Alpha Lambda Delta (ALD) chapter members at The University of Texas-Pan American want people to know who they are.
Their message of "We're geeks, not Greeks," put on the T-shirts worn by members of the honor society for first year college students recently won top prize for T-shirt design at the 2010 National Leadership Workshop in Orlando, Fla.
It was the first time ALD chapters had the opportunity of submitting their organization's t-shirt design at the workshop for a chance to win $200.
"It was so exciting to see that the competition had been narrowed down to us. It felt like a very good accomplishment," said Dolores Villarreal, ALD adviser and assistant director for Student Life and Transition Services. "This was our very first shirt. It was designed entirely by students."
The black t-shirt with Alpha Lambda Delta splashed in blue on the front of the shirt and "We're geeks, not Greeks" on the back, was designed by Josue Galvan, UTPA senior biology major. He was inducted into the organization in the spring of 2008 and since then has held the positions of president as well as junior and senior adviser. He has also been the only ALD member at UTPA to be named a JoAnne J. Trow Undergraduate Scholar, a scholarship award given by the ALD National Council.
Galvan said he received inspiration for his design at a previous ALD National Workshop. He decided to turn his idea into reality to minimize the misconception students had about their organization.
"Many students around campus think that we're a fraternity or sorority, but we're not, we are an honor society. We're geeks, not Greeks, " said Galvan. "So we took the idea, played around with different fonts and we got our t-shirt."
Galvan said he saw this as a win for the chapter, not an accomplishment for himself and admitted he was unaware of the competition altogether until he received a text message from his protégé and ALD President, George Galindo.
Villarreal and Galvan said the money will be added to ADL's scholarship fund and be given back to the ALD members to assist them with college expenses.
Chartered at UTPA in 2003, ALD is the only freshmen honor society on campus. Students can apply for lifetime membership after their first full semester at UTPA. They must have 12-29 credit hours, a 3.5 GPA, be a full-time student and be working toward a degree.
ALD invites 80-100 students to become members of the organization every year. They induct more than 70 students every spring semester and have close to 50 active members who participate in meetings and events.
The organization concentrates exclusively on community service participating in events such as Adopt-a- Beach Clean Up, Adopt an Angel, Feast of Sharing, Green Living Festival, volunteering at The Rio Grande Valley Food Bank and holding canned food drives during the year.
Villarreal said ALD is a good way for students to start college on the right foot and learn skills in leadership and communication. It also provides good opportunities in community service, to learn about local and national scholarships and a chance to represent UTPA on a national level.
"I am such a proud adviser," Villarreal said. "They have come a long way and are doing great things. Our goal is to keep growing and increasing our funds so we may provide more scholarships... I would love to see more students getting involved with ALD."
For more information on ALD, contact Villarreal at (956) 665-2659.