A new center in the University of Delaware's College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) will bring together faculty and students in the college's Area Studies programs and also serve as both a hub for global learning and a support center for international research.
George Watson, dean of the college, announced the creation of the Center for Global and Area Studies (CGAS), which will be directed Julio F. Carrión, associate professor of political science and international relations.
"This new center will enhance the global impact of the college, an explicit goal in our strategic plan," Watson said. "And Professor Carrión will provide dynamic leadership in building collaborations inside the college and with the Institute for Global Studies (IGS), which spearheads the University's global efforts."
The center will also support the college's strategic commitment to strengthening interdisciplinary programs and to supporting the IGS and its Global Research Consortium. The CGAS brings the Area Studies programs of the college into a single unit and thus combines the efforts of more than 100 faculty members, numerous graduate students and some 150 undergraduates majoring or minoring in one of the programs.
The six Area Studies programs focus on African, Asian, European, Islamic, Jewish, and Latin American and Iberian studies.
"Bringing together faculty whose expertise spans disciplines and world regions, the CGAS promotes research that increases global awareness and fosters an academic community that is increasingly connected to the 'global village,'" Carrión said.
The center, he said, will be guided by the philosophy laid out in UD's Global Initiative, that "global experience, both on our campus and beyond, is critical to our success."
The center houses cross-disciplinary programs that train students in what Carrión described as the crucial skills needed for understanding global issues: culture, language, analysis and experience with other cultures. Such skills, he said, "prepare our undergraduates to tackle the international topics that are constantly seen in the news cycle: globalization, multiculturalism, international business, cooperation and conflict resolution, poverty and the challenges of development, democratic development, migration and environmental concerns, among others."
The CGAS is also expected to strengthen and expand the scope of the college's graduate programs by fostering faculty/graduate student collaboration in global research and by developing new programmatic initiatives in graduate education. To cultivate a community-wide understanding of global issues, the center designs curricula, hosts lecture series, offers small research grants and sponsors "brown bag" talks, which explore not only other countries' political and economic structures but also their cultures, histories, arts, languages and literatures.
"This comprehensive approach prepares Area Studies majors and minors to build successful careers in both domestic and transnational fields, including government and diplomacy, nongovernmental organizations, international aid, education, banking and international business," Carrión said. "Exciting plans lie in the future of Area Studies at the University of Delaware."
CGAS is collaborating with the Institute for Global Studies to create new opportunities for undergraduates, including a possible Global Certificate or a minor in Global Studies, Carrión said, and is also working toward creating graduate certificates in selected Area Studies programs.
About Julio Carrión
Carrión, who joined the UD faculty in 1998, has served as director of the Latin American and Iberian Studies program, director of the Area Studies programs and acting chair of the Department of Political Science and International Relations. His field of specialization is public opinion and political behavior in Latin America.
He has been a researcher at the Instituto de Estudios Peruanos in Lima, Peru, a research professor at the Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales in Ecuador and an assistant professor at Troy State University in Alabama.
Carrión is the co-author of Working Class and Wage Earners in Peru and the author of The Working-Class Youth in Peru. He edited The Fujimori Legacy: The Rise of Electoral Authoritarianism in Peru.