By Katie Linder
CLAS Associate Professor Aron Aji led a team of colleagues across campus to produce a successful proposal to the U.S. Department of Education. The grant totals more than $1 million over the next four years – one of the largest humanities grants at Iowa.
The funding will help launch a new national resource center that will advance translation and global literacy skills for students in K-12, undergraduate, and graduate-level study at Iowa, and other campuses across the US.
Aji is the Director of MFA in Literary Translation and an Associate Professor of Instruction in the Division of World Languages, Literatures, and Cultures in CLAS and is one of two PIs for the proposal. Pamela Wesely, Professor and Associate Dean in the UI College of Education, is the second PI.
Aji says this impactful grant underscores Iowa’s longstanding commitment to translation and international education. About 60 years ago, the UI was the first to offer a translation workshop in an academic setting. Nearly 50 years ago it launched its MFA in Literary Translation, and this year UI will offer a BA in Translation, the first-ever program of its kind in the U.S.
“Our commitment to translation and international writing is nationally recognized, and so is our commitment to training secondary school teachers of world languages – all of these make the UI an excellent site to host a National Resource Center for Translation and Global Literacy,” Aji says.
The proposed center will work to:
- Promote translation and global literacy across the University of Iowa
- Support faculty development and research
- Promote translation and global literacy among educators at all levels
- Create a research hub and resource library for public use
Wesely says the College of Education is excited to work with UI experts and leaders in translation and global literacy to share their expertise with K-16 teachers, counselors, and students in Iowa.
“We are looking forward to developing this center to become a resource within the University of Iowa and for educators, counselors, and members of multilingual communities across the state,” Wesely says.
This center represents a great opportunity to collaborate across the university. Aji says the center will work in partnership with several areas across the university, including the Division of World Languages, Literatures, and Cultures in CLAS, the College of Education, the Office of International Programs, and the International Writing Program, in addition to educators at all levels in Iowa and beyond.
The DOE’s National Resource Centers Program provides grants to establish, strengthen, and operate centers that will be national resources for teaching any modern foreign language.