Atlanta Global Studies Center Receives $1 Million U.S. Department of Education Grant

Posted October 6, 2022

The Atlanta Global Studies Center (AGSC), a partnership between Georgia Tech and Georgia State University, has received a four-year, $1.05 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to fund the Center’s innovative work at the intersection of language education and research, global cultural competency, and sustainability.

“When we started envisioning the AGSC five years ago, the values of global education for all and building a consortium to support global initiatives in the Atlanta region were central,” said Anthony Lemieux, a professor in the College of Arts & Sciences at Georgia State and co-director of the Center. “With this renewal in 2022, our shared mission has been resoundingly reaffirmed. The momentum and energy that AGSC has tapped into affords tremendous opportunities for students, faculty, and in the K–12 system.”

The funding will be used to support faculty projects supporting education and research on sustainability, curriculum development in language and international studies, community engagement, and K–12 programs, said Juan Carlos Rodriguez, professor in the Georgia Tech School of Modern Languages and co-director of the AGSC.

“This award will facilitate the creation of key partnerships to strengthen Atlanta’s higher education offerings in languages and cultures, which will further improve our capacity to face global challenges and help position our city as an exciting hub for innovation across cultures and languages,” Rodriguez said.

A Record of Success

Founded in 2018, AGSC’s mission is to enhance access to advanced language learning and deepen knowledge of global and intercultural issues for the benefit of Atlanta-area students, faculty, and the public. The interdisciplinary Center supports research, curriculum enhancement, and student and faculty professional development in global studies and language learning.

The Center also promotes public events and K–12 and community outreach in collaboration with a range of partners, including the Atlanta UN Regional Center of Expertise (UN-RCE), the Georgia Department of Education World Languages and Global Workforce Initiatives, the Georgia Tech Center for Serve Learn Sustain (SLS), Georgia State’s Center for Urban Language Teaching and Research (CULTR), the World Affairs Council of Atlanta, and the Georgia Tech and Georgia State Centers for International Business and Research (CIBER).

In its first five years, the AGSC has expanded the reach and scope of global studies initiatives, including Georgia State’s campus-wide Global Scholar Distinction, initiatives to promote diversity and inclusion in STEM education at the K–12 level, and annual teacher workshops. It has played a role in expanding programs at Perimeter College, particularly the Global Scholar @ PC and Asian Studies programs. Its sustainability focus is embedded in many of its programs, including its efforts to provide inclusive education for sustainable development and community engagement through its campus partners and the UN-RCE.

The Center also has expanded regional capacity-building in global education and research through the creation of AGREC, the Atlanta Global Research and Education Collaborative. In addition to Georgia State and Georgia Tech, AGREC includes Spelman College, Emory University, the University of Georgia, the University of North Georgia, Agnes Scott College, and Kennesaw State University and supports interdisciplinary projects involving students and faculty from across metro Atlanta.

Its signature community outreach program, the Atlanta Global Studies Symposium, brings together students, educators, researchers, and corporate, civic, and community partners to explore topics such as international education, social justice, global health, and more.

Transforming Lives and Strengthening the Workforce

Roughly half of the Education Department award will go to Georgia Tech, with most of the remaining half going to Georgia State. About $8,000 will go to Spelman College.

“Spelman will use these funds to expand opportunities for faculty to conduct global sustainability research at home through AGREC,” said Dimeji Togunde, vice provost for global education at Spelman. “The funding will also help us broaden access to global experiences for Spelman students through internationalization of curriculum that embeds virtual exchange and continue growing and supporting instruction in critical languages including Portuguese, Chinese, and Japanese.”

Rodriguez said that in its first five years, AGSC has become integral to the Georgia Tech mission of improving lifelong learning and developing leaders who advance technology and improve the human condition.

“The AGSC is crucial to the strategic planning of Georgia Tech, as it brings together many faculty projects that demonstrate GT’s commitment to global education and innovative ways of engaging with different communities by combining STEM and humanities and social science education,” he said.

The same is true at Georgia State, said Diana Wrenn Rapp, associate director at AGSC.

“AGSC transforms lives and strengthens the workforce of the future by helping students become global citizens and leaders who think critically about complex and interconnected issues facing the world today,” Rapp said. “We prioritize access to global experiences and education for all students and advance the frontiers of knowledge by connecting researchers with a network of globally engaged partners who address our most challenging issues at the local and regional levels.”

About Georgia Tech

The School of Modern Languages, which hosts the AGSC, is a unit of the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts, one of six colleges at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Georgia Tech is one of the top public research universities in the U.S., developing leaders who advance technology and improve the human condition.

The Institute offers business, computing, design, engineering, liberal arts, and sciences degrees. Its more than 46,000 students, representing 50 states and more than 150 countries, study at the main campus in Atlanta, at campuses in France and China, and through distance and online learning.

As a leading technological university, Georgia Tech is an engine of economic development for Georgia, the Southeast, and the nation, conducting more than $1 billion in research annually for government, industry, and society.


About Georgia State University

The College of Arts & Sciences, co-host of the AGSC, connects students across majors in 22 departments and institutes and is one of 12 colleges and schools at Georgia State University.

Georgia State, an enterprising public research university, is a national leader in graduating students from diverse backgrounds. With six campuses throughout metro Atlanta, it is the largest university in Georgia and has one of the fastest-growing research portfolios in the U.S.

The university provides its accomplished faculty and more than 52,000 students with unsurpassed connections to the opportunities available in one of the 21st century’s great global cities. Georgia State offers more than 250 degree programs in 100+ fields of study, the widest variety in the state, and has a $2.8 billion annual economic impact on metro Atlanta.

Related Media

The inaugaural Global Studies Symposium organized by the Atlanta Global Studies Center was held on April 26, 2019, at the Bill Moore Student Success Center. Here, then Georgia Institute of Technology President G.P. "Bud" Peterson gives remarks to launch the event, saying the center and symposium have "the potential to connect people to issues that are critically significant to longer-term sustainable development.” (Photo Credit: Marcus Mintz)

Contact For More Information

Michael Pearson
Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts