Centre College has been awarded a four-year grant from the Henry Luce Foundation for Asian and environmental studies on campus and study abroad, research and internships in three Asian countries.
The $400,000 grant, which comes out of the Luce Initiative on Asian Studies and the Environment (LIASE), will be applied in two parts, divided into two-year stages between 2016 and 2020. Thailand, China and Malaysia will be the areas of focus.
“The Henry Luce Foundation does remarkable work that supports hundreds of educational programs nationwide,” says Assistant Professor of Chinese Kyle Anderson, one of several faculty members integral in establishing the pedagogy the LIASE grant will support.
“They are considered leaders in the promotion of international understanding and innovation,” adds Anderson, “particularly in the areas of religion, art, policy and East Asia.”
Part of the grant will fund a Centre Summer Language Institute (CSLI), which students can attend on campus in the summers of 2016 and 2018. The five-week experience will provide an immersive experience in learning Mandarin, Thai or Malay languages on Centre’s campus, with free room and board.
Students will then have the opportunity to build on what they learn at CSLI by enrolling in a course called Asia and the Environment in the fall semesters of 2016 and 2018.
The interdisciplinary class will examine three of Asia’s biggest industries—aquaculture, industrial pork and poultry production, and palm oil production—from an environmental perspective. Students enrolled in the class will be able to make local connections to these international industries by visiting comparable production sites in Kentucky.
Following the Asia and the Environment course, students can enroll in CentreTerm trips to Asia in January of 2017 and 2019, seeing firsthand the global context of what they have learned about on campus over the past semester.
LIASE grant funds will then be available to students for their own research and internship initiatives in the summers of 2017 and 2019. Centre professors will also be able to develop coursework through the LIASE grant, which allows for faculty travel to Asia to explore ways of incorporating the Asia context on various issues into their own classes.
“We are really grateful for the support of the Luce Foundation to help us make off-campus study, environmental studies and Asian studies at Centre a better experience for our students,” says Brett Werner, chair of the environmental studies program. He is a core faculty member in Centre’s LIASE grant work, along with Anderson, Assistant Professor of Philosophy Daniel Kirchner and Matt Klooster, assistant professor of biology.
The Luce Foundation was established by Henry R. Luce in New York in 1936. Luce, co-founder and editor-in-chief of Time, Inc., created the foundation in honor of his parents, who were missionaries in China. The Luce Initiative on Asian Studies and the Environment has supplied grants to liberal arts colleges since 2011.
Centre is dedicated to providing students undergraduate research and global learning opportunities, as promised in the Centre Commitment, which guarantees study abroad, an internship or research experience, and graduation in four years.
Above: Centre College students explore the ancient water town of Zhujiajiao, located on the outskirts of Shanghai, during Centre’s semester-long Centre-in-China program at Tongji University.
by Elizabeth Trollinger
March 24, 2016