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Luce Foundation awards $400,000 grant for new interdisciplinary program on Asian environmental studies

By Tom Scherberger
Published March 26, 2014
Categories: Academics

The Henry Luce Foundation has awarded Eckerd College $400,000 to implement an interdisciplinary program that will create new curriculum on Asia and the environment and send 130 students to study in Asia.

The competitive grant, provided through the Luce Initiative on Asian Studies and the Environment, will bring together Eckerd’s Environmental Studies and East Asian Studies programs under a collaborative umbrella called the Asia and the Environment Initiative.

It is the second grant the Foundation has provided for the initiative, building on $50,000 in exploratory funding.

The program will train a half-dozen members of the Eckerd Environmental Studies and Natural Sciences faculty and nearly all of the East Asian Studies faculty to work on environmental issues in Asia, including cross-training in Asian languages and in scientific and environmental research techniques and fieldwork.

Besides the 130 students who will study in Asia, 280 students will gain additional exposure to Asian environmental issues through campus coursework. After the implementation period ends in 2017, one to two study abroad courses and four to six on-campus courses will be offered every year, involving about 100 students annually.

Study abroad programs are an integral part of the mission of Eckerd College, which was ranked in the top 20 last year for total number of study abroad students at undergraduate institutions in the U.S. by the Institute of International Education.

“Eckerd is grateful to the Henry Luce Foundation for supporting this important global initiative,” said Dean of Faculty Suzan Harrison. “This is the latest example of how Eckerd’s commitment to collaborative, interdisciplinary education changes the lives of our students.”

The Luce Initiative on Asian Studies and the Environment encourages innovative approaches to teaching and research of undergraduate Asian studies through the lens of the environment and sustainable development.

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