Marie G. Wanek Fund


Marie G. Wanek received her Ph.D. in 1959 from Georgetown University. She was a member of the History Department at Glassboro State College (now Rowan University). Dr. Wanek had a passion for and devotion to Asian studies and she served as the president of the Mid-Atlantic Region Association for Asian Studies (MARAAS). In her honor, a fund to continue to promote Asian Studies education was established with MARAAS. In 2021 the National Consortium for Teaching About Asia (NCTA) at the University of Pittsburgh took over the administration of the Marie G. Wanek fund.  For more than twenty years, Dr. Wanek's legacy has continued to foster creativity and growth in the subject that guided her career.


Fund Description:

The Marie G. Wanek Fund, administered by the University of Pittsburgh National Consortium for Teaching About Asia (Pitt NCTA), awards small grants to full-time K-12 educators for the purpose of incorporating Asian Studies into their school’s curriculum. Awards can range from $100-$1,000, and be applied for a variety of purposes, ranging from books for a school library to supporting a speaker or a field trip for a class. 


Who Can Apply? 

K-12 full-time educators, librarians and administrators in the following states: Alabama, Delaware, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia

Applicants must state that they have the approval to propose the funding from their school administrators.

In order to support as many educators as possible, applicants may only submit a proposal once per annual cycle (i.e. once every 365 days). Applicants will indicate if their application has a continuing component that may extend into multiple annual cycles.


When Can You Apply?

Applications are accepted year round with two application deadlines (note: the selection committee will only begin evaluating applications for each granting cycle on the application deadline, i.e. May 1 & Nov 1):

May 1 is the application deadline for Summer and Fall semester grants (award recipients will be notified by May 15)

November 1 for Spring semester grants (award recipients will be notified by November 15)


What Kinds of Projects Can Be Supported?

The following are a sample of the types of projects, but is not exhaustive: book sets for a classroom; books for a school library; materials to create a new course or curriculum unit; cost of bringing a speaker to school; a field trip to see an Asia exhibit or Asian performance; support for presenting on Asia in the curriculum at a conference; a PD workshop for teachers at a school.

What Kinds of Projects Cannot Be Supported?

The intention of the fund is to encourage the incorporation of the geographical sub-continent of Asia (as part of Eurasia) into the curriculum. Asian American Studies and Diaspora Studies are separate fields and not eligible for this award.


When are Awards Announced?

Award recipients will be notified by May 15 for the summer and fall semester grants (due by May 1), and by November 15 for the spring semester grants (due by November 1). The Pitt NCTA will publish the award recipients after all recipients have confirmed their acceptance of the award. 


How are the Awards distributed?

Generally, the school will be sent a check for the amount of the award, and the awardee will administer the funds.  However, other methods for distributing the award funds will be considered, in consultation with the awardee, the Pitt NCTA, and the Marie G. Wanek Fund committee.


What Sort of Follow-up is Expected?

Awardees will be asked to provide a short report of how the funding was used within a month after the completion of the project. Pitt NCTA especially encourages photos or lesson plans, and a statement as to what impact the funding had or will have on the school. These reports and images will be uploaded to the Pitt NCTA Marie G. Wanek Fund page of our website, and also may be mentioned in our newsletters.

Who are the members of the Selection Committee? 

The Selection Committee includes four full-time K-12 educators with extensive backgrounds in teaching about Asia and participating in NCTA programs. A member of the Pitt NCTA coordinating site also serves on the Selection Committee in an ex officio role.

Application Proposal & the Selection Committee Review

The successful application will demonstrate a clear vision for the project with a strong impact on student learning. The project should explain how it will deepen and broaden an understanding of Asia and/or Asian culture among students and the school community. The Selection Committee hopes to support projects from both NCTA alumni as well as those from teachers and schools which are new to NCTA programs.


How To Apply:

Submit a proposal and budget to the Chair of the Selection Committee via the link below.

Submissions will be reviewed by the Chair and Selection Committee.

Any questions should be emailed to Joseph Daniels at


What you'll need to have prepared before starting your application:

Please note: you will not be able to save and resume the application once it has been started, so please gather the information first before attempting a submission

  • Your School and District Information (How your school can be reached)


  • Project Title


  • Project Description (200 Words Maximum)


  • State and National Standards that apply to Project (if applicable)


  • Student Learning and Community Understanding Outcomes of Project (200 Words Maximum) explaining the intended impact of the project on student learning and the broader school community. What new knowledge and skills will the individual student gain from this project? What is the collective benefit for the school community? How will this project increase an understanding of Asia and/or Asian culture?


  • Follow-up Plan (100 Words Maximum) explaining how you plan to assess the project's impact on students and the school community?


  • Total Amount Requested for the Project (between $100 - $1000)


  • Project Budget (and, if applicable, a materials list)


  • Project Timeline


  • Any Supplemental Supporting Documents you would like the Selection Committee to consider. Such documents might include: letters of support, images, flyers, other program outlines, or other related materials. 


PLEASE NOTE: You will not be able to save and resume the application once it has been started, so please gather the information first before attempting a submission.




Funding for the Marie G. Wanek Fund was provided by a generous grant from the Mid Atlantic Region Association for Asian Studies (MARAAS).