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January 24, 2002

Asian studies program gets $1.7 million grant

Pitt's Asian studies program has received a four-year, $1.7 million grant from the Freeman Foundation to fund an undergraduate initiative.

Bell Yung, director of the program, said that the funding will strengthen and expand the study of Asia at Pitt, increase access to Asian study courses and increase the number of students in the Pittsburgh region studying Asia by enhancing instruction and research in Asian languages and area studies.

"The funds will be used to expand not only classes in the humanities and social sciences, but also to increase programs in the professional schools — engineering and health-related sciences — and the community at large," said Yung, an ethnomusicologist and professor of music.

"Our goal is to promote a greater understanding of Asia in a global and comparative perspective and to reach a broader audience more effectively."

According to Yung, the grant will provide study-abroad scholarships for students of Chinese and Japanese and will allow new initiatives in outreach programming to the wider community.

The Asian Studies Program, which is housed in the University Center for International Studies, also plans to enhance access to resources concerning Asia through the improved use of electronic media and further development of electronic curriculum materials.

The Vermont-based Freeman Foundation was established in 1992. Its mission is to support and strengthen the bonds of understanding between Asia and the United States.

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