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Seniors Present Their Personal Narratives at GPS Awards Ceremony

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On Friday, May 20, 2022, the Center for Academic, Careers and Experiential Advising (ACE Center) hosted its annual award ceremony for seniors who have completed the Global Professional Skills (GPS) Program. The GPS Program is a co-curricular initiative designed to help students sharpen critically important soft skills while developing a personal narrative throughout college that will benefit their lives post-AUP. 

The ceremony honors seniors who have successfully completed all GPS requirements in the 2021–22 academic year. Students graduating from the program have shown they can exhibit a variety of key skills, which were developed in line with AUP’s four Core Capabilities. The program includes additional workshops and training sessions, as well as a final project, during which participants develop their personal narrative.  

“We were thrilled to hold the GPS panel presentations and award ceremony in person for the first time in two years,” said Darcee Caron, Director of the ACE Center. Caron noted that AUP is committed to educating students holistically, meaning it provides not only an academic education, but also a co-curricular and pre-professional one, building on students’ personal experiences: “I believe that the GPS personal narrative exercise is one moment where we, as an institution, make good on our promise to educate the whole student, as we teach students how to weave together their rich tapestry of experiences into a concise narrative that will serve them in the pursuit of their future goals.” 

Those students seeking an extra challenge are invited to present their personal narratives during the awards ceremony, in front of a panel of faculty, trustees and potential employers. This year, the panel consisted of Lee Heubner, a former AUP President and longtime trustee; Sandra Craig, an AUP parent and trustee since 2009; Doris Daughney, current Chair of AUP’s Board of Trustees and a trustee since 2002; and AUP’s outgoing President, Celeste M. Schenck, whose 13-year tenure at the head of AUP oversaw the creation of the GPS Program. 

The panel selects one presenter to receive the Danielle Savage GPS Award during the year’s commencement ceremony. Danielle Savage was a valued member of our AUP community who sadly passed away in the summer of 2021. She gave over 20 years of service to AUP students, providing careers advice and mentorship, and she was instrumental in establishing the “Design Your Narrative” workshop – a vital part of the GPS program that prepares students to tell their story to future employers and graduate school admissions counselors. 

This year, five seniors were in contention for the Danielle Savage award. They were: 

  • Zach Egan ’22, who discussed his roadmap from a musician in Carnegie Hall to becoming a country desk office for the Caucasus, Central Asia and Eastern Europe Division of the International Energy Agency of the OECD; 

  • Krystel Nozier ’22, whose presentation, “Dare to Be Revolutionary,” showcased her perseverance, service and impact as part of the AUP community – skills she believed would be vital to work in a dynamic, multicultural legal-tech company;  

  • Lynn Elhadjali ’22, who is seeking an internship in the World Health Organization’s human rights program in Dakar, Senegal, and whose self-designed major and student leadership roles led her to a master’s in human rights and humanitarian action at Sciences Po; 

  • Motse Kuswani ’22, who explained how his upbringing and academic interests combined to lead him down the path of using law to liberate and uplift marginalized voices, and who summed up his work ethic and personal values with a single word, “Justice”; and 

  • Kaylh Altimore ’22, who described herself as a “small-town girl turned girl of the world,” whose cross-cultural competence, critical thinking and communication skills led her to seek out a graduate program in archaeology at Sultan Qaboos University in Al Seeb, Oman. 

This year’s Danielle Savage GPS Award for was awarded to Kaylh Altimore during the 2022 commencement ceremony. Congratulations Kaylh!  

You can watch the full GPS awards ceremony, including all student presentations, below.