12/11/2008 Grant to boost China studies at Linfield
McMINNVILLE - China studies at Linfield College will be enhanced thanks to a grant of more than $98,000 from The Freeman Foundation of New York, N.Y.
The $98,508 grant will increase opportunities for students, faculty and the community to study the languages and cultures of Asia, according to Vicky McGillin, vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty at Linfield.
"Linfield is committed to creating a Chinese studies program that will inspire current students and attract future Chinese language scholars," McGillin said.
Over the next three years, Linfield students, faculty and community members will be offered a number of opportunities as a result of the grant, including an annual visiting scholar from the China Studies Institute of Peking and Shanghai Universities who would provide Chinese language instruction at Linfield; faculty stipends focused on China to encourage Chinese-themed topics in Linfield courses; and student travel grants to increase the number of Linfield undergraduates studying at the college's partner institution located on the campuses of Peking University and Shanghai University.
The grant will also make possible the launch of a three-year series, China in McMinnville. The program will include events, lectures and performances open to the community. Linfield will work with the Confucius Institute at Portland State University, the Northwest China Council and the World Affairs Council to bring theatre productions, music events, philosophical speakers and more to Linfield.
“Activities such as these will significantly improve Chinese language instruction, increase Chinese studies for students and research opportunities for faculty, and strengthen the institutional foundation,” said Chris Keaveney, associate professor of Japanese and co-chair of the Asian Studies Program at Linfield.
The Asian Studies Program has deep roots at Linfield. The college currently offers a major and minor in Japanese language and a minor in Asian studies. In addition, the Asian Studies Program provides Chinese language study and courses offered in the Departments of History, Music, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, Religious Studies, Sociology and Anthropology, Business, Nursing, Health Sciences and Physics.
Linfield has Pacific Rim connections that go back more than a quarter of a century. The college has had an exchange program with Kanto Gakuin University in Yokohama, Japan, since 1976 in which 10 KGU students study at Linfield fall semester while 10 Linfield students study at KGU. A program with Wenzhou University in Wenzhou, China, has provided for a visiting scholar to come to Linfield each year. That individual teaches one class in Chinese language and another on a topic based on their field of interest. In addition, the visiting scholars also give talks in the community and sometimes work with Linfield faculty on research. During January each year, Linfield has at least one course, and often more, which involves travel and study in Asia.