The Asian Studies Department continued its popular monthly ASN Speaker Series along with co-sponsoring the South Asia Speaker Series (SASS). Guest speakers this academic year have included: Marc Keane (Landscape Architect), Himadeep Muppidi (Vassar College), Rachel McDermott (Barnard College), Jane Marie Law (Cornell), and Amina Steinfels (Mt. Holyoke College). As part of Freeman Foundation grant to revise the Asian Studies curriculum, the major in Asian Studies was modified to include a required capstone course, “ASN 401: Asia Colloquium.” The addition of ASN 401 was approved by the Committee on Academic Affairs in September 2011. Consequently, the ASN Major Declaration Form was also updated, and the required capstone will be phased in from the class of 2016. The first session of “ASN 401: Asia Colloquium” seminar is being piloted this semester by Professors Feisal Khan (Economics) and Vikash Yadav (Political Science).
With the generous assistance of the Freeman Foundation, a departmental retreat was held off campus on November 2011. The retreat and follow-up meetings resulted in the department’s agreement of a set of Learning Outcome Goals for all ASN majors in May 2012. The Learning Outcomes Goals, which will be discussed in more detail later in this report, have been added to the department’s website. The first Assessment of Learning Outcomes was conducted in May 2012, using data from the required cornerstone course, ASN 101. In October 2012, an Asian Studies Facebook Page was created for ASN Majors/Minors to help build a sense of community, disseminate information of departmental events, and to alert students of opportunities and scholarships in Asian Studies. The department’s recent alumni have also been invited to join the page to keep them posted on developments in the department and to alert them to opportunities and graduate scholarships. In March 2013, the Department completed its first external review and the department will soon be meeting to incorporate the curricular suggestions of the reviewers.