A $1 million grant from the U.S. State Department will enable University of North Carolina Wilmington to establish an educational and cultural partnership, university officials announced Tuesday.
The grant is the largest ever received from the State Department by any campus in the UNC system, university officials noted.
“As we understand it, the system has received eight grants total for a total of $1,674,675 – and UNCW, with just this one, has been granted $1 million,” UNCW spokeswoman Tara Romanella said in an email.
The initial three-year grant will help establish a partnership with the International Islamic University in Islamabad, Pakistan (IIUI) to “foster reciprocal opportunities for faculty and students in professional development, research and community engagement in an effort to support State Department diplomacy objectives, which include ‘expanding and strengthening the relationships between the people of the United States and citizens of the rest of the world,’” according to a news release.
The grant-funded partnership program is a good fit for UNCW, Cara Cilano, a professor of English and the grant program director, said in the release. She will lead the project.
“The implementation of this grant will emphasize many of UNCW's greatest assets, including our faculty's expertise in curricular development and their commitment to collaboration, promoted by the Office of Undergraduate Studies and the Graduate School,” she said in the release.
UNCW faculty members from various university departments will collaborate on the partnership project, drawing on the experience and insights of UNCW’s Center for Teaching Excellence and Center for Faculty Leaderships, the campus-wide initiative called Experiencing Transformative Education through Applied Learning and the Office of International Programs, the release stated.
From UNCW, Cilano, Jess Boersma, Diana Ashe, Carrie Clements, Karl Ricanek and Dan Masters will serve as the chief collaborators with their counterparts in Pakistan to implement a collaborative model of professional development in teaching, research and community engagement, according to the release. It will focus on political science, international relations and English, and will also serve IIUI´s interest in collaborating with UNCW’s Centers for Teaching Excellence and Faculty Leadership.
"All of us at the International Islamic University, Islamabad (IIUI) are excited about our partnership with UNCW. We hope it will be most useful both in terms of academic exchange and in building bridges of understanding between the people of the United States and Pakistan,” Mumtaz Ahmad, principal coordinator of the Partnership Program, said in the release.
The State Department initiated the grant program linking Pakistani universities with U.S. institutions in 2012, under the Fulbright-Hays act, with the mission to promote mutual understanding through educational and cultural exchanges between American citizens and citizens of other countries, the release stated.
The other colleges to receive the grant were including the University of Texas-Austin, Southern Methodist University, Arizona State University, Ball State University, San Jose State University, University of North Texas, University of Oklahoma, University of Kentucky and the University of Oregon