Area studies program hold open house


Jerry Burnes u007c Northern Staru000dVanessa Segundou002c adult and higher education Masteru0027s studentu002c races to put beans in a bottle using chopsticks Wednesday afternoon at the Area Studies Open Houseu002e

By Matthew Frierdich

In a day where jobs are hard to come by, graduates can use anything on their resumes to set themselves apart from the millions of other job hunters.

Area studies in Southeast Asia, Burmese and Latino and Latin America can provide exactly that resume booster.

Wednesday, the three area studies hosted an open house as a collaboration, where any student could come and talk to members of the program about who they are, what they stand for and how they can help the graduates in the future.

James Collins, director for the Center of Southeast Asia Studies, said he wanted to do three things with this event.

“We wanted to welcome back students and faculty, we wanted to show off our fellowship with the other area studies and the facilities we all have to offer. And lastly, we wanted to bring in more students,” Collins said.

The event offered games such as a bean-pick-up game with chopsticks, and also featured traditional Thai food catered by Golden Thai Jasmine, 251 E. Lincoln Highway.

“We wanted to do something that would attract more people to our event and see if we can get more people in our program,” said Trude Jacobsen, assistant professor of history, who helped organize the event.

Music was also played in order to help attract some students as well as to let those in attendance hear some traditional Southeast Asian music.

“We wanted to help show some of some of our cultural programs and some of our resources in order to help students know how they can get involved with our programs and what we can do for them,” said Michael Gonzales, director of Latino and Latin American Studies.

Area studies programs also offer fellowships that can pay full tuition in addition to providing a stipend of $500 every month for 10 months. Students are required to fulfill a BA language requirement in one of six Southeast Asian languages in order to compete for the fellowship, according to the Foreign Language and Area Studies brochure.

The open house offered brochures and programs about the rest of the resources Area Studies programs have to offer.

“The Area Studies buildings are awesome because they are a perfect place to meet people who are in the same major and program as me,” said graduate student Katrina Chludzinski.

Jacobsen said the FLAS program is approaching its 50th anniversary in 2013.

“We definitely wanted to also gauge interest in our languages, as well as lead people into our 50th anniversary,” Jacobsen said. “Hopefully we can keep getting bigger.”