Western Washington UniversityCommunications and Marketing
DATE: October 1, 2009 10:12:12 AM PDT
WWU's Center for International Studies receives $175K grant to further international education and collaboration

Contact: Doug Nord, executive director of the Center for International Studies: (360) 650-3200 or douglas.nord@wwu.edu.

BELLINGHAM—Western Washington University’s Center for International Studies has been awarded a two-year grant worth $175,747 from the U.S. Department of Education to further its efforts in international studies and foreign languages. The Title VI grant is provided by the Education Department’s Undergraduate International Education Program.

CIS executive director Doug Nord and Center for East Asian Studies director Edward Vajda plan to use the money to expand the university’s interdisciplinary minor in international studies, adding six upper-division courses and enhancing the minor’s attention to current global policy concerns and to Asia-Pacific studies, Nord said. The project is titled “Entering the Global Community: Enhancing Student and Faculty Participation and Involvement in Asia-Pacific Studies.”

Working with the Department of Modern and Classical Languages, the center also hopes to revise its first- and second-year Russian offerings and to begin providing courses in beginning Mongolian. WWU’s Wilson Library is home to one of the largest collections of Mongolian writings in the United States. The grant also will allow WWU to expand student and faculty participation in study-abroad and exchange programs, Nord said.

An aspect of the grant that particularly excites Vajda is an expanded opportunity to work with K-12 schools in the region on international studies.

“Sehome High School has developed a rich, sophisticated program of studying global issues and world history,” Vajda said, “and we are hoping to benefit mutually from increased partnership.”

Vajda also plans to visit Whatcom Community College to speak about Mongolia; WCC currently hosts several exchange students from Mongolia on its campus.

Nord said that the grant also will allow Western to bring in visiting faculty members to teach Russian and Mongolian. The first of those faculty members should be arriving shortly from Mongolia, he said.

The Center for International Studies is an umbrella for international education at Western. Its mission is to foster international and global perspectives for all Western students, through courses, international experiences on campus and study abroad. The center coordinates the activities of six international education units on campus, and oversees the minor in International Studies. It also sponsors lectures and presentations on topical global issues and concerns. For information on the fall lecture series, click here.

For more information, contact Doug Nord at (360) 650-3200 or douglas.nord@wwu.edu or visit the Center for International Studies at http://international.wwu.edu/.



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