Published: April 21, 2021 By

Last year in this newsletter, I wrote with some excitement about our new home in the CASE building. Little did I know that we would spend the next year working from home, with our desks and chairs gathering dust. But while we miss our beautiful view of the Flatirons, we have been busier than ever guiding CAS and the Asian Studies program through the pandemic. We were joined last Fall by Dr. Lauren Yapp, our new Asian Studies Program Director. An Anthropologist, Lauren is an expert on urban heritage and the politics of memory in Indonesia. Starting a new job, especially one with as many moving parts as this one, is never easy. Starting a new job in the middle of a pandemic, with all interaction with students and colleagues carried out remotely, is especially challenging, but Lauren grabbed the reins as if she’d already been here for years. We’re fortunate to have her on the team!

Other highlights of 2020 include a new Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Languages (UISFL) grant from the US Department of Education to establish a new certificate program in Tibetan and Himalayan Studies. This program will make the incredible depth of Tibetan and Himalayan research expertise at CU Boulder more available to our undergraduate students. The China Made project was fortunate to host an international workshop at the University of Hong Kong in January, just before the pandemic shut down international travel. As we got accustomed to our new lives on Zoom, we hosted the Asia Symposium in the Fall, which explored the theme of Sound and Noise in Asia. A speaker series on this theme continues through the remainder of the 2020-21 academic year. While we are hosting a somewhat pared-down schedule of events this year, we continue to bring to our community insightful, timely, and transformative work on Asia.

The year 2020 marked the 10th Anniversary of the Tang Global Seminar (TGS), an endowed China study-travel experience for undergraduate students that has come to be recognized as not only the most competitive global seminar at CU, but also the most diverse. A recent survey of TGS alumni confirmed that the experience was a life-changing one for many of them. It also confirmed the TGS as a centerpiece of our mission here at CAS. One survey respondent told us, “TGS’s goal to expose students to China who would not ordinarily have exposure is what I have come to appreciate most about the program.” It is unfortunate, if not ironic, that we were unable to run the TGS in 2020 due to COVID-19 related travel restrictions. But we look forward to providing many more opportunities for life-changing study travel in the years to come.

The TGS is a great example of what can happen when the vision of our Center and that of our donors come together. Another example that I am pleased to announce is the new Li Seung and Wong Shee Li Endowed Support Fund, which will provide crucial student scholarship support for our Asia Internship Program, which allows CU students to experience working in companies in Asia each summer. We are so grateful to Frank (Political Science 1968) and Ellen Lee for helping us bring our vision of transformative pedagogy in Asian cultural literacy to a large and diverse population of students and future professionals.

If you would like to join the Lees in supporting what we do, please consider a donation to CAS. It’s an easy click from our homepage, or visit

Tim Oakes
CAS Director
Professor of Geography

CAS Directors & Staff 

Tim Oakes, CAS Director; Professor of Geography 

Danielle Rocheleau Salaz, CAS Executive Director

Lauren Yapp, Asian Studies Program Director

Lynn Parisi, Director, Program for Teaching East Asia 

Susan Schmidt, AATJ Executive Director

Darren Byler, CAS Postdoctoral Fellow

Catherine Ishida, TEA Senior Staff Associate

Nancy Johnsen, CAS and TEA Finance & Grant Assistant

Lynn Kalinauskas, TEA Senior Staff Associate

Liza Williams, CAS Event Coordinator

Jon Zeljo, TEA Senior Staff Associate, China and NCTA

CAS Staff

Top Row: Reed Chervin (Visiting Scholar), Liza Williams, Danielle Salaz, Michiyo Colclasure (AATJ Assistant). Middle Row: Lynn Kalinauskas, Lynn Parisi, Tim Oakes, Catherine Ishida. Bottom Row: Lauren Yapp, Jon Zeljo, Nancy Johnsen, Susan Schmidt