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ASU professor awarded Title VIII grant for Critical Language Institute


ASU Critical Languages Institute, photo of Moscow, Russia

Moscow, Russia. Submitted to the School of Politics and Global Studies annual photo contest in 2014 by Cristina Garcia.

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October 27, 2020

Keith Brown, director of the Melikian Center for Russian, Eurasian and East European Studies and professor in the School of Politics and Global Studies, was recently awarded Title VIII support from the Department of State to increase national capacity through enhanced graduate language training in advanced Russian and in languages of Eastern Europe and the independent states of the former Soviet Union. 

The award supports Arizona State University's commitment to the value of regional expertise in U.S. global engagement and foreign policy-making.

The award supports the operations of the Critical Languages Institute, which every summer since 1991 has provided high-quality, intensive, proficiency-based language training programs in Arizona and abroad. The majority of the funding provides scholarship support for language study at ASU, to qualified U.S. students admitted or enrolled in graduate programs from across the U.S.

At the institute, students take eight foreign language credits in seven or eight weeks, with four hours of class time each weekday. In addition, Title VIII fellows take a one-credit online class titled Post-Soviet Geopolitics, specifically designed to engage students in issues of relevance to U.S. policy interests in Eastern Europe and Eurasia, putting their language study in comparative context.

In 2021, ASU will welcome its eighth cohort of Title VIII fellows, with scholarships offered in advanced Russian, and in Albanian, Armenian, BCS, Kazakh, Polish, Ukrainian, Uzbek and Macedonian. The 2021 program will also include a professional writing workshop for former Title VIII fellows since 2011, designed to help them put scholarly knowledge to work in the world.

"Title VIII funding represents the U.S. State Department's enduring commitment to fostering regional expertise, and their recognition of ASU's long-term investment in high-quality instruction in less-commonly taught languages," Brown said. "The award connects us with creative and talented young scholars across the country, whose cross-cultural fluency will constitute a vital resource in building international understanding across a strategically significant region."

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