Five global area studies centers awarded $8.6 million

Fall campus scenes on the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. (Jon Gardiner/UNC-Chapel Hill)Five global area studies centers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have been awarded approximately $8.6 million in competitive federal Title VI funding over the next four years.

Through two programs administered by the U.S. Department of Education, UNC-Chapel Hill has been awarded approximately $4 million for National Resource Centers (NRC) and $4.6 million for Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) scholarships. The University will receive approximately $2.1 million in its first year.

“The grants support Carolina faculty and students as they work in all regions of the world,” said Rudi Colloredo-Mansfeld, senior associate dean for social sciences and global programs in the College. “Here in North Carolina, the area studies centers do crucial work for our global mission, reaching out to K-12 teachers, business leaders, and non-profit professionals with timely training and learning opportunities.”

The following centers have been designated National Resource Centers by the U.S. Department of Education:

  • African Studies Center | Director: Emily Burrill, Associate Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies and History
  • Carolina Asia Center | Director: Morgan Pitelka, Professor of Asian Studies and History
  • Carolina Center for the Study of the Middle East and Muslim Civilizations, with Duke University | Co-directors: Carl Ernst, William R. Kenan, Jr., Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies; and Charles Kurzman, Stadter Distinguished Professor of Sociology
  • Center for European Studies | Director: John Stephens, Gerhard E. Lenski, Jr., Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Sociology
  • Institute for the Study of the Americas, with Duke University | Co-director: Louis Pérez, J. Carlyle Sitterson Professor of History

Text slide reads: The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: 5 National Resource Centers, 2018-2022, Awarded by the U.S. Department of Education"The African Studies Center, the Carolina Asia Center, the Center for European Studies and the Institute for the Study of the Americas also received Foreign Language and Area Studies Awards, which provide graduate and advanced undergraduate students with intensive summer language instruction and academic year support for language and area studies courses.

With the support of these grants, the National Resource Centers provide support for programs and activities such as:

  • Languages Across the Curriculum: Integrates languages — from Arabic and French to Spanish and Korean — into courses offered outside language departments.
  • Faculty Support: Supports language instruction, research, teaching and curriculum development.
  • World View: A program that equips K-12 and community college educators with global knowledge, best practices and resources through seminars and symposia, international study visits abroad and online instruction.
  • Opening Access to Global Opportunities: Opens opportunities for traditionally underrepresented students pursuing international education.

“These awards strengthen Carolina’s global presence and deepen our ability to serve as a scholarly and cultural resource in a wide range of nations and areas around the world. They support outreach, teaching and research regarding major world regions and languages. The work of the centers enhances our capacity to be a leading global public research university,” says Ron Strauss, executive vice provost and chief international officer for UNC-Chapel Hill.

For more about the centers, visit

Story courtesy of UNC Global