In December, Chelsea Melvin (Master of Liberal Arts ‘18) became the first graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Master of Liberal Arts (MLA) program to be inducted into the Association of Graduate Liberal Studies Programs (AGLSP) National Honor Society. The AGLSP National Honor Society is open to liberal studies graduates who have met the criteria set by the member institution and the AGLSP Honor Society, which include community leadership in addition to outstanding academic achievement. “Recognition from a national honor society validates my work and allows me to better position my abilities in the context of a larger academic community,” says Chelsea, whose individualized MLA curriculum focused on strategic communications and culture.
The Association of Graduate Liberal Studies Programs is a professional organization of academic programs that, like the MLA program, provide interdisciplinary graduate education in the liberal arts and sciences for working adults. The University of Pennsylvania has been an institutional member of this organization for nearly 20 years, and launched a chapter of the National Honor Society in fall 2018. MLA Program Director Chris Pastore began evaluating the benefits of establishing a chapter of the graduate honor society at Penn last fall, when he was elected Vice President of AGLSP. “I determined that Penn’s MLA students would enjoy the opportunity and affirmation of their tremendous work here at Penn,” he says. “The AGLSP National Honor Society is a great way for MLA graduates to earn recognition of their superior work, connect with students in similar programs and meet faculty and directors at other institutions where the liberal arts are core to the educational mission.”
Chelsea, who is currently the Assistant Director of Donor Engagement at Morris Arboretum, looks forward to furthering academic opportunities in her areas of expertise. In addition to the recognition and honor cords for their graduation regalia, National Honor Society members are eligible to publish in Confluence, AGLSP’s peer-reviewed journal, and to attend the organization’s annual conference. “As a new graduate, I see these benefits as opportunities for networking, continued learning and maybe even as platforms for sharing my own work,” Chelsea adds.