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Upsilon History

Eleven strong and determined young ladies founded Upsilon Chapter, at the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP), on June 4, 1995. Although the chapter was founded in the Spring of 1995, the interest group had its beginnings at a much earlier time. During the Spring of 1994 a group of women came together and discussed the idea of possibly establishing a Latina sorority on campus. They felt that an organization that catered to the needs of minority women was nonexistent on the University of Maryland campus at the time. Through careful research they chose the proud and respectfully known organization of Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, Incorporated. From the Spring of 1994 to the Spring of 1995, the interest group, chaired by Nancy Rodriguez, grew to numbers of up to 80 women but for various reasons, only 11 ladies became the Founding Sisters of Upsilon Chapter.


With over two decades of history at UMD, Upsilon Chapter has established a firm network of diverse strong women from different backgrounds. Although each sister is different in her own respect, every sister is bonded by the common goal of uplifting the universal woman and the surrounding community. Primarily as an academic sorority, sisters value the importance of scholarly success and promote leadership on campus that transcends into the professional field.


With that said, in the past few years, we have seen a number of Upsilon sisters inducted into the Order of Omega and the Kalegethos Society. Moreover, La Raza Unida Award was presented to an Upsilon sister for the second time in the award’s history. Also for the first time, an Upsilon sister received the Carolina Rojas-Bahr Award for Outstanding Latino Student.


Upsilon Chapter continues to demonstrate incredible programming. Most notably, the the Dream Act Rally in conjunction with 22 co-sponsors that also included guests Senator Ben Cardin and Maryland State Delegates Heather Mizeur, Ana Sol Gutierrez and Joseline Peña-Melnyk. The event was in support of a ballot referendum in the November 2012 election that would allow undocumented students to pay in-state tuition if they met certain guidelines. The event gained attention from media organizations like ABC 7 and the Baltimore Sun and also received a number of awards from various campus groups. Subsequently, the Dream Act was passed into law in the State of Maryland, which set a precedent as no other state had yet approved the legislation through a popular vote. To this day, Upsilon prides itself on the variety and originality of programs that are put on for the campus community. Sisters have planned events on sustainability and self-care, sexual assault prevention and awareness, and financial literacy workshops, only to name a few. 


As Upsilon Chapter continues the legacy at UMD, over 20 years later, it is evident that much is to be celebrated as we continue the tradition of success our founding sisters established in 1995.

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President's Cup:

  • 2001-2002

  • 2004-2005

  • 2008-2009

  • 2012-2013

  • 2013-2014

  • 2014-2015

  • 2016-2017

  • 2017-2018

National Awards:

  • Best GPA (1995-1996): Margarita Ortiz

  • Outstanding Educational Program (1997-1998): “Abriendo Las Puertas Al Futuro”

  • Outstanding Programming (2000-2001): “Campaign 2000: The Latino Vote”

  • Faculty Advisor of the Year (2001-2002): Julia Matute-Kumbalasiri

  • Undergraduate Chapter of the Year (2003-2004)

  • New Sister of the Year (2004-2005): Liz Lizama

  • Programming Excellence Award (2005-2006)

  • Undergraduate Chapter of the Year (2013-2014)

  • Universal Mother of the Year (2019): Liz Lizama

  • Undergraduate Chapter of the Year - Luna (2021-2022)

MDA1 Awards:

  • Sister of the Year (2004-2005): Liz Lizama

  • Academic Sister (2004-2005): Jessica Noeth

  • Sister of the Year (2006-2007): Jessica Saavedra

  • Chapter of the Year (2018-2019)

  • Undergraduate Sister of the Year (2018-2019): Nidia Blanco

  • Outstanding Community Service (2018-2019)

  • Outstanding Educational Program (2018-2019): "LTA's Declassified Student Survival Guide"

  • Chapter of the Year (2019-2020)

  • Outstanding Educational Program (2019-2020): "Stop the Traffick"

  • Outstanding New Sister (2019-2020): Gabriela Grant

  • Chapter of the Year (2021-2022)

  • Undergraduate of the Year (2021-2022): Brenda Merino

  • Outstanding Community Service (2021-2022)

  • Outstanding Leadership (2021-2022): Brenda Merino

  • Professional of the Year (2021-2022): Cara Grant

NAACP Awards:

  • Image Award for Best PHC Sorority (2008-2009)

  • Most Outstanding Greek Lettered Organization (2013-2014)

  • Most Outstanding Greek Lettered Organization (2016-2017)

  • Most Outstanding Greek Lettered Organization (2017-2018)

  • Most Outstanding Greek Lettered Organization (2018-2019)

  • Outstanding Multicultural Program of the Year (2018-2019): CAFE

Individual Awards:

  • PHC Woman of the Year (2001-2002): Janel Vaughan

  • UMD Student Employee of the Year (2003-2004): Monica Cevallos

  • The Division of Student Affairs Outstanding Service Award (2004-2005): Julia Matute-Kumbalasiri

  • CSL Distinguished Service Award (2004-2005): Nathalie Canadas

  • La Raza Unida Award "Senior Latino of the Year" (2005-2006): Monica Cevallos

  • OMSE Martin Luther King Community Service Award (2005-2006): Leimer Tejeda

  • Ulysses S. Glee Nyumburu Community Service Award (2005-2006): Leimer Tejeda

  • Carolina Rojas-Bahr Award (2012-2013): Yajaira Berna

  • La Raza Unida Citizenship Award (2012-2013): Paola Henry

  • La Raza Unida Citizenship Award (2013-2014): Karen Guzman

  • La Raza Unida Citizenship Award (2014-2015): Odalis Lopez

  • DFSL “Greek Leader of the Year” (2016-2017): Britney Sagastizado

Kalegethos Society:

  • Nancy Rodriguez (1996-1997)

  • Rebecca Santivañez (1997-1998)

  • Wendy Maldonado (1999-2000)

  • Cara Hewitt Grant (2000-2001)

  • Janel Vaughn (2001-2002)

  • Nathalie Cañadas (2004-2005)

  • Jessica Saavedra (2006-2007)

  • Jennifer Sanchez 

  • Vanessa Morales

  • Cindy Rosales (2015-2016)

  • Britney Sagastizado (2016-2017)

  • Jessica DeMouy (2017-2018)

  • Paola Santos (2017-2018)

  • Nidia Blanco (2019-2020)

Order of Omega:

  • Janel Vaughn 

  • Cara Hewitt Grant 

  • Gisela Paredes 

  • Danielle Derrig 

  • Nathalie Cañadas 

  • Kathy Guevara 

  • Elisha Shrestha 

  • Zuleima Hidalgo 

  • Jennie Alfaro 

  • Sabrina Carrillo

  • Brenda Merino

  • Isabele Arteaga

University Awards and Accomplishments:

  • HHC Best Event (1998-1999): "Abriendo Las Puertas Al Futuro"

  • PHC/PHA Most Improved Chapter (1998-1999)

  • PHC/PHA Best Event (1998-1999)

  • PHA Most Improved Chapter (2001-2002)

  • PHC Best GPA (2001-2002): Monica Serrano 

  • Outstanding Campus Involvement (2002-2003)

  • DFSL William E. Kirwan Most Improved Chapter (2003-2004)

  • NALFO Undergraduate Chapter of the Year (2004-2005)

  • PHC Chapter with the Highest GPA (2004-2005)

  • OFSL Diversity Program of the Year (2004-2005): "Latin Flavor/Afro-Soul" with Phi Beta Sigma

  • CSL Student Community Service Organization of the Year (2004-2005)

  • PHC Most Outstanding Executive Board Member (2004-2005): Nathalie Canadas

  • OFSL Outstanding Faculty Advisor Award (2005-2006): Julia Matute-Kumbalasiri 

  • HHC Best Overall Event (2006-2007): "Caminos de la Vida" with LUL

  • HHC Best Educational Event (2006-2007): "Caminos de la Vida" with LUL

  • OMSE Certificate of Special Recognition for Outstanding Campus Multi-Ethnic Organization (2006-2007)

  • MICA Community Development Award (2006-2007)

  • HHC Best Cultural Event (2006-2007): Latino Style Dinner 

  • HHC Latino Student Leader (2008-2009): Vanessa Morales

  • HHC Best Cultural Program (2008-2009): "Luna Lounge"

  • MICA MVP Leadership Development (2008-2009)

  • MICA Recognized in Scholarship (2008-2009)

  • MICA Recognized for Excellence in Cross Cultural Involvement (2008-2009)

  • MICA Recognized for Community Development (2008-2009)

  • MICA Recognized for Identity Development (2008-2009)

  • MICA MVP Award for Community Service (2012-2013): "Dream Act Rally"

  • DFSL Program of the Year (2012-2013): "Dream Act Rally"

  • MGC Pillar of Sisterhood (2014-2015)

  • MGC Pillar of Cultural Awareness (2014-2015)

  • MGC Pillar of Sisterhood (2015-2016) 

  • MICA MVP Award for Community Service (2016-2017)

  • MGC Pillar of Service (2017-2018)

  • DFSL Outstanding Sexual Assault Prevention Programming (2017-2018)

  • DFSL & Office of Sustainability officially recognizing us as a Green Chapter   (2017-2018) 

  • DFSL Paragon Award (2018-2019): "On the Inside: Life Inside Detention Centers for Detained Immigrants" 

  • DFSL & Office of Sustainability Green Chapter Participation Award (2018-2019)

  • MICA MVP Personal Development (2018-2019)

  • MGC Chapter Advisor(s) of the Year (2018-2019): Marleine Rosas & Imani Cabassa

  • MGC Best Cultural Awareness Program (2018-2019): "On the Inside: Life Inside Detention Centers for Detained Immigrants" 

  • DFSL Outstanding Risk Management Programming (2019-2020): "Sparking Up a Conversation: A Comprehensive Discussion on Cannabis Use and Its Consequences" 

  • DFSL Chapter Advisor of the Year (2019-2020): Faline Rojas

  • MGC Best Cultural Awareness Program (2019-2020): "When They See Us?: How Did This Happen?"

  • MICA MVP Award for Personal Development (2019-2020): ClimART Change 

  • MICA MVP Award for Community Service (2019-2020)

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