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Dr. Ji-Yeon Jo, dressed in a traditional Korean hanbok, stands behind a podium and welcomes everyone to the 20th Anniversary Celebration of the Carolina Asia Center.
Dr. Ji-Yeon Jo welcomes everyone to the 20th Anniversary Celebration of the Carolina Asia Center.

Dear CAC family and friends,

As I conclude my five-year term as the director of CAC on June 30 and return to my position as an associate professor in the Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, I find myself reflecting on the journey we’ve taken together. It has been an immense honor to serve in this role and to work alongside such dedicated and talented individuals. I am extremely grateful for all the support and encouragement I have received.

During my tenure, we have accomplished a great deal. We secured the third cycle of Title VI NRC and FLAS grants, along with small grants and gifts from organizations and individual supporters. We worked with teams of faculty to successfully apply for external grants such as the Luce Southeast Asia grant and the STARTALK Chinese Pedagogy Workshop grant. We welcomed the Modern Indian Studies initiative and the Bringing Southeast Asia Home initiative, which have substantially enhanced our partnerships with Asian diaspora communities in North Carolina and increased the visibility of our work related to Southeast Asia and India. We have also seen growing student interest in studying abroad in Asia through our flagship Phillips Ambassadors program. Our efforts to build institutional linkages have resulted in increased transnational connections with scholars and institutions in Asia. These collective efforts have driven significant progress and set a strong foundation for the future. These successes are a testament to the hard work, creativity, and commitment of every team member and UNC colleague.

I am incredibly grateful for the support, collaboration, and camaraderie you have shown me throughout my time as director. Your passion and dedication to the center have been truly inspiring and have made my role deeply rewarding.

As I step down, I am confident that the center will continue to thrive under new leadership. I believe in the vision we have set forth and in the extraordinary potential of this team to achieve even greater heights.

Please join me in welcoming Professor Pamela Lothspeich as she assumes her new role. I am sure she will bring fresh perspectives and innovative ideas that will further our mission and drive our center to new successes.

Thank you once again for the privilege of serving as the director. I look forward to watching and supporting the continued growth and achievements of CAC from my position as a faculty member.

With heartfelt gratitude and best wishes,

Ji-Yeon Jo

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