka, Allison McMurray, Robin Minor and Serena Paskewicz.  Graduate inductee:  Natalie Arsenault.

In 2001, Dr. Charles Perrone, author of Brazilian Popular Music and Globalization spoke on behalf of Phi Lambda Beta initiates, David Cortese,  Emily Milligan, Shad Munson, David Salisbury, Catarina Silveira, and Wendy Tahuico.

In 2002, Dr. Elizabeth Ginway, after spending seven years at the University of Florida, gave a short talk on the state of Portuguese and Brazilian Studies nationally and at UF. Undergraduates Melissa Bartron and Andrea Gálvez became members.

2003, Michael Heckenberger spoke on behalf of initiates: Miguel Bunker, Keith Penã, Gabriel Pumariega, Kurt Williams and Madalena Zielinska, and Guilherme Costa

In  2004 Andrea Ferrerira, Karelma Frontera-Acevedo and Tarsila Reybitz were initiated during the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures Awards Ceremony.

In 2005 the only initiate was graduate student Luciana Monteiro

In 2006, Daniela Alves Meyer of the Instituto Brasil-Estados Unidos (IBEU) of Rio de Janeiro honored initiates Kenyetta Mondrae Mullins, Shaune Heyser, Julia A. Carvalho, Loyda Tellez, Sarah Brush, Thais Dutra Ribeiro, Rachel Lara Teague, Natalia Jacovkis, and Honorary member Scott LaFramenta.

2007: Marcela Andrade, Brenton de Faria, Diana Roberta Frasier, Matthew A. González, Renato da Silva and Kristina Socarras

2008: Danielle Calin, Lewis Curtwright and Diana Ospina

2010: Daniela Abad, Maria Lobo, Rose Llanos, Carly Beaugé, Anneli Lefranc and Caitlin Marie Porter

2012: Dylan Attal, Grant Bennett, Sarah Benton, and Emilio Meneses

2013: Chloe M. Burke, Ana Hernández, Katerina Resek, and Thais Tavara

2014: Kiefer Fairbanks, Sephanie Silva Fernandes, Hollie Harrison, Antonio Augusto Senra, Cristina Villaroel

2015: Samantha Buhler, Tiffany Fuentes, Hans Goertz, Laura Sandoval

2016: Nicholas Grossi,  Sara E. Kelly

2017: Clara Huebra, Daniela Monroy, Maria Sofia Quiñones

2018:  Ashley Aguilar, Madeline Cruz, Carmen Florez, Isabel Maldonado, Amanda Menezes, Cassandra Sottile, Jessica Valdés, Melany Vergara (graduate student)

2019: Nicole Calderón Álvarez, John Hutton, Carolyn Imes, Danilo Marin, Jacqueline Mumford, Megan Radney, Lorena Reis, Paul Silva