The U.S. Department of Education has awarded the University of Notre Dame’s Kellogg Institute of International Studies an Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Languages Program (UISFL) grant of approximately $180,000 to advance Asian language and area studies at the University.

“We are committed to creating a vibrant and distinctive interdisciplinary program in Asian studies that carries the Notre Dame stamp of excellence and supports the University’s mission to internationalize the curriculum, the intellectual life, and the spirit of the campus,” said Jonathan Noble, the provost’s advisor for Asia initiatives, who will serve as chair of the project’s faculty steering committee.

Program components include new courses in Asian language and area studies with a special focus on innovative language learning and assessment, professional and curriculum development opportunities for faculty, and regional mini-conferences to bring Asian studies experts from around the Midwest to explore common academic interests.

“Receipt of the grant validates our efforts to continue to enhance Asian studies at Notre Dame,” Noble said. “We anticipate a significant impact on the University, our community, and our relationship to Asia.”

The grant also will fund Asia-specific library resources and a new outreach initiative to provide Asia-specific curriculum resources to teachers in elementary and secondary schools in Indiana, Michigan and Illinois.

The award represents the culmination of an unusually large collaborative effort that has been under way for several years. Collaborators include the Notre Dame’s Center for Asian Studies, Center for the Study of Languages and Cultures, Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, and Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts, as well as faculty in anthropology, business, theology, and film, television and theatre.

Project co-directors are Sharon Schierling, associate director of the Kellogg Institute, and Howard Goldblatt, director of the Center for Asian Studies and research professor of Chinese.

Contacts: Jonathan Noble, provost’s advisor, Asia Initiatives, 574-631-1786,; and Sharon Schierling, associate director, Kellogg Institute, 574-631-8524,