Four Cornell area studies programs receive $7 million in federal funding

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students from DeWitt Middle School
Jason Koski/University Photography
Outreach is an important component of the area studies mission. Above, students from DeWitt Middle School in Ithaca and students from a Navajo reservation in northern Arizona are taught Greek line dancing at Cornell's Kahin Center by a member of the Institute for European Studies on Oct. 11. The event was the Ithaca half of an outreach program that had previously sent 10 DeWitt students to the Navajo reservation for a cultural experience. Copyright © Cornell University

Four Cornell area studies programs have been designated National Resource Centers (NRC) with grants totaling a little more than $750,000 per year through 2010. That's a prestigious honor in itself.

But the same four Cornell organizations -- East Asia Program, South Asia Program, Southeast Asia Program and the Institute for European Studies -- also have been awarded $1 million a year in Foreign Language and Areas Studies (FLAS) grants through 2010 to support student fellowships.

"Cornell's international and regional reputation and visibility are greatly enhanced by these grants," says Nicolas van de Walle, director of Cornell's Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies. "In addition, the FLAS awards significantly increase Cornell's ability to attract top graduate students in international studies."

The federal FLAS program awards fellowships to institutions of higher education to assist meritorious graduate students in modern foreign languages and related areas or international studies.

The FLAS award will allow the four programs to support 34 graduate students for a full academic year and 18 students with summer stipends for intensive language instruction. Languages areas supported by these grants include:

The NRC program makes awards to colleges and universities for establishing or strengthening nationally recognized foreign language and area or international studies centers or programs. Its awards support undergraduate centers or comprehensive centers, which include undergraduate, graduate and professional school components.

The NRC grants provide critical support to Cornell to finance acquisitions and specialized library and language instruction staff; numerous K-12 and community-based outreach activities; research, travel and conferences of faculty; and administrative salaries. Both NRC and FLAS are programs administered through the U.S. Department of Education.