Pitt International Centers Secure More Than $7 Million for Research, Language Acquisition, and Community Engagement

The University
Center for International Studies
at the University of Pittsburgh announced today that its
Asian Studies Center, European
Studies Center
,
and Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian
Studies
have
received more than $7 million of funding from the United States Department of
Education and other sources to expand the reach of their international work.

The
three centers received a total of six awards under Title VI of the Higher Education
Act, resulting in National Resource Center designation and Foreign Language
Areas Studies (FLAS) fellowships for each, representing more than $5.1 million in
funding over four years. The Title VI awards
support innovative research, language acquisition, and community engagement
initiatives.

“The
University of Pittsburgh is a force in global education and engagement,” said
Ariel Armony, vice provost of global affairs and director of the University Center
for International Studies. “The National Resource Center designation and other
funding reflects our commitment to taking Pitt to the world and bringing the
world to Pitt.”

Dr. Armony
noted that pursuing a wide range of funding for Pitt’s international centers is
an important component of making global engagement a part of every student’s
experience and expanding University partnerships around the globe.

“The
Plan for Pitt calls all of us to embrace the world,” says Dr. Armony. “The
University Center for International Studies is the hub for Pitt’s many centers
and programs working toward this important goal.”

In addition to the Title VI National Resource Center and
FLAS Fellowship funding, Pitt’s Asian Studies Center received grants totaling
more than $900,000 in 2018, including significant funding from the Freeman
Foundation for the National Consortium for Teaching about Asia (NCTA). Directed
by Department of Anthropology Professor Joseph Alter, the Asian Studies Center
offers a range of innovative programs for educators including seminars, short
courses, and summer study tours of China for K-12 teachers. The 2018 NCTA grant,
the 15th awarded to the Pitt center, allows it to expand Asian
studies offerings to serve educators in 11 states.

Pitt’s European Studies Center recently received grants
from both the European Union and the European Union Delegation to the U.S.  Led by Associate Professor of Political
Science Jae-Jae Spoon, the center’s 2018 awards provide an additional $573,000
and include a grant leveraging Pitt’s growing partnerships on urban and energy-related
research with three universities in Europe: Newcastle University (United
Kingdom); L’Institut des Études Politiques (Sciences Po Lyon, France);
and L’Université Jean Monnet Saint-Étienne
(France). The funding allows new collaborations among the three universities
and Pitt’s Department of Political Science, Urban Studies Program, Graduate
School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA) and Swanson School of
Engineering’s Center for Energy. In other center news, the European Union recently
renewed the European Studies Center’s prestigious designation as a Jean Monnet
Center of Excellence in EU Studies, a distinction the center has held since
1998.

In addition to the Title VI National Resource
Center and FLAS Fellowship funding, Pitt’s Center for Russian, East
European, and Eurasian Studies this year received major grants from the
National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the U.S. Department of Defense
(DoD), and the National Security Agency (NSA). Led by
Slavic Languages & Literatures Professor Nancy Condee, the center
secured more than $1.1 million in grant funding to advance
research, language training, and other programs.

The NEH Humanities Connections project will develop an
interdisciplinary series of undergraduate courses and linked co-curricular
experiences on the theme of “Water in Central Asia,” engaging multiple arts and
sciences departments and professional schools across Pitt. The DoD-funded
Project GO program will provide intensive summer Russian language training to
ROTC students from universities throughout the U.S., to be conducted both at
the Summer Language Institute on Pitt’s campus and on a custom-designed study
abroad program hosted by Narva College in Estonia. Finally, the NSA-funded
STARTALK program will provide a four-week summer residential program in Russian
language on Pitt’s campus for 20 high school students, the majority of whom
will be recruited from schools serving minority and lower-income populations in
Chicago and the greater Pittsburgh area.