The Carolina Asia Center (CAC) has won two major grants from the US Department of Education’s Title VI programs. These grants will support its work increasing understanding about Asia at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and beyond.
The CAC won $270,411 for the next academic year, with an expectation of the same level of funding through 2026, for the Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellowship program. This will allow the CAC to make 7 academic year awards (5 for graduate and professional students, 2 for undergraduates) and 7 summer awards through 2026. FLAS fellowships during the academic year support students with tuition and a living stipend, while requiring them to take a language course and an area studies course each semester to build their expertise—in this case on East, Southeast, or South Asia. FLAS fellowships in the summer support intensive language study, including the possibility of intensive language overseas where appropriate. The Carolina Asia Center works with UNC’s Department of Asian and Middle East Studies to support programs in Chinese, Hindi-Urdu, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese, and other Asian languages are available for summer study.
Additionally, the CAC won $220,960 for the next academic year, with an expectation of the same level of funding through 2026, as a pan-Asia National Resource Center. This funding supports UNC-Chapel Hill’s Asia programs with curricular enhancement, professional development for our faculty teaching Asian languages and area studies, support for acquisition and cataloguing of Asian materials in UNC libraries, and co-curricular programming on Asian topics. It also underwrites outreach to K-12 schools, community colleges, minority-serving institutions, and the general public across the state of North Carolina and the Southeastern US. The Carolina Asia Center has been a leader in the region since it was founded twenty years ago, and the CAC was the only Title VI-funded program on Asia in the Southeastern US for the last four years.
Specific highlights of our National Resource Center grant for the next four years include support for our growing Vietnamese language program, a graduate Public Humanities Fellow on Asia in collaboration with Carolina Public Humanities, programming with the Ackland Museum and Carolina Performing Arts, expanding language teaching at Durham Technical Community College, and a non-resident fellows program at UNC’s Institute for Arts and Humanities for Asia-focused faculty from minority-serving institutions.