Four John Carroll University students and a theology and religious studies professor have received a fellowship to conduct research in the borderlands of China and Tibet this summer.

Funded by the ASIANetwork-Freeman Foundation Student-Faculty Research Fellowship, Paul Nietupski, Ph.D., will collaborate on four studies with his students:

  • Andrew Dockery ’16, an east Asian studies major, who will study the impact of infrastructure developments on local lifestyles—how transportation and communication advances have brought unprecedented changes to local peoples from all ethnic groups.
  • Alexandra Ehrett ’16, a political science major, who will study how the status of women in the region has changed over time.
  • Brenton Mineo ’13, a biology major and East Asian Studies minor, who will study the environmental impact of increasing herd size brought about by advances in animal husbandry and the aggressive use of natural resources.
  • Sarah Pawlaczyk ’15, a middle childhood education major, who will study educational infrastructures in the area to analyze their strengths and weaknesses.

From left: Alexandra Ehrett, Brenton Mineo, Paul Nietupski, Ph.D., Andrew Dockery, and Sarah Pawlaczyk

Each student submitted a research proposal for the fellowship, which was awarded on a competitive basis to teams from 13 institutions across the U.S. This semester, Nietupski is leading a seminar for JCU’s student recipients to further develop their proposals and prepare for their field research.

JCU’s research team will visit Beijing as well as Gansu and Qinghai provinces. They will observe and conduct interviews with area residents and scholars in their respective fields.

Following the trip, Nietupski and the students plan to present their findings next year at JCU’s annual Celebration of Scholarship and ASIANetwork’s national conference. The students also will seek publication of their papers in peer-reviewed undergraduate journals.

Nietupski has spent 25 years conducting research on the borderlands of China and Tibet, focusing on the development of communities and cultural and economic exchanges among the region’s ethnic groups. Nietupski and his students previously received ASIANetwork-Freeman Foundation Fellowships in both 2002 and 2006.

ASIANetwork is a consortium of around 160 North American colleges that strives to strengthen the role of Asian Studies within the framework of liberal arts education. The consortium’s goal is to help prepare succeeding generations of undergraduates for a world in which Asian societies play prominent roles in an ever more interdependent world.

Posted on March 1, 2013
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