Association of Graduate Liberal Studies Programs


AGLSP Awards & Recognition

Annual Faculty Award

The AGLSP Annual Faculty Award is offered each year by the Association to honor an outstanding faculty member who teaches within graduate liberal studies (GLS). 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.

The award is a prestigious recognition of an individual associated with a member program who has made a considerable contribution to interdisciplinary liberal studies teaching and advising. The recipient will receive a plaque and $1,000 cash award at the Association’s Annual Conference and will make a brief presentation upon receiving the award. Recipient’s conference registration and lodging are provided by the Association; the recipient’s home program is responsible for transportation and additional expenses. The recipient’s remarks will be posted on the AGLSP website and published in Confluence.

The recipient of the 2016 Faculty of the Year Award is Dr. John Freeman of Rice University.  Professor Emeritus of Physics and Astronomy, Dr. Freeman helped found Rice’s MLS program, taught in, and served as Director of the program.  A strong supporter of AGLSP, he also served on the AGLSP Board from 2013 through 2015.  Unable to attend the October 2016 Conference in Oklahoma City for health reasons, the award was accepted on Dr. Freeman’s behalf by Peggy Roe, an alumni of Rice’s MLS program. Ms. Roe’s acceptance speech on behalf of Dr. Freeman can be found here. The AGLSP is grateful to Rice University for nominating him. 

Click here to view our previous award winners.

Confluence Writing Awards

Each year the AGLSP Board, in cooperation with the Editorial Board of Confluence, highlights the quality of student work produced in member programs by awarding the Excellence in Interdisciplinary Writing award and the Excellence in Creative Writing award. The first award celebrates interdisciplinary inquiry as the central intellectual practice of Graduate Liberal Studies and critical writing as a foundational tool of graduate study, and is given to a carefully-researched and well-crafted critical essay that makes exemplary use of interdisciplinary tools in order to engage a general educated audience. The second award celebrates creative writing as a form of inquiry, art, and expression, and is given to an exemplary single piece in any of the genres of creative writing, such as short story, personal essay, creative nonfiction, or poetry. Each award may be given to any current student or recent graduate (up to one-year post-graduation) of an AGLSP institutional member program in good standing.

Directors of any AGLSP institutional member program may nominate up to two entries per award each year, based on a screening procedure agreed upon by the program’s regular faculty. Only one piece by each author may be nominated. Nominations must be addressed to the Editorial Board and submitted by the director to the AGLSP National Office by the due date (usually in late February). Submissions may include any work written as part of the author's graduate work during the previous calendar year. Entries may be no longer than 4000 words, including bibliographic materials prepared as endnotes in Chicago style. Each entry should also include full contact information for the author, a bio note including likely date of graduation, and, in the case of critical essays, a lively 150-word abstract that makes clear the interdisciplinary nature of the piece.

The author of each winning submission will receive a prize of $500 and will be invited to attend the Annual Conference to receive the award in person; the Association will waive the conference registration fee if the awardee chooses to attend the conference. All travel expenses including airfare and accommodations are not covered by the association. It is with hope and expectation that the winner's home program will help defray the writer’s travel expenses if the awardee would like to personally accept their award at the conference. Additionally, both winning submissions will be published in the fall issue of Confluence to coincide with the Annual Conference. Although only one award is given per category each year, runner-up submissions may also be considered for publication in Confluence. Previous award winning pieces can be found on the Confluence website.

We are extremely proud to announce the winners of the 2018 Confluence Student Writing awards!

The Excellence in Creative Writing Award winner is Audra Coleman of the University of North Carolina - Asheville, for her story “Bubo Virginianus.” The Excellence in Interdisciplinary Writing Award winner is Meg Cook of Reed College, for her essay "America’s Poshlust Vacuum: The Young-Girl, Émigré, and Artist in Nabokov’s Lolita.” The award-winning submissions will be published in the Fall 2018 issue of Confluence. Congratulations to both writers for their excellent work!

Outstanding Contribution Award

The Outstanding Contribution Award, established by the Board in 2005, recognizes an outstanding faculty member, program director, or administrator from a Full Member institution of the AGLSP who has established an extraordinary record of long-term leadership, advocacy, and commitment to Graduate Liberal Studies. The award celebrates a lifetime record of achievement that has significantly advanced the mission of interdisciplinary graduate education regionally, nationally, or internationally. This honor is awarded by the Board. Recent recipients are:

  • 2007 – Dr. R. Barry Levis, Rollins College

  • 2006 – Dr. Phyllis O’Callaghan, Georgetown University

  • 2005 – Dr. Charles R. Strain, DePaul University