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South Asia Center Receives $1.3 Million ED Grant
The South Asia Center has been awarded a $1.3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education (ED). The grant renews the center’s designation as a National Resource Center and provides funding for graduate and undergraduate students, course development, Hindi language training, conference planning and travel, and outreach to high schools and community colleges.
Serving the Syracuse campus, the South Asia Center is based in the Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs, which is administered by the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. The South Asia Center fosters teaching and research in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the Maldive Islands. The center is also part of a consortium with Cornell University, with which it works closely in presenting various events and activities, including symposia, colloquia, screenings, exhibitions and performances.
“The grant will provide critical support for our activities,” says center director Susan S. Wadley, who also serves as the Ford Maxwell Professor of South Asian Studies and professor of anthropology in the Maxwell School. “It will enable us to collaborate more frequently with other institutions, to recruit more graduate students and to better support undergraduates with an interest in South Asia.”
Wadley also directs the Coronat Scholars Program, administered by the College of Arts and Sciences.
She says the ED grant will particularly impact Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships, a federal program that provides allocations of academic-year and summer fellowships to institutions or consortia of institutions for language training.
“FLAS Fellowships will benefit six graduate students and two undergraduate students [at Syracuse] who are taking courses in Hindi and South Asian studies,” says Wadley, adding that South Asia is home to nearly 2 billion people, making it the most densely populated region in the world. “It will also help underwrite summer language study in Hindi and other South Asian languages.”
Last year, two undergraduates, majoring in international relations, were awarded FLAS Fellowships to study advanced Hindi. One of them also received FLAS funding to spend the summer in India, to continue Hindi studies.
“FLAS Fellowships foster global competency,” she says, adding that amounts generally range from $2,500, plus tuition, for summer fellowships; to $15,000 for yearlong undergraduate fellowships; to $15,000 for yearlong graduate fellowships. “These kinds of skills are fundamental to our economic competitiveness and national security interests. More importantly, they promote understanding and respect for other people and cultures.”