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Ohio University's Southeast Asian Studies program wins Department of Education Grant

ATHENS, Ohio (April 11, 2005) -- Ohio University's Southeast Asian Studies program has received a two-year grant for $145,000 from the U.S. Department of Education to support undergraduate studies. The Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Language grant will enable the University to establish a major and a certificate program in Southeast Asian studies. From a field of 110 applicants, Ohio University was one of only a few institutions to win this competitive grant.

The Southeast Asian Studies program at Ohio University has been recognized as one of the nation's top academic programs focusing on that region. "This award is gratifying because it builds on the quality and strength of the Southeast Asian Studies Center," said Drew McDaniel, director of Southeast Asian Studies. "We enjoy a reputation of one of the best programs in the U.S., and through this grant we will build our capacity even more. It will allow us to add new courses about Southeast Asia, a region that is important to American international relations."

The Department of Education grant will support the development of new Southeast Asian undergraduate courses in music, theater, classics and world religions, film, international studies and plant biology. Grant funding will also allow the introduction of Malay language as a critical language and will afford students overseas education opportunities through a new study abroad program in Malaysia and field study opportunities in Malaysia and Thailand. This project will take advantage of Ohio University's internationally-recognized Southeast Asia library holdings, an energetic and experienced faculty and existing linkages with major institutions in Southeast Asia. Additional library materials will also be acquired through the grant to support the new course offerings.

"By developing a major and certificate in Southeast Asian Studies we are harnessing our nationally-recognized Southeast Asian Studies resources for the benefit of our undergraduate students," said Polly Sandenburgh, coordinator of undergraduate programs for the Center for International Studies. Undergraduate students should be able to declare majors and pursue certificates in International Studies/Southeast Asian Studies starting in fall 2006. The University currently offers undergraduate international studies majors and certificates in African studies, Latin American studies, Asian studies and European studies.

The graduate program in Southeast Asian Studies, through which students may earn a Master of Arts in International Affairs with a concentration in Southeast Asian Studies, was established in 1967. "We have been very strong on the graduate level - now we need to make our resources available on the undergraduate level," said Karla Schneider, assistant director of Southeast Asian Studies.

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Media Contact: Director of Southeast Asian Studies Drew McDaniel, (740) 593-4855 or mcdanied@ohio.edu; or Assistant Director of Southeast Asian Studies Karla Schneider, (740) 593-1841 or schneidk@ohio.edu

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