News Pulse - State University of New York at New Paltz

Continued growth on horizon for Asian Studies

Lion Dance performers

Lion Dance performers at Alumni Reunion Weekend,
Oct. 21. Photo submitted.

Five new faculty members will arrive on campus in the fall ready to guide students through the field of Asian Studies.

In response to increased interest in the Asian Studies Program, searches for faculty members with specializations in Asia are underway in four departments. The positions will cover Chinese literature and language, Japanese literature and language, economics - Asia Pacific, history of South Asia/Southeast Asia, and Asian philosophy and religion.

"The addition of new faculty will further strengthen the program and our ability to provide students with a solid foundation in the study of Asia," said Kristine Harris, director of the Asian Studies Program.

Two searches have been conducted and all five faculty members will be in place for the fall 2007 semester.

In its 40 year history, Asian Studies has grown into an interdisciplinary program that draws on the expertise of faculty from over a dozen departments in the college, with the broad mission of promoting greater awareness and understanding of East Asia, South Asia and Southeast Asia, with a major and a minor available to students.

In recognition of its long history at New Paltz, the program held a reunion that brought alumni and former faculty members together with current faculty and students. A roundtable discussion titled "Looking Back, Looking Ahead: Asia and Asian Studies at New Paltz" took place on Oct. 21 during Alumni Reunion Weekend.

"A lot of alumni and former faculty have a strong interest in the growth and revitalization of the program," said Harris.

The dedication of alumni and former faculty has not been limited to reunion time. In early 2005, an endowment was created as a way for those who have benefited from the program to give something back.

The Friends of Asian Studies Endowment has raised more than half of its goal of $100,000. Funds have been raised through donations from alumni like Michael Boccio '83 (Business Administration/Asian Studies), who donated $25,000. "I am glad that I am in a position to give back to a program that has given me so much," said Boccio, vice president and commercial director for OSI Industries Inc., a global supply company to McDonalds.

Harris said the overall goal of the endowment is to "enhance the understanding of Asia on campus and reward excellence" through the creation of scholarships. Funds will also be used to organize special events, such as an alumni speakers series.

For more information about the program, visit the Asian Studies department.


January 15, 2007
Volume 5, Issue 1

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