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Neil Diamant, associate professor of Asian law and society
Dickinson College, a recognized leader in environmental studies and global education, has received a $50,000 grant from the Henry Luce Foundation’s Luce Initiative on Asian Studies and the Environment (LIASE) program, which encourages innovative approaches to Asian studies teaching and research through the lens of the environment and sustainable development. Dickinson was one of only four colleges to receive the grant in 2011.
“The grant allows us opportunities to further expose students and faculty from a variety of disciplines to the complexities of Asian societies, political systems and environmental problems,” said Neil Diamant, project coordinator and associate professor of Asian law and society at Dickinson College.
Diamant said the college will use sustainability as a unifying theme to convene a 15-member faculty study group that will inspire new ideas for incorporating Asian content into academic courses and research. The college also will host a series of lectures on campus by Asian scholars with expertise in environmental issues and will pilot a multi-disciplinary summer immersion program that will take students to Shanghai in 2012. The Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences will be Dickinson’s partner institution for this summer program.
“Asian studies and environmental studies are not a traditional pairing but the combination is natural for us given Dickinson’s strength in global education and our leadership in sustainability,” said Dickinson Provost Neil Weissman. “The grant gives us an opportunity to demonstrate the impact of sustainability across national borders and to expand the study of Asia at Dickinson across academic borders,” said Weissman, who pointed to the college’s high 60 percent study abroad participation rate and focus on sustainable practices as motivations behind applying for the grant.
Dickinson College is ranked among the top liberal-arts institutions in the nation by the Institute of International Education for its study abroad participation rate. Dickinson is also listed on The Princeton Review’s 2012 Green Honor Roll, Sierra Magazine’s 2010 list of America’s 20 Greenest Colleges, and received the highest overall grade on the Sustainable Endowments Institute’s 2010 Green Report Card. The college recently received a Gold Rating by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) and this fall will host a conference on establishing and improving farms and gardens in the undergraduate liberal-arts education.
The exploration grant is the first stage to pursuing multi-year LIASE implementation grants.
Published June 4, 2013