Dec. 15, 2004

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Contact: Nancy Hope, Kansas/Asia Scholars Program, (785) 864-3918.

KU honors new Kansas/Asia scholars; $2 million program in third year

LAWRENCE -- The new class of 25 Kansas/Asia scholars, sponsored through a $2 million grant to the University of Kansas to broaden understanding of East Asia in Kansas, was recognized during ceremonies at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 1 in the Spencer Museum of Art Central Court.


David E. Shulenburger, KU provost and executive vice chancellor, and Diana Carlin, dean of the graduate school and international programs at KU, joined faculty from KU's Center for East Asian Studies to honor the students selected this year for the Kansas/Asia Scholars Program (KAS).

Now in its third year, the KAS program is funded by a $2 million grant from the Freeman Foundation of New York City and Stowe, Vt. It is intended to help connect Kansans with the people and businesses of Asia. Funds are being used to send KU students to Japan, South Korea and China on three-week study tours and to establish the Kansas/Asia Community Connection (KACC), a program that strengthens ties between Kansans in agriculture and business with their counterparts in Asia. (See http://www.asiakan.org/ for more KACC information.) The grant also seeded four new faculty positions at KU.

Nancy Hope, KU associate director of both programs, noted that more than a billion dollars’ worth of trade occurs between Kansas and Asia annually.

“ The KAS and KACC programs will help Kansans to develop a great knowledge of and deeper appreciation for a part of the world that is economically important to them right now,” she said.

The 25 Kansas/Asia scholars will travel in late May and early June to three countries -- nine to China, nine to Japan and seven to South Korea. On their return, they will perform 20 hours of community service to teach others in Kansas about what they have learned while in Asia.

Kansas/Asia scholars will see aspects of the country that few tourists do. For example, in China, business students will study emerging capitalism and work with people involved in trade policy and American businesses. In South Korea, social welfare students plan to work side by side with Korean social workers.

The scholars will receive academic credit for their study tours and pay KU tuition to do so. Their travel expenses, including airfare and lodging, are covered by the Kansas/Asia Scholars Program. (See www.kas.ku.edu for more KAS information.)

The names of the new Kansas/Asia scholars and their hometowns, majors, parents' names and high school alma maters (when available), and the country they will visit are listed online at www.ur.ku.edu/News/04N/DecNews/Dec15/directory.html.

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