Our Honorary Sisters are distinguished professionals and community leaders who are nominated by entities of Kappa Delta Chi, voted in by National Leadership and who officially accept our invitation. Once initiated, honorary sisters are part of the family and enjoy many privileges of membership in Kappa Delta Chi Sorority. If you are a KDChi chapter and would like to nominate an outstanding individual to be an Honorary Sister, please contact Katrina Arroyos, our Vice President of Records at Records@kappadeltachi.org with your name and chapter. You will then receive communication on how to move forward with your nomination.
Dr. Lorena Gonzalez is a national speaker who facilitates training sessions and provides consulting services to educational, government, and corporate entities. Her specialty is conducting leadership training for families and youth. As the daughter of immigrant parents, she knows first-hand what it is like to work hard and persevere. Lorena holds a Ph.D. in Leadership Studies, and her research interests are in culture and leadership. Her personal philosophy and mission includes living in passion, hope, and service. She inspires others to seek within themselves the courage to triumph over challenges and obstacles. Lorena sits on various boards and is a former City of San Antonio Commissioner on Family and Children. She is married and has three children, all graduates of Clark High School. One of her daughters is Kappa Delta Chi Legacy Amanda Gonzalez, who served President of the Pi Chapter. Dr. Gonzalez was initiated as an Honorary Sister by the Pi Chapter at the University of Texas.
Dolores Huerta's numerous contributions to immigrant and civil rights have inspired generations of young Latina women. Dolores Huerta has worked to improve social and economic conditions for farm workers and to fight discrimination. To further her cause, she created the Agricultural Workers Association (AWA) in 1960 and co-founded what would become the United Farm Workers (UFW) with Cesar Chavez. Chavez was known as the mighty leader and speaker, Dolores was the skilled organizer and tough negotiator. Dolores Huerta stepped down from the UFW in 1999, but she continues her efforts to improve the lives of workers, immigrants and women. Dolores Huerta has been honored for her work as a fierce advocate for farm workers, immigration and women. She received the Ellis Island Medal of Freedom Award and was inducted in the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 1993. That year proved bitter-sweet for her as she also experienced the passing of her beloved friend Cesar Chavez. In 1998, she received the Eleanor Roosevelt Award, a year before she stepped down from her position at the United Farm Workers. In 2002, she received the Puffin/Nation Prize for Creative Citizenship. The $100,000 award provided her the means to create the Dolores Huerta Foundation, whose purpose is to bring organizing and training skills to low-income communities. Huerta was also awarded the Presidential Medal of Honor by President Barack Obama in 2011. Ms. Huerta was initiated as an Honorary Sister by the Alpha Alpha Chapter at Wichita State University on September 30, 2005.
Gloria de Leon is a national expert in youth leadership development, devoting the majority of her life studying the nature of success among the Latino student population. As Co-Founder and Executive Vice President of the National Hispanic Institute, she has over 27 years of experience in organizational development and non-profit management. As a chief strategist, she defined NHI as an independent, enterprising organization, working as a curriculum and program design for various populations including at-risk, migrant, and high ability youth. She also serves as a consultant to colleges and universities on Latina/o student recruitment and retention, with a special emphasis on the needs of the Latina student population. As creator of the Lorenzo de Zavala (LDZ) Youth Legislative Session, Gloria became the principal architect of the high intensity, “game technology” training models used in all NHI programs today. As NHI’s most successful program, participants gain admission to college at a rate of 98%, with 90% completing an undergraduate degree and 65% of LDZers pursuing graduate and professional studies. She was initiated as an Honorary Sister by the Pi Chapter at the University of Texas.
Dr. Laura Murillo is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. She has received many awards and honors for her work in the community, most notably in the field of higher education. Dr. Murillo served as the Director of the Urban Experience Program at the University of Houston where she increased retention and graduation rates amongst Latina/o students. She was initiated as a Honorary Sister by the Theta Chapter at the University of Houston.
Ms. Ann Marie Newman is the Director for Diversity for the American Cancer Society's High Plains Division. She was instrumental in establishing the official partnership between the ACS and KDChi in 2004. Ann Marie works with the Diversity Council for the development and implementation of the High Plains strategic diversity business plan, the diversity development and education program, and the language translation service. In addition, she is a liaison for the international activities of the ACS. She is the former Executive Director of the ACS in El Paso, TX. Career highlights include working in the Nationwide Talent Management Program, staff recruiter, volunteer management, program implementation, fundraising, staffing the Hispanic/Latino Leadership Summit, African American Leadership Summit and the National Hearing on Cancer and the Poor (Harold P. Freeman, MD, 1995). Ann Marie received a bilingual Bachelor's in International Commerce from the University of the Americas, Puebla, Mexico. Ann Marie has worked for the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) in Mexico City, Mexico, and for the Kingston Legal Aid Clinic, in Kingston, Jamaica. She was initiated as an Honorary Sister at the 2008 Convention in Houston, Texas.
Dr. Guadalupe Salazar was inducted as an honorary sister of Kappa Delta Chi during the 2017 National Leadership Conference in Orlando, Florida. Dr. Salazar is the Director of El Centro-based in Fort Collins, Colorado; she is not your typical college advisor. She dropped out of school in the 7th grade and went on to receive her GED. With a passion for education, she then attended Aims Community College and became a Single Parent & Welfare Recipient. She was focused on completing her educational journey, so she earned two Bachelor’s Degrees (Business Administration and Spanish) from the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley and her Master of Science and a Ph.D. (Educational Leadership and Human Resources) from Colorado State University, Fort Collins, a school she continues to serve. Lupe (as she’s known to her students) demonstrates the importance of Unity through her involvement in numerous community service organizations such as ACPA Women Committee, The Minority Commission Committee, the Center for Applied Studies and Ethnicity Advisory Board. She displays Honesty in her strength and courage to share her powerful story of striving for a higher education in the face of adversity; she embraces who she is and is proud to share and inspire students. Furthermore, Dr. Salazar displays Integrity in her actions with her dedication to creating a safe space for those in the Latina/o community. Finally, Dr. Salazar embodies Leadership as the current Director of El Centro at CSU. In this role, she is responsible for developing, implementing and providing direct services to students. These services are inclusive and assist students to adjust to the university environment and develop academic skills that contribute to their graduation. Dr. Salazar has a life-long passion for learning, and this translates to a deeper passion for student’s academic and personal success. Over the past 20 years, she has served as a role model and mentors countless students, including as an advisor to the KDChi Beta Eta Chapter.
Leslie Salinas was inducted as an honorary sister of Kappa Delta Chi during the 2017 National Leadership Conference in Orlando, Florida. Leslie was selected for her outstanding contributions to the Latina/o and disability communities and for dedicating her life to serving others. Leslie is not your typical college student. She lives with an intellectual disability (formerly known as Mild Mental Retardation). She is attending The Pathway Program at UCLA and is pursuing her certification in Learning and Life Skills, pushing barriers, breaking stereotypes, and inspiring all who have the privilege of meeting her. Among her recognition, she won the John R. Wooden Award in Basketball at the 2016 Special Olympics, received the honor of being named 2015 Valley Vista High School’s Unified Athlete of the Year and collected two gold medals, three silver medals and three bronze medals at the 2014-2015 Special Olympics Regional and State Levels.
While attending high school in Surprise, Arizona, Leslie Participated in the AGUILA Youth Leadership Institute, an organization dedicated to assisting students from underrepresented communities in achieving a higher education. While attending workshops led by Latina/o leaders, she gained an appreciation of her culture and displayed leadership within the organization, so much so, that it led the CEO, Rosemary Ybarra-Hernandez, to support her dreams to pursue a higher education. In addition to dedicating time to the Latina/o community, Leslie is passionate about and advocates for individuals with disabilities. Leslie has actively participated in several community service events including Spread the Word to End the Word, a campaign dedicated to stopping the use of the “r-word” and was recognized for the number of students she registered for a blood drive. She also enjoys participating in regular beach cleanups.
Leslie demonstrated the importance of Unity through her involvement in Special Olympics teams, AGUILA, and as the captain of the adaptive cheerleading team, Sparkles. She displays Honesty in her strength and courage to share her intellectual disability experiences and diagnosis; she embraces who she is and is proud to share them to inspire others. Furthermore, Leslie displays Integrity in her actions with her dedication to Spread the Word to End the Word and is dedicated to removing such a hurtful word from the vocabulary of others. Finally, Leslie embodies Leadership in all of her extracurricular activities and is a leader within the Pathway Leadership Program at UCLA Extension where she helps with the creation of the Pathway Yearbook and leads campus tours for prospective students. Leslie currently resides in Los Angeles, California and is an intern with Bright Horizon Childcare. She hopes to one day be a preschool teacher’s assistant.