Grants bring Diversity to University of Utah International and Area Studies

A recent pair of grants offered to the Asia Center [AC] and the Center for Latin American Studies [CLAS] here at the University of Utah will be providing a significant boost to international and area studies.

Marking the second time that a National Resource Center [NRC] at the University of Utah has received a Title VI Educational Grant from the U.S. Department of Education, this year the university received, not one, but two highly competitive grants for both the AC and CLAS National resource Centers as well as grants for Foreign Language and Area Studies [FLAS] fellowships.

“This is the single most prestigious grant that a university can receive to support foreign language study and area studies,” said Janet Theiss, Director of the Asia Center. “This puts us in a group of prestigious universities across the country that have National Resource Centers.”

The grants which will be shared between both NRCs at the University of Utah, as well as their consortium partners at Brigham Young University, total more than $6.6 million, with $4.6 million being designated for FLAS fellowships that will provide full tuition and stipends for more than 50 students per year between both the AC and CLAS.

According to Rebecca Horn, the Director of the Center for Latin American Studies, the ultimate goal with these new grants is to diversify the languages available for study within the AC and CLAS. These grants will offer the opportunity for students to diversify their studies in less commonly taught languages ranging from Portuguese and Nahuatl within CLAS, to deeper programs in Chinese, Japanese, Russian, and more within the AC.

With all of the FLAS fellowships being open to any students interested in international and area studies, Horn hopes that the grants will provide for students across a broad spectrum of study here at the University.

“The purpose of these awards are to graduate more students who combine area studies knowledge and language proficiency with a degree in social work, business, education, public health, or in disciplines like history and political science, and so on,” Horn said.

In addition to the large amount of fellowships the FLAS grants will provide to students here at the university, the NRC grants will provide money for a number of ongoing programs run out of both the AC and CLAS. These include everything from outreach to K-12 schools and community colleges, to workshops, conferences, and additional opportunities for faculty research-based travel.

Further information regarding the availability of the FLAS fellowships should be available via the AC and CLAS within the coming month, with both centers expecting an initial application availability date of early Spring 2015. Students interested in the FLAS fellowships that will be offered as a result of the grants should contact Kevin Barrett, Graduate Advisor for both the AC and CLAS.

For more information on the Asia Center and Center for Latin American Studies: