Published: Aug. 16, 2022

Dear Friends of Asian Studies,

I write with the exciting news that the Center for Asian Studies has been awarded $2.2 million in funding from the US Department of Education to support our role as a National Resource Center (NRC) in Asian Studies and to provide Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowships (FLAS) for our students at CU Boulder.

As most of you already know, one of our primary missions at CAS is to make Asia as accessible as possible to the whole of the CU Boulder community. This funding helps us realize that mission in fundamental and transformative ways. FLAS fellowships fund the study of Asian languages and area studies both on our Boulder campus during the academic year and in Asia during the summer. NRC funding will support a number of existing and future initiatives that seek to make Asian area studies more available to students and faculty from all corners of our university, as well as across the broader Front Range region. These include expanding our existing Asia Internship Program, as well as our Cultures and Languages Across the Curriculum (CLAC) program. The funding will also support the instruction of Arabic culture and civilization in the Asian Languages and Civilizations department, Tibetan language learning in the Anderson Language Technology Center, collaboration with the College of Engineering to develop an innovative “Climate and Society in Asia” curriculum, curricular partnerships with Metropolitan State University of Denver and with CU Denver’s Institute for International Business, professional development seminars and programs for K-12 educators, and curricular development grants for faculty to expand Asia-related teaching throughout the university. 

An NRC proposal, I should mention, is a significant undertaking, and would not have been possible without the efforts and time of numerous individuals. In particular, our Faculty Director Rachel Rinaldo (currently enjoying her sabbatical in Indonesia!) and our Executive Director Danielle Rocheleau Salaz put in a huge amount of time in conceiving, writing, and shepherding the proposal to its final submission. They were supported by a core team of faculty and staff, each of whom contributed to different sections of the proposal and/or key parts of the process: Donna Axel, Tessa Brandt, Lauren Collins, Jackie Coombs, Emmanuel David, Theresa Hernandez, Keller Kimbrough, Clarence Lee, Xiang Li, Adam Lisbon, Kellie Matthews, Tim Oakes, Lynn Parisi, John-Michael Rivera, Laurel Rodd, and Liza Williams. 

We are grateful to have so many people on campus who support and believe in the importance of our mission, and the area studies endeavor more broadly. With this funding, CAS will remain a vibrant, active, and impactful center for interdisciplinary area studies on the CU Boulder campus. But our efforts are also aimed at helping to carve out a larger space on campus where other area studies centers can grow and thrive. They include the Latin American and Latinx Studies Center, the Mediterranean Studies Group, the Center for Native American and Indigenous Studies, and the recently established Center for African and African American Studies. 

These days we seem to be experiencing a time in the United States where suspicion of global connections, rising nativist populism, and fear of challenges to an older world order are on the rise. We believe that this is a crucial time in which international area studies education is more important than ever. We are grateful to the Department of Education for supporting our efforts, and to all of you in our community for your steadfast support as well. We wouldn’t be here without you! Thank you so much, and watch our website for exciting new offerings.


Tim Oakes
Interim Faculty Director
Center for Asian Studies

The receipt of the grant was featured on 9News on Tuesday, August 23. Story here.