Director's Welcome

Back in 1999, the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS) program had only 13 students and offered two courses. Now, we are one of the largest graduate programs at UNCW and are offering in Fall 2015, not including internship and directed independent study, four courses at UNCW and four more (all online) at UNCW's Onslow County Extension Program (at Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville). Also, we offer one of only several post-Master’s certificate options in the U.S. and the only post-Master's certificate option among the currently existing seven graduate liberal studies programs in the state of North Carolina. Although we aim to serve primarily the local community, we have drawn many out-of-state and a number of foreign students. To this point the program has graduated 288 MALS students and awarded seven post-Master's certificates in liberal studies. Representative final project titles from Fall 2014 include: "Places Set Aside: Essays,""The War on Drugs, A Personal Memoir,""Four Stories,""Troubled Waters,""Zombieland: The Only Place Where Stigma Does Not Exist,""Long in the Tooth: A Glimpse at the Dental Department at Coastal Carolina Community College,""Only One Wilmington," and "Fall to Rise: A Devotion to Success." This list of final projects highlights what is for me one of the most gratifying aspects of the program this year and every year: the graduation of students who, in spite of daunting professional, social, family, and service responsibilities, have, through their perseverance, determination, and academic commitment, completed degree and certificate requirements.

A recent development was the receipt of a named and endowed scholarship for GLS: The Loretta Schwartz-Noble Master of Arts in Liberal Studies Fellowship.Together with the teaching assistantships, scholarships, and awards, this fellowship will, when funds are available, help us fund (a few) deserving GLS students.

The coming year promises to be exciting. We have put together what we feel will be an exciting, diverse, and thought-provoking line-up of courses for this academic year. Further, the GLS program now includes the capability of completing the MALS degree in a fully online mode. For example, several students recently defended their final projects from distant sites (Oregon, Nevada, and Raleigh, NC) on WeBex and Skype -- Oregon and Nevada.

Finally, then, welcome to the GLS web-page, in regard to which I would like to credit Perry Campbell, GLS program assistant and web-master. Thanks to Perry's assiduous vigilance, the GLS web-page provides a thorough and comprehensive overview of the GLS program at UNCW whereby you can conveniently access everything from admissions and degree requirements, Graduate School and GLS-related forms, descriptions of upcoming courses, student news and profiles, faculty web links, and a link to various campus event calendars. So I’d encourage you to browse through the web-page for further detailed information about the GLS program at UNCW and if you have any comments or suggestions feel free to contact Perry at campbell AT uncw DOT edu. I also invite and welcome any inquiries about the GLS program, the special quality of which is matched by the commitment, enthusiasm, and intellectual engagement of the students it enrolls.


Patricia Turrisi

GLS Program Director
Bear 105 B
Tel: 910.962.3299
Fax: 910.962.3542
turrisip AT uncw DOT edu

Last Update: February 23, 2015

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