Modern Languages Awards

Mural on building
Each year the Department of Modern Languages offers students honors and awards

Nelson A. Guertin Memorial Awards

The Nelson A. Guertin Memorial Awards were established by the Department of Modern Languages in 1978. Guertin served Rhode Island College as a member of the Department of Modern Languages for 37 years, retiring in 1973. Two awards are offered – one for French and one for Spanish. Recipients are selected by department faculty on the basis of their academic work and their demonstrated interest in foreign language study.

Phi Sigma Iota

Phi Sigma Iota is the highest academic honor in the field of foreign languages. It recognizes outstanding accomplishment in the study or teaching of any of the academic fields related to foreign language, literature or culture. These fields include not only modern foreign language but also classics, linguistics, philology, comparative literature, bilingual education, second language acquisition and other interdisciplinary programs with a significant foreign language component. The Beta Gamma chapter of Phi Sigma Iota was chartered at Rhode Island College in 1982.

To be eligible, you must have completed 45 credit hours or its equivalent and have a minimum GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) and another 3.0 GPA in the major/minor. There are approximately 250 chapters of Phi Sigma Iota at institutions of higher learning in the United States, Mexico and France.

Tegu Polyglot Award

The Tegu Polyglot Award honors a member of the senior class who has demonstrated outstanding interest and achievement in foreign language study, with particular emphasis on oral proficiency. This award is the gift of the late Steven Tegu, professor emeritus of modern languages, whose life and work were dedicated to the promotion of human understanding through the mastery of languages. 

Prémio Em Estudos Portugueses Award

The Prémio em Estudos Portugueses Award is sponsored by the Institute for Portuguese and Lusophone World Studies and consists of a cash prize of $250 awarded each year to a graduating student who has distinguished themself by outstanding academic achievement in Portuguese studies at Rhode Island College. Recipients are nominated by the Portuguese faculty in the Department of Modern Languages following the criteria established in collaboration with the donor of the prize. The prize is awarded at the College's Cap and Gown Convocation in May of the academic year.