UWM receives 2 highly competitive federal grants in international education

MILWAUKEE _ Two separate centers at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee have received highly competitive grants from the U.S. Department of Education, recognizing them as national leaders in international and area studies.

UWM is among 55 institutions nationwide to receive four-year Title VI National Resource Center and Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship funding. Other universities that received grants include Stanford University, Columbia University, UC-Berkeley, The Ohio State University, and the University of Michigan.

At UWM, grants went to the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies and the Center for International Education. It is the first time two units at UWM have received this funding.

The Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies received $600,000 in partnership with UW-Madison’s Latin American, Caribbean, and Iberian Studies Program. The National Resource Center portion of the grant will support research and teaching across campuses, along with public engagement projects, including regional and national outreach programing for K-16 educators. The Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship portion will provide scholarships for students studying the less-commonly taught languages of the Americas – Portuguese, Haitian Creole and other indigenous languages. The student scholarships can, and often do, support study abroad to locations in Central and South America, and the Caribbean.

The Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies has been continuously funded as a National Resource Center since 1965.

Senior Nia Wilson, a journalism, advertising and media studies major from Milwaukee, received a scholarship last year through the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies.

“My experience abroad in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, was the best experience so far in my undergraduate career at UWM,” Wilson said. “The amount of personal growth, and global knowledge, is something that I will carry with me for life.”

Brock Splittgerber, who is working on his master’s degree in Spanish, was able to attend an eight-week intensive summer program for Portuguese held at UW-Madison.

“The Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship provided me with the opportunity to improve my speaking proficiency in Portuguese while simultaneously attaining a deeper, more profound understanding of Brazilian culture. I feel very confident in my ability to transfer my Portuguese language skills to a career that interests me, thanks to my experience,” said Splittgerber, who is from East Troy, Wisconsin.

UWM’s Center for International Education received nearly $1.8 million in Title VI funding. The National Resource Center portion will support faculty work in less-commonly taught languages —Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, and Russian — including instructor certification and course development and redesign. The grant also will support curriculum development in the Global Studies program and outreach programs to K-16 and technical colleges. The Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship portion of the grant will provide scholarships for undergraduate students pursuing studies in the less-commonly taught languages. This is the first time the Center for International Education has received one of these grants.

UWM offers classes in 20 different languages, with majors in eight. Its Global Studies and International Studies majors offer study abroad experiences and practical internships abroad.

About UWM

Recognized as one of the nation’s 115 top research universities, UW-Milwaukee provides a world-class education to 27,500 students from 91 countries on a budget of $689 million. Its 15 schools and colleges include Wisconsin’s only schools of architecture, freshwater sciences and public health, and it is a leading educator of nurses and teachers. UW-Milwaukee partners with leading companies to conduct joint research, offer student internships and serve as an economic engine for southeastern Wisconsin. The Princeton Review named UW-Milwaukee a 2019 “Best Midwestern” university based on overall academic excellence and student reviews, and the Sierra Club has recognized it as Wisconsin’s leading sustainable university.