As I write this message, Athens is in the throes of spring. Trees and flowers are blossoming, the sun is shining, and all are relishing the temperate weather. Those of us who have been in Athens for a while, however, know that there are few things less unpredictable than our weather. In what seems like an instant, the sunniest of skies can become overcast, with temperatures dropping down to winter thirties and forties. Within a 24-hour time frame hence, it may become sunny and warm again. Itís best to always be prepared for change.
Yamada House and the Southeast Asian Studies program have experienced many changes this academic year. First, the Center for International Studies (CIS) acquired a new Interim Executive Director, Dr. Ming Li. Replacing Dr. Dan Weiner, Dr. Li joined CIS after having served as Director of the School of Recreation and Sport Sciences in the College of Health and Human Service from 2002-2010, and Chair of the Department of Sports Administration following its move to the College of Business from 2010-12.
Second, the entire university adopted a semester calendar beginning in fall 2012. Students and instructors alike had to adjust their schedules, and endure some related growing pains.
Third, the undergraduate program in Global Studies, which includes majors in Global Studies -Africa, -Asia, -Europe, and -Latin America, and War and Peace, has moved under the umbrella of CIS. This move will encourage more interaction between graduate and undergraduate students interested in global and international affairs through joint events and programming.
Fourth, the masterís program in Southeast Asian Studies was broadened and revised to become a Masterís program in Asian Studies, with Dr. Takaaki Suzuki named as director. Within the Asian Studies major, students may concentrate in East Asia, Southeast Asia, or Transnational Asia. Graduate certificates in East Asian Studies and Southeast Asian Studies have also been added to allow students in other majors to partake of these offerings.
Finally, the Center for Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS) was formalized and continues to serve as a hub for developing mutually-beneficial partnerships with individuals and institutional counterparts in the region, coordinating and implementing Southeast Asia-related events and conferences, securing and administering grants, supporting affiliated faculty, developing new and expanding existing courses, and advising students in the Southeast Asia track of the Asian Studies major. I will continue to serve as director of CSEAS, and am committed to upholding Ohio Universityís 40-year history of cooperation and collaboration with faculty, colleagues, students, and others not only in Southeast Asia, but in other Centers of Southeast Asian Studies throughout the United States and Australia, with whom we often share common goals. CSEAS will continue to develop connections and rapport with new partners, broadening the OHIO family.
There are undoubtedly more changes to come, and we will ride those out as well. It is indeed best to be prepared for change, to the extent possible; as I like to say, ďIn life, we must be flexible, like bamboo.Ē
Thank you for the opportunity to serve as the CSEAS director in 2012-2013, and hereís to an equally exciting and productive 2013-2014. I hope you will join me again in both celebrating our programís existing strengths as well as encouraging new growth and meeting new challenges. Please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or to call me at (740) 593-1841 with any comments or suggestions throughout the year.
With all best wishes,
Christine Su, Ph.D.
Yamada International House, 56 E. Union Street, Athens OH 45701 (740) 593-1840