Southeast Asian studies program awarded $1.7M

By Jermaine Pigee

DeKALB | The Center for Southeast Asian Studies plans to improve its language training programs with a grant it received in early October.

The U.S. Department of Education gave the center a $1.7 million grant for not only its continued program, but for worldwide outreach efforts.

“The grant enables us to give Foreign Language Area Studies scholarships to about eight graduate students in each of four years from 2006 to 2010,” said Dwight King, Director of the Center for Southeast Asian Studies. “Currently these scholarships pay a stipend of $15,000 a year and graduate school waives tuition and pays the student fees for the recipients of their scholarships.”

The grant will allow the center for Southeast Asian Studies to do a number of other things.

“This grant will be used to fund a number of activities and projects at the center,” said Kheang Un, Assistant Director of the Center for Southeast Asian Studies. “It will also be used to strengthen out already well-established language training programs.”

Un mentioned that the grant allows the center to strengthen its capacity to train specialists in the cultures and languages of Southeast Asia.

The grant will also help the center’s outreach program.

“The funding will be used to maintain and promote our highly acclaimed outreach program which develops teaching materials, sponsors lectures, organizes international conferences and conducts training in Southeast Asian Studies,” Un said. “Our outreach program provides resources and support to K-12 educators, students, business and community groups.” The grant will aid not only current students, but graduate students as well.

“The grant enables us to provide stipends for eight graduate students each year and the Graduate School provides tuition waivers for these students,” King said. “The grant provides funds for weekly lecture series to supplement graduate school funds.”

“The grant will also provide funds for the SEA Club activities,” King said. “This includes expenses for day long student conferences with [outside] guest speakers and cash prizes for the best research papers.