Certificate Student Zeba Ahmed Wins Fulbright Research Award

Zeba Ahmed flies into Pittsburgh from Japan just in time for graduation after studying abroad in Hikone, Shiga Prefecture during spring semester 2014. A short four months later, she will return to Japan to take up her recently awarded Fulbright Research Assistantship.

The Fulbright grant allows Zeba to conduct ethnographic research on the roles that Japanese community-based organizations and nonprofits play in fostering a sense of community. She will explore the ways that these organizations serve as third spaces—places that are not home or work—for social interaction.

“Residents often lack social bonds with their neighbors and withdraw into their personal lives,” says Zeba Ahmed, describing the need for third spaces. “It is most prevalent in communities where the majority of residents are newcomers rather than the traditional, stable intergenerational mix of people.”

Zeba Ahmed graduates from the University of Pittsburgh with a Bachelor of Arts in Japanese and Sociology and a Certificate in Asian Studies. Following her Fulbright research, she plans to pursue a graduate degree in East Asian Studies.


The Asian Studies Center at the University of Pittsburgh is widely recognized as being among the best and most comprehensive in the country in research, public service, and teaching about East Asia.


The center’s mandate is to promote research, teaching, and learning about Asia through multi-disciplinary and community-based programming.  It strengthens the University’s mission through undergraduate and graduate, support for faculty research, and community outreach programs for the region.  It is a resource for the campus and the regional community in building connections with Asia through its expertise, programs, and international collaborations.

Language and Culture Studies

Image by MorizaASC has nationally recognized programs in Chinese and Japanese language and culture studies, with growing strengths in Indian and Korean studies. Its affiliated faculty spans the disciplines. The center is also home to an award-winning Confucius Institute that promotes Chinese language and culture study in the United States.


Typically more than 3,500 graduate and undergraduate students enroll each year in Asia-related courses. Graduate and undergraduate students interested in Asia can supplement and strengthen their major field of study by enrolling in the Asian Studies certificate program.

Educational Outreach

Image by YewenyiOutreach is an integral part of ASC’s mission to serve the community and bring the University community and community at large together. Outreach includes PreK - 16 programs for teachers and students, community events and programming, the National Consortium for Teaching About Asia, and the Confucius Institute at the University of Pittsburgh.

East Asian Library

LibraryThe East Asian Library ranks 13th in size among the 80 East Asian libraries in the United States and Canada. It contains significant collections of books and periodicals in both Chinese and Japanese languages as well as in Western languages.


Financial Aid

Image by Timtak

Current as well as prospective students in Asian Studies are eligible to apply for a variety of scholarships and fellowships administered by the Asian Studies Center. Application forms can be downloaded from the Web site for this annual competition. Generous grants and gifts from organizations in the United States and Asia provide significant support for students and faculty in Asian Studies. These generate scholarship funds, faculty expansion, and an annual series of performing arts events, seminars, lectures, and concerts.

University Center for International Studies

Image by World BankThe Asian Studies Center is an integral part of the University Center for International Studies (UCIS). UCIS is the central coordinating and support mechanism for the many international activities of the University of Pittsburgh.



Updated April 14, 2014

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Further Information

Asian Studies Center
University of Pittsburgh
4400 Posvar Hall
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
Phone: (412) 648-7370
Fax: (412) 624-4665
E-mail: asia@pitt.edu
Web: http://www.ucis.pitt.edu/asc