Marlboro College

News Marlboro College Receives Second Freeman Foundation Grant for Asian Studies

Marlboro, VT – (August 4, 2008) – Marlboro College announced it has been awarded a second grant from the Freeman Foundation Undergraduate Asian Studies Initiative (FFUASI) to continue developing its Asian Studies program.

The initial grant in 2001 enabled nearly half of the college’s tenure-track faculty and more than 50 students to visit China and Vietnam for short-term research projects. Adjunct professors were also hired to teach Asian languages under its funding and the campus hosted several cultural performances and academic lectures.

“The grant extension allows Marlboro to provide a new generation of students with opportunities for research, internships, and service-learning in Asia,” says Asian Studies professor Seth Harter. “In addition, Marlboro faculty can strengthen ties to institutions of higher learning in Asia they established during previous trips.”

Harter cites Todd Smith as one Marlboro faculty member already slated to travel under the benefits of the FFUASI grant. Smith will spend his fall 2008 sabbatical in Vietnam teaching a course in biochemistry at the University of Hue. He will return to Hue in the spring of 2009 to work with Dr. Ton That Phap and his students on a mangrove conservation project, a collaboration that began during Smith’s first trip in 2005.

“The hope is that three years or so from now, we’ll be able to have programs with universities in both Vietnam and China for the exchange of faculty and students,” says Harter, adding that the grant will allow Marlboro to bring more exhibitions, performances, visiting scholars, and conferences to campus that would both enrich the college and foster interest in Asia for the surrounding region.

Marlboro has hired Grant Li as a full-time professor of Chinese language starting this fall. Li received his Ph.D. from the University of California at Irvine and had most recently been teaching at Smith College. Harter says another recent hire, Thomas Means, will assist students with independent study projects for learning other Asian languages. Means has a Ph.D. in Italian and Second Language Acquisition from Rutgers University.

The Freeman Foundation (FF) launched its Undergraduate Asian Studies Initiative (UASI) in 2001 to provide support to college and university-based Asian Studies programs. FFUASI grantees have reported over 11,000 students and faculty members traveling abroad and the development of nearly 6,500 products since its inception.

The $198,000 FFUASI grant covers a two-year span. Marlboro College is required to raise an additional $99,000 in matching funds by June of 2009.

For more information, please contact the Marlboro College Public Relations Department at (802) 251-7644, or visit the news section at

Marlboro College offers undergraduate education in the liberal arts and, since 1997, graduate study focused on Internet technologies. Its 330 undergraduate students enjoy an 8:1 student-faculty ratio, a voice in governing the community and individualized courses of study on a 350-acre campus in the hills of southern Vermont.


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