What do the following have in common: A literary festival in Trinidad and Tobago, an editorial board of the American Library Association, a foundation that supports emerging artistic talent, and a writer-in-residency program in Berlin?

All are organizations that have recently recognized Liberal Studies faculty for their scholarship and creative work.

And last night, we honored them at NYU. The annual Faculty Honors Reception salutes NYU faculty who have received prestigious awards and special recognition in 2016. Among the honorees were four LS professors who are also distinguished authors:

  • Jacqueline Bishop – Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature, One Caribbean Media
  • Miriam Frank – Outstanding Academic Titles, American Library Association
  • Mitchell Jackson – Whiting Award for Fiction, Mrs. Giles Whiting Foundation
  • Lina Meruane – Otra Mirada Prize, 15th Annual Premio Calamo; Artist-in-Residency, DAAD Berlin

Their work ranges from fiction to nonfiction, from Spanish to English, and from creative to research-based, but their scholarly and creative contributions stand out as among the best in the world. I was proud to acknowledge their work at the Faculty Honors Reception. I am equally proud of the talents they bring to the classroom and share with LS students every day.

NYU recently issued its annual report, Life Beyond the Square, on students’ post-graduation employment and further education. NYU students always do well in this realm. However, one program stands out for its extraordinary success: 100% of Global Liberal Studies (GLS) students report being employed, enrolled in graduate or professional school, or both, within six months of graduating.

Where do they go after NYU? Young GLS alumni are consulting for the United Nations, serving as Special Assistant to the First Lady of New York City, sourcing talent for Google, managing a travel lifestyle brand in London, implementing global compliance for Goldman Sachs, studying law at Harvard, volunteering with the Peace Corps in Ethiopia, shaping economic policy at the Roosevelt Institute – work as diverse as one could imagine.

What connects them all is the global immersion they experienced in GLS.
Students in Liberal Studies read and experience the world’s great works firsthand, from Rumi’s poetry to Duchamp’s sculptures. What’s more, all GLS students study away from New York City for at least a full year – in many cases, for two.

Moving outside one’s comfort zone, outside the classroom and outside familiar surroundings, equips students with skills that make them competitive professionals. And while the skills needed to flourish in finance may differ from the talents useful in law, passion for exploring unfamiliar topics and enthusiasm for making an impact are valuable in all fields. Just ask any GLS graduate.