From the Director's Desk
-Susan S. Wadley, Director
Whew. That was our primary reaction in early October when we heard that our consortium application with Cornell for continued recognition and funding as a National Resource Center for South Asia had been funded. Over the next four years, this promises $1.3 million for SU, mostly in the form of student funding, both graduate and undergraduate, but also funds for language teaching, outreach, and more. A few weeks later we were even more enthused when we learned that what some might consider one of the top South Asia programs in the country had lost their funding (many of us graduated from that program). So kudos to all of us!
Given priorities in Washington, we now have to pay greater attention to outreach to schools of education and community colleges. To that end, we have several new initiatives with Onondaga Community College that include offering Hindi-Urdu language instruction for their students, initiating a study abroad trip, and teaching an introductory South Asia course. We are also working more with local schools and teachers as one of the goals of the NRCs is to reach beyond their local campuses. We have begun offering special training to the Solvay High School through an agreement with the School of Education and we are planning several teacher training activities through BOCES.
Teachers at Central Square have already contributed to our new goals, as their engagement with Mithila art after the visit by Rani Jha last spring led them to develop teaching materials for K-5 art classes that meet the goals of the new Common Core. They presented these to some 60 teachers at Cornell in the summer and conducted a BOCES session in March.
On campus, we are able to use FLAS funds for three undergraduates for intermediate Hindi, as well as six graduate students, including several in professional programs. Our Tuesday seminar series continues. And in late April , the South Asia Center is celebrating Maxwell's 90th anniversary (and approximately 50 years of South Asian Studies at SU) with two major related events on April 24th. We are hosting Ambassador Touqir Hussain and Walter Anderson, head of South Asia Center at Johns Hopkins, in a joint event with Cornell focused on politics in South Asia. The day will conclude with the feature film on Indian immigrants to the US, Promise Land, produced by Kevin Dalvi and alumus Faris Khan.
None of this would be possible without the support of the superb staff in Moynihan and our colleagues at Cornell, as well as all of our faculty and students whose abilities and efforts give us the national recognition as one of eight NRCs for South Asia.
And thank you again to Tula Goenka for her hard work the past two years in elevating the position of South Asia Center in the media and for all of her energy and enthusiasm.