AGLSP News & Events

Pay Your Dues On-Line!

You can now pay your annual membership dues securely on-line using PayPal! Click for more details.

Posted under AGLSP News

A message from the Editor-in-Chief of Confluence

From the 2014-2015 Editor-in-Chief of Confluence 

I’ve been asked to introduce myself to the AGLSP membership, and I’m pleased to do so.  I have published broadly. . .as poet, playwright, and writer of short fiction and have edited several journals. None of this, however, tells you how pleased I am to be working with AGLSP, having begun my editorship role on November 1 of this year.  This is something of a new role, though, in that Confluence now shifts from a “hard copy” publication to an online publication in its emerging, new life.

Beginning in 2015, Confluence will be led by an Editorial Board. I am pleased to announce the members of the inaugural editorial board:

Martha Banz, Ph.D. V.P, AGLSP (University of Oklahoma)

Joseph Chaney, Ph.D. English (Indiana University – South Bend)

John W. Freeman, Ph.D. Physics (Rice University)

Judith McKay, J.D., Ph.D. Conflict Resolution (Nova Southeastern University)

Amy Mossman, Ph.D. Rhetoric, Sustainability, Humanities (Western Illinois University)

Charles Sullivan, Ph.D. History (University of Dallas)

Because the Editorial Board, with all its expertise cannot cover submissions across all academic disciplines, others of you, on occasions, will be invited to serve as readers.  Each submission will always be presented to at least two readers for review.

The new “startup” edition of Confluence is currently scheduled for February 2015. With the journal’s two-year hiatus, it is possible that essays and/or creative work may have been overlooked.  Should you know of any such “wanderers,” please contact me at  And, to each of you:  I assure you that we, at your new Confluence, will strive to present you with a continuing academic journal of excellence.  For your personal interest and a broader introduction to your new editor, I invite you to view my personal webpage, (still undergoing light construction).

Happy Holidays and best wishes,

Gary D. Swaim, Ph.D.
Editor-in-Chief, Confluence

Posted under AGLSP News

Welcome New Members

Welcome New Associate Member!

- St. John’s University, Master of Arts in Liberal Studies, Rev. Jean-Pierre Ruiz, Director
- University of Central Oklahoma, Master of Liberal Studies, Dr. Stephen C. Law, Graduate Director

Welcome New Student/Alumni Members!

- Virginia Morgan (alumna University of Miami)
- Iryna Sirota-Basso (Georgetown University)
- Alison Morrow (alumna Johns Hopkins University)
- Anne C. Armstrong (Georgetown University)
- Kellie D. Lewis (Temple University)
- Virginia P. Justice (alumna Rollins College)
- Tamara Tinker (alumna Stanford University Continuing Studies)
- Jenifer Baldwin (alumna Temple University)
- Larry Creech (alumnus Georgetown University)
- Susan Benson (alumna Reed College)
- John R. Mazza (Wake Forest University)
- Timothy D. McCollum (Eastern Oregon University)
- Cally E. Mervine (Harrison College)
- Patti Patridge (Wake Forest University)
- Andy Hughes (alumnus UNC  - Greensboro)

Welcome New Individual Members!

- Christy Wise, Georgetown University
- Christopher W. Franz, St. Joseph Hill Academy
- Dr. Carole Shaffer-Koros, Professor Emerita – English (Kean University)
- William Eaton, Executive Editor Zeteo: The Journal of Interdisciplinary Writing


Posted under AGLSP News

A letter from AGLSP President Deborah Finkel

October 2014

Dear AGLSP Members,

I am pleased to report yet another successful annual conference, Revolutions: Past, Present, and Future, in Philadelphia. Marylu Hill of Villanova University and Chris Pastore of the University of Pennsylvania were outstanding hosts, presenting an excellent program with 104 attendees including 51 student and faculty speakers.

At the 2014 Annual Business Meeting, the following matters were addressed:

  • The association financials are sound; the membership approved the proposed 2015 budget.
  • Membership: as of 10/6/2014, 109 members were current on their dues. About 5 were still are in arrears for 2014. We urge all members to pay their dues as soon as they can.
  • The proposal to create a GLS honor society was approved by the membership. Michele Mrak, board member, will head the committee to implement the proposal.
  • Nominations for the 2015 Annual Faculty Award are now open. Guidelines are attached and will be posted on the website. We congratulate the recipient of the 2014 award, Professor J. Dennis Huston (Rice University).
  • We thank outgoing board members Stephanie Schechner (Widener University) for her leadership on the publications committee, and Bob Smither (Rollins College) for serving as President 2012-2014. The membership voted in new board members Martha Banz (Oklahoma University) as Vice-President and President Elect, Tim Boylan (Winthrop University) as Treasurer, and Michele Mrak (Southern Methodist University) and Chris Pastore (University of Pennsylvania) as members at large.

The AGLSP Board of Directors is also pleased to announce a new phase for Confluence: The Journal of Graduate Liberal Studies. Dr. Ken Smith (Indiana University South Bend) has served as editor of confluence for 3 years and, as his term is ending, the board is taking advantage of this opportunity to rethink the journal.  The board has decided to use the transition to make two major changes:

  1. Confluence will move to online publication.
  2. Confluence will move to an editor-in-chief and editorial board.

Dr. Gary Swaim, of Southern Methodist University, has agreed to serve as our first Editor-in-Chief and Southern Methodist University will take responsibility for hosting the online journal format. Dr. Martha Banz, AGLSP Vice President, will serve as an ex officio member of the Confluence editorial board and will work with the Editor-in-Chief to establish an editorial board with representation from the several fields represented by Confluence submissions (e.g., poetry, literary criticism, history, social sciences, etc.). Members of the editorial board will share responsibility for review of submissions to the journal. This transition of the journal has two consequences:

  1. There will be no Confluence student writing award this year, but all submissions for this year’s award will be forwarded for consideration for next year’s award.
  2. We are recruiting individuals who would be interested in serving on the Confluence editorial board. Please contact Martha Banz ( if you are interested. Our goal is to have the editorial board established by the end of 2014.

As the transition to the new format of Confluence moves forward, we hope to be able to publish the first online issue in early 2015.

The annual conference and business meeting continue to be highlights of membership in the AGLSP. In addition to gaining useful information in running your programs and exploring provocative session topics, networking with fellow directors is invaluable. Please plan to join us next year in San Jose, CA, October 15-17, 2015, as we explore the ways that Place Matters. Stanford University’s MLA program will host the conference. Details will be coming your way shortly.

Respectfully submitted,

Debbie Signature

Deborah Finkel, PhD
President, AGLSP
Director, MLS Program
Indiana University Southeast

Posted under AGLSP News

Annual Faculty Award

The 2014 AFA was awarded to Professor J. Dennis Huston of Rice University.  Professor Huston is professor of English where he has taught since 1969 and is a founding faculty member of Rice’s Master of Liberal Studies program and has been teaching in it since its inception in 2005. His courses meld the disciplines of writing, literature, film, speech, and communications and include Public Speaking, Shakespeare and Film, Modern Drama on Film and in Performance, and The Shaping of Western Thought.

His teaching has brought him press in NewsweekThe Houston Chronicle, and the Dallas Morning News. Dr. Huston has won a number of awards for his mentorship and teaching excellence including the Rice University Graduate Association Teaching and Mentoring Award in 2009. Other awards include a number of George R. Brown teaching awards, the Nicholas Salgo Teaching Prize and he received the 1990 Professor of the Year award from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education and the Carnegie Foundation.  In 1990, Houston Metropolitan magazine named him one of the Ninety Best Things About Houston!

The AGLSP is proud to present the 2014 Faculty Award to Dr. Huston and most grateful to Rice University for nominating him!

Nominations for the 2015 award are now open and we encourage you to submit your nominations. Click here for the 2015 Call for Nominations.

The AGLSP Annual Faculty Award is offered each year by the Association to honor an outstanding faculty member who teaches in a Full Member program. The award was established by the Association’s Board of Directors in 1991 to recognize outstanding faculty who exemplify the qualities of interdisciplinary, liberal teaching and who have participated significantly in teaching or advising students and/or have actively participated in other faculty service in a Graduate Liberal Studies program.

Posted under AGLSP News

2014 Annual Conference – Revolutions: Past, Present, and Future!

Thank you to our co-hosts, Marylu Hill (Villanova) and Chris Pastore (University of Pennsylvania ) for a successful conference. Stay tuned for post conference news.

Please plan to join us in San Jose, CA, October 15-17, 2015, as we explore the ways that Place Matters. Stanford University’s MLA program will host the conference. Details will be coming your way shortly.

2014 Annual Conference – Revolutions: Past, Present, and Future

October 9-11, 2014
Philadelphia, PA
Hosted by The University of Pennsylvania MLA Program and the Villanova University GLS Program




See the map links below for UPenn’s Campus and the Sheraton hotel

UPenn’s Campus Map

Sheraton University City Center Hotel - Thursday Pre Conference Workshop, Friday Evening Banquet and Saturday Breakfast and Business Meeting

UPenn’s Fisher- Bennet Hall – Panel Location - Friday and Saturday

UPenn’s Silverman Hall – Thursday Evening Reception  – Thursday Opening Reception

Philadelphia has long been home to revolutionary thought. Its most famous son, Benjamin Franklin—inventor, scientist, newspaper mogul, diplomat, political philosopher, educational reformer, signer of the Declaration of Independence, statesman—is the embodiment of the myriad revolutions that continue to shape human history, especially in modern times.

For the 2014 AGLSP conference, we will explore the theme of Revolutions. Appropriately, the conference will take place here in Philadelphia, birthplace of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, at the University of Pennsylvania, the university that Franklin founded (in the spirit of educational reform) and the home of the ENIAC—the first computer that revolutionized the face of modern technology. Guest speakers and workshop panel information will be posted soon.

Featured Speaker – Thursday Evening, October 9th

Jonathan Israel, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton

Revolutions and Democratic Revolutions – What Makes the Vital Difference?

Most revolutions in modern history have ended in dictatorship, severe censorship and prolonged repression. Only a few, most notably the American Revolution, have resulted in stable constitutional outcomes that establish and preserve basic human rights.

What makes the difference? This lecture argues that the most essential ingredient has been the Radical Enlightenment democratic tradition.

Jonathan Israel spent most of his career teaching at University College London. He has researched and written mainly on Early Modern European and colonial history. Since 2001 he was been Professor of Modern European History at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton. His most recent two books are: Democratic Enlightenment: Philosophy, Revolution and Human Rights 1750-1790 (Oxford, 2011) and Revolutionary Ideas:  An intellectual History of the French Revolution from The Rights of Man to Robespierre (Princeton, 2014)

Hotel Accommodations 

Please note that The Sheraton Philadelphia University City Hotel room block for the conference is sold out. You may ask to be put on the waiting list under the room block: The Association of Graduate Liberal Studies. Their direct line is 888-627-7071.

Alternate hotels suggestions are:

The Radnor Hotel – near Villanova (on the Main Line).  There is a complimentary car service to and from the train station in Radnor (which is walkable from the Radnor hotel).  From 30th Street Station (where the conference hotel is located), it’s a short walk to Penn campus (approximately 6 blocks).

Philadelphia Airport Marriott   - The ride on the Septa Regional Rail Train from Terminal B – where the Marriott is located – is about 20-25 minutes. Station just a short bit from the conference hotel lobby and about 300 yds from the Penn Museum – 10 min walk to the Sheraton or Fisher-Bennett Hall on UPenn’s Campus.  Book your group rate: Association of Graduate Liberal Studies >>

Use the Trip Advisor Link or to find other hotels near the conference hotel and UPenn

Conference Registration Form



Posted under AGLSP News, Conference News