South Asia Center Receives Department of Education Funding

-Rob Enslin 

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.

The grant will provide critical support for the South Asia Center activities. It will enable the Center to collaborate more frequently with other institutions, to recruit more graduate students and to better support undergraduates with an interest in South Asia.

The 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 Susan S. Wadley, director of the South Asia Center. “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 funding has benefited other students in Maxwell, Arts and Sciences, the S.I. Newhouse of Public Communications and the David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics.

“FLAS Fellowships foster global competency,” she says. “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.”