University to Integrate Asian Studies Across Campus with Department of Education Grant
October 22, 2009
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – Illinois Wesleyan University has been awarded a nearly $162,000
grant by the U.S. Department of Education’s Undergraduate International Studies and
Foreign Language Programs for expanding Asian studies on campus.
“The 21st century has been called the Pacific Century, which is why it is so important
that we increase students understanding of the area,” said Professor of Sociology
Teodora Amoloza, who was the co-coordinator for the grant application. She is directing
the grant along with Associate Professor of History Tom Lutze and Associate Professor
of German and Eastern European Studies Sonja Fritzsche. Others who worked on the
grant application were International Studies Director and Professor of Political Science
William Munro, Associate Dean Irv Epstein and Asian Studies Team Coordinator, McFee
Professor of Religion Brian Hatcher and Director of Sponsored Programs and Foundation
Relations Jo Porter.
The grant, which will be paid over two years, will expand courses across the curriculum
to include units on Asia, develop new courses, and support Chinese language classes
– which started last fall at Illinois Wesleyan and are offered through the Modern
and Classical Languages and Literatures Department.
Professors in diverse areas such as the humanities, theater, art and business are
proposing new Asian segments to their classes. New courses in religion, history, and
Asian culture will also be developed. “It is interesting to note that many of the
courses being revised do not fall within Asian studies,” said Munro. “This grant is
not just about building Asian studies on campus. It is about building a global curriculum
campus wide.” Funds for library materials relating to classes are also available through
According to Amoloza, avenues for new international ties will also be pursued with
the grant. Efforts are underway to establish potential relations with institutions
in Asia and individuals who might come to campus as visiting scholars. “We want to
find someone who can contribute to classes across the board, across disciplines,”
Students will also benefit from the grant. Funds are being set aside to offer scholarship
to students who plan to study in Asia to further enhance their language competency.
Details of the scholarship are not final as yet, said Amoloza, adding that student
interest in the Chinese language helped efforts to secure the grant.
Contact: Rachel Hatch, (309) 556-3960