Last month six Concordia students found out they will be embarking on a journey to South Korea with two art professors through a grant sponsored by the ASIANetwork organization.

Susan Lee, assistant professor of art, and Heidi Goldberg, associate professor of art, hand-selected each of the students to apply as a group for the Student-Faculty Fellows Program. The fellowship is set up in that each of the students will conducted their own separate research topics within the larger theme of the South Korean printmaking tradition and its current state.

Lee is a specialist in East Asian art history and a native South Korean, and Goldberg is a working print maker. During the end of last year, Lee said that she and Goldberg worked to familiarize the students with the work they could do through the fellowship relating to Asian studies, as per the ASIANetwork organization’s requirements, alongside their own specialty knowledge.

Throughout the year, the students worked on focusing their individual research questions and beginning research into the topics, to be continued throughout the summer. Lee said that over the summer, the students were asked to look around at the current state of art, specifically at what print makers here in the U.S. are interested in right now.

When class resumed last fall, group meetings started up again. The group met about once a month to stay focused on the research at hand and to work together on preparing the necessary written components for the fellowship application. The application was finally submitted in the fall, and the group had to wait until Feb. 15 to learn the results, the date that the ASIANetwork website stated that they would share the names of the fellowship recipients.

The group won a $41,000 grant to use over a three-week period this May, the maximum amount that they could have been given. The Concordia group was awarded the fellowship along with 13 other schools out of the 160 colleges associated with ASIANetwork, according to the ASIANetwork website.

Jenna Morris, a sophomore art education major, is one of the student fellows traveling to South Korea.

“There’s a decent amount of work involved, but it’s still so fun,” Morris said.

Just because they’ve won the fellowship and have been awarded a grant, doesn’t mean the work is over. Lee said that the students will all continue to do research on their chosen topics until they leave for South Korea May 6. Morris said that, while in Korea, each of the students will continue researching, writing papers and preparing presentations which will all be used to generate interest in Asian studies within Concordia’s student body next year.

Part of ASIANetwork’s mission is to support Asian studies in liberal arts colleges that aren’t large enough to support their own Asian studies concentrations. According to Lee, ASIANetwork hopes to inspire a “ripple effect” with their fellowships and grants, starting with the funded research of a few students that spreads throughout their home campus, inspiring more and more students to look into Asian studies. According to their website, ASIANetwork gave over $386,000 to groups in this year’s Student-Faculty Fellows Program.

Manda Bertrand

Class of 2013. Journalism/French major. Dance Team, Chapel Choir, Habitat for Humanity.

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