As the University of Pittsburgh continues to expand its global impact, an unprecedented 12 concurrent U.S. Department of Education awards will support teaching, research and learning about five different world regions, key world languages and overarching global themes. All six of the University Center for International Studies’ (UCIS) global and area studies centers have been chosen to receive both National Resource Center grants and Foreign Language and Area Studies fellowships by the federal government. These competitive awards place Pitt among the nation’s leaders in international and area studies and will bolster the work of Pitt faculty and their students with over $11 million in funding for the next four years.
The designation of these centers as National Resource Centers (NRC) will galvanize the reputations of the Asian Studies Center, Center for African Studies, European Studies Center, Center for Latin American Studies, Global Studies Center and Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies. NRC funding will allow all six centers to maintain and expand existing programming, broadening the University’s student and community engagement and offering crucial global perspectives. Current center initiatives include teaching foreign language and area studies courses, offering study abroad opportunities to students, showcasing the vibrant immigrant communities of Pittsburgh and bringing international visitors and academic research to Pitt.
Dr. Ariel Armony, Vice Chancellor for Global Affairs and Director of UCIS, said, "We are very excited that the excellent work done by all of Pitt's global and area studies centers is recognized at this level. This is a historical achievement. The unprecedented number of awards places Pitt in a top group of global institutions that offer the best international research and learning experiences to all students."
The six centers also have concrete plans for expanded programming moving forward, including advancing initiatives to promote diversity, inclusion and equity within area studies; supporting course development to foster essential skills to students engaging in international careers; developing a consortium of colleges and universities across Appalachia to expand access to foreign language and international studies courses; and increasing the teaching of endangered and less commonly taught languages such as Quechua (an indigenous language of South America), Irish Gaelic, Twi and Slovak.
As the centers receive support for their educational missions, Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) funding will directly support Pitt students as they seek to become proficient in less commonly taught languages and deepen their knowledge of related regions. Target languages include Portuguese, Arabic, Russian and Swahili, among others. FLAS funding will finance as many as 280 graduate and undergraduate students with academic year and summer fellowships over the next four years.
Starting in the spring of 2023, students will be encouraged to apply for FLAS funding through the UCIS website. FLAS scholarships will be available for both the academic year and summer term.