Phiotas Raise $1,500 in Twenty Minutes for Scholarship
Troy, New York - October, 2009
Fundraiser exceeded expectations to the delight of the brothers and guests attending Phi Iota Alpha's Alpha Chapter Alumni Reunion. Despite harsh economic times, fundraiser yields over $1,500 for scholarships.
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute students and alumni were able to raise enough money to not only fund the scholarship they currently offer to other students but were also able to resurrect another scholarship that Phi Iota Alpha Fraternity, Inc. had previously subsidized.
While celebrating the 25th year of the revival of the Alpha chapter, the undergraduate brothers of Phi Iota Alpha held a fund-raiser for the scholarship called, the Troy "Curacão" Memorial Scholarship. The fundraiser did so well that the brothers are now able to offer another scholarship they had previously presented over 10 years ago.
Gilberto Diaz, the President of the Alpha Chapter Alumni Association said "It is important we help the community around us, especially during these trying economic times." Fellow alumni and other esteemed guests responded to the call. By the end of the twenty minute fundraiser at their celebration dinner, Mr. Diaz returned to the podium to announce the grand total of $1,516. This announcement was followed by additional news, which most at the event were also surprised to hear; Due to the success of this recent fundraiser, the chapter will be able to bring back another scholarship they once offered, the Jose "Coco" Podadera Scholarship.
As a result, the Phi Iota Alpha, Alpha chapter will now be able to offer two different scholarships to the RPI community. Details of the scholarships will be posted on the fraternity chapter's website, www.phiota.net, when they become available.
Rafael Arciga, was awarded the Young Community Leader award for his involvement in the community and for serving as a role model for the youth at the 11th Annual Heroes de Corazon ceremony October 15, 2009.
Arciga received the award in conjunction with his fraternity's own award for serving the community of Northwest Arkansas, whose combined efforts with other organizations in the community gave way to the award.
"More than anything, this award is for me to continue being motivated, to keep working toward the needs of the community and to try and help those peers who might not have the same access to education," Arciga said.
The winner of Young Community Leader award is a man or a woman less than 30 years old who has given unselfish and extensive service to the Hispanic and/or Latino community, and is considered a "rising star" within the Hispanic and/or Latino community, according to the award committee.
Arciga, 23, is a founding member of Phi Iota Alpha at the University of Arkansas and immediate past president for the chapter. Arciga and seven other men founded Phi Iota Alpha in Fall 2007, establishing it as the first and only Latino fraternity in the state of Arkansas. Arciga also serves as the Deputy State Director for Young Adults for the League of United Latin American Citizens, AmeriCorps Promise Fellow at the University of Arkansas, Education chair for the Arkansas Citizens First Congress and is part of the Board of Director for Legal Aid of Arkansas.
The event was sponsored by Walmart and its Hispanic/Latino Associate Resource Group (HLARG) and was also part of the closing celebration for this year s Hispanic Heritage month.
Making a difference in the Latino community of Northwest Arkansas has been the primary goal of Phi Iota Alpha Fraternity Inc., since its arrival as the first Latino fraternity in Arkansas in 2007.
The community has recognized that effort Oct. 15 in the form of an 11th annual Héroes de Corazõn award, one of the most prestigious awards given to community leaders in the area. The Alpha Lambda Chapter of Phi Iota Alpha at the University of Arkansas, received the Heritage Leaders Award for their work and partnerships with groups on campus, along with community organizations to bring awareness to the issues affecting the Latino community.
"We will continue to get our name out, but most important serve as role models to the coming generations," said Cesar Hurtado, president of the chapter. "This recognition serves us as motivation," added Rafael Arciga, past president of the chapter and recipient of his own Héroes de Corazón award. "There is much work to be done in our communities and Phiota will be there to represent and stand for better communities and Latinos."
Since its establishment at the University of Arkansas, Phi Iota Alpha and its members have been heavily involved in issues affecting their community, especially the student and immigrant population throughout the state and nationwide. Even before their fraternal membership, most members had made an impact in the community, such as their work in outreach to high school Latinos about higher education.
The event was sponsored by Walmart and its Hispanic/Latino Associate Resource Group (HLARG) and was also part of the closing celebration for this year's Hispanic Heritage month
In honor of Phi Iota Alpha's 78th anniversary, the Honorable Governor from the State of Michigan, Jennifer Granholm, presented the University of Michigan Phi Satellite and Michigan State University Phi Chapter with a Certificate of Tribute.
The Certificate of Tribute sponsored by Governor Granholm recognizes Phi Iota Alpha for its 78 years of service to the community. The Certificate of Tribute states:
On behalf of the citizens of Michigan, we Governor Jennifer M. Granholm and Lt. Governor John D. Cherry Jr. do hereby recognize
Phi Iota Alpha Latino Fraternity, Inc.
Whereas, Founded in 1931 Phi Iota Alpha Latino Fraternity, Inc., is the oldest Latino fraternity in our nation, and its mission to preserve the rich history and cultures of the Latino community still resonates today; and,
Whereas, Phi Iota Alpha Latino Fraternity, Inc., encourages scholastic success in its brotherhood and guides its brothers to craft a new vision that moves beyond the attainment of persona and professional goals that contribute to the larger good of the community through individual acts and deeds, and,
Whereas, Phi Iota Alpha Latino Fraternity, Inc., has served as an intellectual "ideological university" through its rigorous study of Pan-Americanism inspired by the accomplishments of its five pillars: Simon Bolviar, Bernardo O'Higgins, Benito Juarez and Jose Marti; and,
Whereas, The history Phi Iota Alpha Latino Fraternity, Inc., continues to be made by men of great vision, leadership, devotion, persistence and most importantly, a commitment to the continued development of their communities;
Now, Therefore, be it Resolved, That we Jennifer M. Granholm, governor of the state of Michigan, and John D. Cherry, Jr., lieutenant governor of the state of Michigan, do hereby offer this Certificate of congratulations to Phi Iota Alpha Latino Fraternity, Inc., in recognition of its 78th anniversary. We offer our congratulations to Phi Iota Alpha Latino Fraternity, Inc., for continuing to strive for academic excellence and social responsibility.
"Spanish Mexican American Steven Garza isn't your average fraternity guy. As a member of Phi Iota Alpha at the University of Texas at San Antonio, he works with various organizations including American Red Cross Campus Club, the Hispanic Student Association, Multicultural Greek Council and is actively involved with university committees, including the University Diversity Month Planning Committee. He has also committed to taking a lead role in assembling and student-chairing the Latino Heritage Month Planning Committee. With so much on his plate, he still makes time to help his fraternity expand to other universities."
Alejandro Aviles became the youngest state director in the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) on Saturday when he was tapped for the position by the group's Arkansas chapter. Aviles, 27, is a founding member of Phi Iota Alpha at the University of Arkansas and a current student at the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service.
In his position, Aviles will direct the efforts of Arkansas's seven LULAC councils across the state that advocate for civil rights and the advancement of opportunities for the more than 150,000 Latinos in Arkansas. He will also represent the state on LULAC's nation board.
"I look forward to securing key partnerships with organizations, state agencies and public officials essential to advancing our mission and whose charge for serving the public can be enhanced by our membership's input and dedicated service," Aviles said.
Aviles, who is in his third semester at the Clinton School, recently returned from his International Public Service Project in Chetumal, Mexico, where he worked with the Mexican Commission for Refugee Aid.
A native of Fayetteville, Arkansas, he also serves on the board of the Arkansas Public Policy Panel and the University of Arkansas Chancellor's Council of Diversity.
He is also founding member of Phi Iota Alpha at the University of Arkansas and has done extensive volunteer work as a steering committee member for the Arkansas Citizens First Congress and as a member of the Arkansas Task Force on Latino & Hispanic Affairs, appointed by then Governor Mike Huckabee.
"The Hispanic community is not immune to our nation's struggles in the economic crisis and employment woes," Aviles said. "LULAC recognizes special disadvantages faced by them in educational attainment and immigration reforms. We hope to continue our work in Arkansas to decrease these gaps."
Phiota becomes Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Public Policy Fellow
Washington, DC - September, 2009
Andres Olivio has been named a named a Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Public Policy Fellow assigned to the Office of Congressman Jose Serrano.
Andrés Olivo graduated from Nu Chapter (Boston/Northeastern University) with a B.A in Political Science.
At Northeastern University he was involved with the Latin American Student Organization (LASO). While Andrés served as secretary on LASO's executive board, the group won Northeastern University's Organization of the Year Award. Other accomplishments of his include being a La Comunidad en Acción Scholarship recipient and volunteering at Early Education Centers at school and around the Greater Boston Community. Andrés is also a brother of Phi Iota Alpha Fraternity, Inc. As a senior at Northeastern University, the Latino Student Cultural Center recognized many of Olivo's accomplishments by presenting him with several awards.
Andrés' professional experience includes working with the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Consumer Affairs, and the Regional Employment Board of Hampden County.
After completing his CHCI Public Policy Fellowship, Andrés hopes to attend graduate school in public administration to further strengthen his skills as a government professional.
On July 23, 2009 Phi Iota Alpha, the Oldest Latino Fraternity in existence, celebrated it's 77thAnniversary Convention. Phi Iota Alpha Fraternity, Inc. is the oldest intercollegiate Greek-letter fraternity, established for Latino Americans in the United States. It was founded December 26, 1931 at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York.
Over 150 members of Phi Iota Alpha Fraternity, Inc., from all over the country gathered together for educational workshops, motivational speakers, celebrations, and community service.
Convention weekend was capped off with the annual convention banquet with brothers in matching guayaberas. Highlights of the annual awards ceremony included:
Undergrad of the Year: Steven "Spaniard" Garza, AH Chapter - UT San Antonio
Alumni of the Year: Giovanni "El Dorado" Abril, Nu Chapter - Boston University
Chapter of the Year: Kappa Chapter - Syracuse University
In addition to the awards, chapter charters we awarded to the following colonies:
Alpha Eta: University of Texas at San Antonio
Alpha Iota: University of Massachusetts Amherst
Alpha Kappa: Villanova University
Alpha Lambda: University of Arkansas
Lastly the location of next years 78th Annual Convention was announced. Next years convention will be in Dallas, Texas.
Phiota co-authors book chapter on the history of Latino/a fraternities and sororities
Tallahassee, Florida - April, 2009
Dr. Juan "Varadero" Guardia and colleague Dr. Susana M. Muñoz, a member of Sigma Lambda Gamma National Sorority, Inc., have written the first book chapter on the history of Latino/a fraternities and sororities. The book, Brothers and Sisters: Diversity in College Fraternities and Sororities, discusses the origins and backgrounds of diverse fraternities and sororities, including Black, Asian, Latino/a and Native American. In addition, it also addresses multicultural, gay, and religious organizations as well.
Juan and Susana's chapter, "Nuestra Historia y Futuro (Our History and Future): Latino/a Fraternities and Sororities," covers the early activism and foundation of Latino student organizations, the history of Latino/a fraternities and sororities, interview excerpts with fraternity and sorority founders, including Tiberio C. Faría, former Phi Iota Alpha trustee and member since 1956, and current research on Latino/a fraternities and sororities.
Below is more information on the individual book chapters.
1. From the Beginning: A History of College Fraternities an Sororities
2. Links, Legacies, and Letters: A Cultural History of Black Greek-letter Organizations
3. Asian Americans in Sororities and Fraternities: In Search of a Home and Place
4. Nuestra Historia y Futuro (Our History and Future): Latino/a Fraternities and Sororities
5. Preserving and Creating Traditions: A Native American Emergence in Greek Organizations
6. Multicutural Fraternities and Sororities: A Hodgepodge of Transient Multiethnic Groups
7. Challenging the Heterosexual Model of Brotherhood: The Gay Fraternity's Dilemma
8. Praising God and Maintaining Tradition: Religious Diversity within Fraternities and Sororities
9. Rushing the Wall, Crossing the Sands: Cross-Racial Membership in American College Fraternities & Sororities
Brothers and Sisters: Diversity in College Fraternities and Sororities, edited by Craig L. Torbenson and Gregory S. Parks with a forward by Edward G. Whipple, is published by Fairleigh Dickinson University Press. Pre-order available at Target.com and Amazon.com. Street date: May 30, 2009
Several members of the Florida State University colony of Phi Iota Alpha were featured in the online documentary "The Middle Ground."
Aldo De La Paz, and Carles Canamas were interviewed in the 15-minute documentary that reveals the extent to which immigrants assimilate to American culture and how that process results in a loss of some native cultural aspects. The film shows the struggles and triumphs foreign citizens experience while living in the United States. It also answers the question of whether there is a happy medium between immigrant's native culture and American culture.